1st Edition

Goethe, Kant, and Hegel Discovering the Mind

By Walter Kaufmann Copyright 1980
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    This immensely readable and absorbing book - the first of a three-volume series on understanding the human mind - concentrates on three major figures who have changed our image of human beings. Kaufmann drastically revises traditional conceptions of Goethe, Kant, and Hegel, showing how their ideas about the mind were shaped by their own distinctive mentalities.

    Kaufmann's version of psychohistory stays clear of gossip and is carefully documented. He offers us a radically new understanding of two centuries of intellectual history, but his primary focus is on self-knowledge. He is in a unique position to perform this task by virtue of being, according to Stephen Spender, "the best translator of Faust"; and in Sidney Hook's view, "unquestionably the most interesting and informative writer of Hegel in English."

    The foremost interpreter of Kant, Lewis White Beck, has called this book on Goethe, Kant, and.Hegel "fascinating" - a work which "will stir up a good many people by telling them things they have never heard, and providing an alternative to what is the accepted reading of that part of the history of philosophy. The story of how personality affects philosophy has never been better told." We are shown how Goethe advanced the discovery of the mind more than anyone before him, while Kant was in many ways a disaster. Hegel, like others between 1790 to 1990, tried to reconcile Kant and Goethe.

    Kaufmann shows this is impossible He paints a large picture, but he is always highly specific and details the major contributions of Goethe and Hegel as well as the ways in which Kant's immense influence proved catastrophic.

    Prologue; 1: ; 2: ; 3: Three aims; 1: Goethe and the Discovery of the Mind; 4: Goethe at twenty-one. “Autonomous from tip to toe.”; 5: “Goethe’s first major contribution to the discovery of the mind is that he provided a new model of autonomy.”; 6: Goethe’s alienation from the compact majority; 7: “A significant impact on human thought by virtue of his character”; 8: The second point about Goethe’s influence on the discovery of the mind. “Man is his deeds”; 9: “Goethe’s greatest contribution to the discovery of the mind was that, more than anyone else, he showed how the mind can be understood only in terms of development”; 10: “Both the… new criticism and analytical philosophy represent… revolts against this developmental approach.” Three Mephistopheles quotations; 11: “Goethe’s refusal to equate science with Newtonian science represents his fourth major contribution”; 12: Why Goethe wrote so clearly and how he understood science. “Ossification” and “hypotheses”; 13: “Goethe tended to disparage mathematics”; 14: “Hegel… Nietzsche, Freud, and ]ung were steeped in Goethe’s life and works”; 15: “In sum, Goethe made at least four crucial contributions to the discovery of the mind.” “Those greatly influenced by Goethe found three paths open to them”; II: Influences: Herder, Lessing, Schiller, Fichte, Schopenhauer; 16: Herder; 17: Lessing; 18: Schiller; 19: Fichte; 20: Schopenhauer; III: Kant: The Structure of the Mind; 21: The impact of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason; 22: “Kant himself felt that he had discovered the structure of the mind”; 23: The short book on ethics which Kant published in 1785. “Stick to words”; 24: Kant’s attempt to lay the foundations for ethics; 25: “The religious inspiration of his ethic is to be found in Moses”; 26: The example of suicide and the problem of what a maxim is; 27: The other three examples; 28: The irrational in history and psychology. Dichotomies. “Interest” in Kant’s ethics; 29: Aesthetic judgments “devoid of all interest”; 30: “His fundamental mistakes are essentially the same everywhere.” Kant’s lack of interest in art; IV: Kant: Autonomy, Style, and Certainty; 31: Kant’s conception of autonomy. “Kant lived as he taught”; 32: “Style is the mirror of a mind”; 33: Five ways in which Kant impeded the discovery of the mind. The so-called patchwork theory; 34: How the Critique of Pure Reason was written. “Hegel’s Phenomonology was written in very much the same way,” and so was Sartre’s Critique; 35: “Kant… impressed this trinity of certainty, completeness, and necessity on his successors.” “If one makes bold to lay down certainties for all time… a lack of clarity is all too understandable.” Timidity and boldness. Contrast with Lessing and Goethe; 36: “Not hiding my emotions may make it easier for you to discover your feelings and your mind”; V: Hegel’s Three Conceptions of Phenomenology; 37: “The fundamental conflict… is between Kant and Goethe”; 38: “Initially, he put Kant’s doctrines into Jesus’ mouth. … Then he read Goethe’s image of humanity into Christianity.” “Like Kant, he associated science with rigorous deduction, necessity, certainty, and completeness; and the more he claimed to be rigorous the more unreadable he became, as he veiled his overwhelming lack of rigor behind extreme obscurity”; 39: Non-Hegelian conceptions of phenomenology. “Hegel’s own ideas about what he was trying to accomplish in his first book changed while he was writing it… and the subtitle… [Phenomenology of the Mind] was an afterthought.” The genesis of the work. “Hegel used ‘phenomenology’ in an altogether different way… in 1817.” “The question about Hegel’s conception of phenomenology… [is] usable as a key to the study of his whole thought and development.” Seven questions; 40: What did Hegel say about phenomenology in the preface of 1807?”; 41: “How does the Introduction to the Phenomenology illuminate Hegel’s conception?”; 42: “What did Hegel actually do in his Phenomenology?”; 43: “What did Hegel say about phenomenology between 1807 and 1817?” “Necessity.”; 44: “What conception of phenomenology do we find in the Encyclopedia?”; 45: “How, in view of all this, can we sum up his conception?” “A great deal of philosophy has been utterly lacking in rigor, and what troubles me is not that but the… affectation of a rigor that is not there.” Austin and Wittgenstein; 46: “How did Hegel advance the discovery of the mind?” Five points


    Kaufmann, Walter