Central Works of Philosophy

Central Works of Philosophy: The Nineteenth Century

Edited by John Shand
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 253
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Central Works of Philosophy
    Book Description:

    Ranging over 2,500 years of philosophical writing, this five-volume collection of essays is an unrivalled companion to the study and reading of philosophy. Central Works of Philosophy provides both an overview of particular works and clear and authoritative expositions of their central ideas, giving readers the resources and confidence to read the works themselves. These books offer remarkable insights into the ideas out of which our present ways of thinking emerged and without which they cannot fully be understood. VOLUME 3 introduces readers to the age of idealism, from which twentieth-century Western philosophy emerged. The volume begins with Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, which determined much of the course of nineteenth-century philosophy, and ends with the moral and political philosophy of Stuart Mill, perhaps the only philosopher in this volume to evade Kant's influence. Also included are works by two post-Kantian idealists, Fichte and Hegel, as well as Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Nietzsche. Contributors include Curtis Bowman, Stephen Evans, Michelle Grier, Michael Inwood, Dale Jacquette, Jonathan Riley, Tom Rockmore, and Rex Welshon.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8459-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    John Shand
  5. The Nineteenth Century: Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)
    John Shand

    The nineteenth century is perhaps most notable for an intellectual pluralism and conflict of ideas to a degree never before witnessed. The philosophy of the Enlightenment, which emerged during the seventeenth century and reached apogee in the eighteenth century, advocated the vigorous unrestricted application of argument and the studious appeal to evidence. It did not, in the nineteenth century, throw up one clear set of rationally based conclusions as to the nature of reality, knowledge, values and the best social order, as one might suppose it would given the ideals of argument and evidence. It did not deliver a singular...

  6. 1 Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason
    (pp. 15-42)
    Michelle Grier

    Immanuel Kant’sCritique of Pure Reason, first published in 1781, is generally considered to be one of the most important and one of the most difficult texts in the history of philosophy.¹ In it, Kant develops his theory oftranscendental idealism,which aims to provide a corrective to the problems generated by the theories offered by both his rationalist and his empiricist predecessors. TheCritique of Pure Reasonis thus where Kant lays out his own theory of knowledge (his “transcendental epistemology”) and where he “critiques” metaphysics.

    That reason needs a “critique” is demonstrated, according to Kant, by the fact...

  7. 2 Johann Gottlieb Fichte: Foundations of the Entire Science of Knowledge
    (pp. 43-68)
    Curtis Bowman

    Johann Gottlieb Fichte developed a system of philosophy known in German as theWissenschaftslehre.The proper translation of this technical term has always been disputed, but Fichte scholars have usually settled on “Science of Knowledge”, “Doctrine of Science,” or “Theory of Scientific Knowledge”. None of these translations has ever been very informative, and they are even less helpful now that modern English tends to associate that which is scientific with the natural sciences and, to a lesser degree, the social sciences. Given the burden that the German term must bear, contemporary scholars routinely leave it untranslated in their discussions of...

  8. 3 G.W.F.Hegel: Phenomenology of Spirit
    (pp. 69-92)
    Michael Inwood

    At the beginning of the nineteenth century Germany was in turmoil. The French Revolution and the Enlightenment that inspired it were still sending shock waves throughout Europe. Germany in particular - the scene of several of Napoleon’s battles and the beneficiary of many Napoleonic reforms - was undergoing a profound transformation of its political, religious and cultural life. Poets such as Goethe and Schiller were creating for Germany a great national literature. The religious beliefs to which most Germans were, even in this enlightened age, still deeply attached, were in turn attacked, defended and reinterpreted. History itself was often given...

  9. 4 Arthur Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Representation
    (pp. 93-126)
    Dale Jacquette

    Arthur Schopenhauer is one of the most remarkable, yet iconoclastic and uncharacteristic, of the great thinkers of nineteenth-century German idealism. A post-Kantian philosopher who disassociated himself from the mainstream post-Kantians, Hegel, Fichte and Schelling, Schopenhauer weaves together the natural science of his day with transcendental metaphysics inspired especially by the writings of Plato and Kant, and the mysticism and compassionate ethics of Asian religious philosophy in Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

    Schopenhauer’s masterwork,Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, was published as a single volume in 1818, and reissued in a revised and expanded twovolume second edition in 1844, followed by...

  10. 5 John Stuart Mill: On Liberty
    (pp. 127-158)
    Jonathan Riley

    A remarkable aspect of John Stuart Mill’s argument inOn Liberty(1859) is his claim to be defending “one very simple principle”: that “theonlypurpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant” (OL i.9; Mill 1977: 223, emphasis added).¹ Prevention of harm to others is anecessarycondition for the legitimate exercise of any form of coercion against “human beings in the maturity of their faculties”. The implication usually seized upon...

  11. 6 Søren Kierkegaard: Philosophical Fragments
    (pp. 159-182)
    C.Stephen Evans

    Søren Kierkegaard lived a short but intense life from a literary point of view. Born in 1813, he died in 1855 in the midst of a controversial attack on the state church of Denmark. In his forty-two years of life, his published writings fill 25 volumes in the latest English translation, not including his voluminousJournals and Papers. Many of the published works were attributed by Kierkegaard to pseudonyms. This was not an attempt to hide his authorship; in many cases he put his name on the title page as “editor” and it was well known in Copenhagen that he...

  12. 7 Karl Marx: Capital
    (pp. 183-208)
    Tom Rockmore

    This chapter will discuss Marx’s conception of political economy as illustrated inCapital. Marx’s conception of political economy is based on his philosophical views. I see no way to separate them. This chapter will discuss some of the differences between Marxian and “orthodox” political economy, then takeCapitalas the illustration of the Marxian approach, and end with some further remarks about Marx’s conception of political economy. In discussingCapital, emphasis will be placed on a simple presentation of Marx’s main points. I shall cite a large number of passages from the book in order to help the reader to...

  13. 8 Friedrich Nietzsche: The Genealogy of Morals
    (pp. 209-234)
    Rex Welshon

    Although no single book presents all of Nietzsche’s thinking on any of the many topics in which he takes an interest,The Genealogy of Moralscomes as close as any to capturing the general aim of his mature work. It is sober, detailed, philosophically and psychologically astute, historically challenging, scholarly and a joy to read. Composed in 1887 and intended as a sequel toBeyond Good and Evil(BGE),The Genealogy of Morals(GM) is an extended argument in defence of a clear thesis. That thesis is that an analysis of moral values will reveal that their value lies almost...

  14. Index
    (pp. 235-240)