‘What the lot is not being lost on the long road from spirit to system?': Jacobi’s non-philosophical contradiction of Hegel’s system of philosophy.

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Abstract

This paper analyses Jacobi’s contradiction of Hegel’s idea of philosophy. In particular, it deals with the question whether it belongs to the nature of philosophy to think reality as a completely coherent and systematic whole, or that the task of philosophy is rather a quite different one, namely to reveal immediate, individual existence, and to show that systematic philosophy inevitably annihilates its connection with life as it is lived. The paper starts with an outline of Hegel’s idea of philosophy as a systematic whole. The section thereafter analyses how Jacobi’s ‘non-philosophical philosophy’ contradicts this key-element of Hegel’s thinking, culminating in opposing Jacobi’s summersault against Hegel’s idea of suspension. The final section argues that the reason why Jacobi’s ideas intrigued Hegel so much is that the former’s ingenious phrases and images served for Hegel as a bad conscience in his attempt to stay loyal to his youth-ideal, namely to intervene in the life of men.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Relevance of Hegel’s Concept of Philosophy.
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Classical German Philosophy to Contemporary Metaphilosophy.
EditorsLuca Illetterati, Giovanna Miolli
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Pages279-293
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781350162594
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

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