The nineteenth century was a great age of advances in the writing of history of philosophy. These advances were largely achieved in Germany. The ground for them had already been prepared by eighteenth-century historians of philosophy there, especially Brucker and Tiedemann, who had both been inspired by the Leibniz-Wolff tradition’s rationalist philosophy. With the advent toward the end of the eighteenth century of a new and even greater age in German philosophy, writers of history of philosophy were inspired to reach new heights on the basis of those earlier preparations. In doing so, they were also supported by a broader concern with history, especially the history of culture, and a broader development of historical and interpretive methods that emerged in Germany during the same period. This chapter will attempt to give an account of the main advances that were achieved.
KANT, HEGEL, AND “OFFICIAL” HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
A fairly conventional account of the writing of history of philosophy in the nineteenth century might go roughly as follows.
The two most famous philosophers from around the beginning of the century – Kant (1724–1804) and Hegel (1770–1831) – were also in a sense the century's greatest contributors to writing the history of the discipline. Kant, though not himself very deeply concerned with the history of philosophy, nonetheless paid significant attention to it (for example, in the Critique of Pure Reason from 1781/7; the Logic lectures, a version of which he published in 1800; and the Prize Essay concerning progress in metaphysics since Leibniz and Wolf , which was written in 1791 and published in 1804).