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1 - Eduard Gans on Poverty and on the Constitutional Debate

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2009

Douglas Moggach
Affiliation:
University of Ottawa
Norbert Waszek
Affiliation:
Professor of German, University of Paris
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Summary

Eduard Gans (1797–1839) remains a somewhat neglected thinker, despite a recent revival of interest, and although he was probably the most gifted and – in the few years that he outlived him – the most influential of Hegel's immediate followers. It was Gans who was chosen to edit Hegel's Philosophy of Right (this implied the compilation of the famous ‘additions’ to the paragraphs of Hegel's own texts on the basis of students' notes) and the Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, for the collected works published under the direction of “a circle of friends of the deceased” between 1832 and 1845. It was also Gans who was allowed to write Hegel's obituary in the official Allgemeine Preussische Staatszeitung. Gans was likewise originally designated to produce the quasi-official biography of Hegel, later (1844) executed by Karl Rosenkranz. Finally, it was Gans, too, who attracted the largest crowds, from among those eager to be introduced to Hegel's thought after the philosopher's death. In the astonishingly numerous audiences we find, among many others, David Friedrich Strauss, August von Cieszkowski, and Karl Marx – some of the most prominent figures of the rising generation of the time. Gans' widespread reputation as a brilliant expositor and populariser of Hegel – the poet Heine nicknamed Gans simply the “Oberhegelianer” – did, however, have a negative consequence. He was taken, for the most part, to be a mere follower. That misconception overshadowed Gans' more original contributions.

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The New Hegelians
Politics and Philosophy in the Hegelian School
, pp. 24 - 49
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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