In long-unnoticed boxes: researcher makes "century find" on philosopher Hegel

Some of the thoughts of the German philosopher Hegel are only documented in lecture notes.

In long-unnoticed boxes: researcher makes "century find" on philosopher Hegel

Some of the thoughts of the German philosopher Hegel are only documented in lecture notes. A scholar now stumbles upon a long-overlooked collection by a Hegel student. Among them a document that has been longingly searched for.

It is a sensation for Hegel research: A scientist has discovered extensive transcripts of the lectures by the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in the diocesan library of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. The archdiocese described the five archive boxes with closely written notebooks and papers as a "find of the century". Discoverer Klaus Vieweg from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena also emphasized: "Such a highly surprising and fortunate discovery is only possible once in a lifetime and is comparable to finding a new Mozart score."

Hegel lived from 1770 to 1831 and is considered the most important representative of German idealism. "Various parts of Hegel's philosophy are mostly only documented by lecture notes, which are therefore of outstanding importance for Hegel's insights and allow insights into his philosophizing as a 'work in progress'," explained the Archbishop's Ordinariate.

The approximately 4,000-page transcripts that have now been discovered were penned by Friedrich Wilhelm Carové, one of the first Hegel students at the University of Heidelberg. They include almost all parts of Hegel's encyclopaedic architectonics, including a long-sought transcript of a lecture on aesthetics, about which there are no other documents so far.

Hegel biographer Vieweg will evaluate the find, which came into the possession of the diocesan library long ago through an inheritance and remained undisturbed there for decades despite a researcher's tip, together with other scientists as part of a multi-year project. Vieweg had looked through the material in the summer, after the transcripts had previously been cleaned by a paper restorer and thus made usable again - they had been affected by previous unfavorable storage conditions.

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