© 2020

The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism and Existentialism

  • Jon Stewart
  • Challenges the traditional understanding of the relation between German Idealism and existentialism as one of fundamental opposition

  • Identifies the important differences in the two movements in insightful and thought provoking ways

  • Treats often neglected figures such as Jacobi and Trendelenburg

Palgrave Macmillan

Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in German Idealism book series (PHGI)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Anticipations of Existentialism in the German Idealists

  3. The Existentialists’ Use of the German Idealists

About this book


This Handbook explores the complex relations between two great schools of continental philosophy: German idealism and existentialism. While the existentialists are commonly thought to have rejected idealism as overly abstract and neglectful of the concrete experience of the individual, the chapters in this collection reveal that the German idealists in fact anticipated many key existentialist ideas. A radically new vision of the history of continental philosophy is thereby established, one that understands existentialism as a continuous development from German idealism.

Key Features

    Operates at both the macro-level and micro-level, treating both the two schools of thought and the individual thinkers associated with them
  • Explores the relations from shifting perspectives by examining how the German idealists anticipated existentialist themes and how the existentialists concretely drew on the work of the idealists
  • Meticulously uncovers and documents many little-known points of contact between the German idealists and the existentialists
  • Includes often neglected figures such as Jacobi and Trendelenburg

This Handbook is an essential resource for researchers and advanced students interested in thinking critically about the broad development of continental philosophy. Moreover, the individual chapters on specific philosophers contain a wealth of information that will compel experts in the field to reconsider their views on these figures.


continental philosophy philosophical tradition inspiration precursors Kant Fichte Hegel Kierkegaard Nietzche Heidegger Sartre Camus existentialism

Editors and affiliations

  • Jon Stewart
    • 1
  1. 1.Slovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovakia

About the editors

Jon Stewart is Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia. Founder and general editor of the multi-volume series, Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, he has authored eleven books including Kierkegaard's Relations to Hegel Reconsidered (2003) and Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony, and the Crisis of Modernity (2015), as well as over forty articles on German idealism and 19th century continental philosophy.

Bibliographic information