It has become conventional to introduce a study in the history of ideas by giving some indication of the wider relevance of the ideas and thinkers that are being dealt with. The addition of another book to the thousands of studies on Hegel — in the present case a lengthy investigation of one, at first glance, rather obscure source of Hegel’s philosophy, i.e. the Scottish Enlightenment — seems to require special justification. A common way of providing such justification is to stress the vital rôle of the figure under investigation in the history of thought, i.e. to refer to his established place in a ‘sacred’ mausoleum, and then to define the aspect on which the respective study is trying ‘to throw new light’, i.e. to locate one’s own efforts in the front court of the mausoleum. This indirect method of justifying one’s research is perfectly legitimate and, in the case of Hegel, perfectly easy, for very few philosophers would nowadays dare to treat him like a ‘toter Hund’.


Eighteenth Century Planetary Motion Scottish Journal Scottish School Newtonian Science 
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  1. 1.
    Michael Theunissen, Hegels Lehre vom absoluten Geist als theologisch-politischer Traktat (Berlin, 1970) p. viii — Cp.: Joachim Ritter, “Vorbemerkung”, J. Ritter & R. Heede (Eds.), Hegel-Bilanz (Frankfurt, 1973) p. ix.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Waszek
    • 1
  1. 1.Hegel-Archiv der Ruhr UniversitätBochumGermany

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