Rare First Edition of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegels First Book
Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie (Difference Between Fichte’s and Schelling’s Systems of Philosophy).
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich.
Item Number: 4607
Jena: Seidler, 1801.
First edition of Hegel’s first book. Small octavo, period patterned paper boards, leather spine. Some wear to the extremities. Rare.
In 1801 Hegel came to Jena with the encouragement of his old friend Schelling, who held the position of professor at the University there. Hegel secured a position at the University as a Privatdozent (unsalaried lecturer) after submitting a Habilitationsschrift (dissertation) on the orbits of the planets. Later in the year Hegel's first book, The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's Systems of Philosophy, was completed. He lectured on "Logic and Metaphysics" and gave joint lectures with Schelling on an "Introduction to the Idea and Limits of True Philosophy" and held a "Philosophical Disputorium". In 1802 Schelling and Hegel founded a journal, the Kritische Journal der Philosophie ("Critical Journal of Philosophy"), to which they each contributed pieces until the collaboration was ended when Schelling left for Würzburg in 1803. Hegel attempted to show how Fichte's Science of Knowledge was an advance from the position of Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason, and how Schelling had made a further advance from the position of Fichte. Hegel finds the idealism of Fichte too abstractly subjective and formalistic, and he tries to show how Schelling's philosophy of nature is the remedy for these weaknesses. But the most important philosophical content of the essay is probably to be found in his general introduction to these critical efforts where he deals with a number of problems about philosophical method in a way which is of general interest to philosophers, and not merely interesting to those who accept the Hegelian "dialectic method" which grew out of these first beginnings. Finally, the Difference essay is important in the development of "Nature-Philosophy" as a movement in the history of science.