by on May 20, 2007 at 7:17 am in Philosophy | Permalink

Hegel also is supposed to have died with the words that no one understood him except one person, who misunderstood him.

That is from Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientiific Postscript.

1 adrian May 20, 2007 at 8:42 am

Kierkegaard was one of Hegel’s great skewerers, had more thought like maybe there’d have been no Marx and thus no twentieth century.

2 Kieran May 20, 2007 at 10:17 am

“Does no-one understand me?” are also reputed to be Joyce’s last words, I believe. I’ve heard a first-person version of Hegel’s joke used in a debate: “I’ve been wrong in the past. Once. And I was mistaken.”

3 stringstring May 20, 2007 at 3:50 pm

It should be noted that Kierkegaard’s primary exposure to Hegel was through Schelling. Schelling was Hegel’s college roommate and (after Hoelderlin) his best friend. Schelling was also an enfant terrible; he was not only five years younger than the other two, but also became famous decades earlier, at the tender age of 19. Schelling peaked too early, and thus had become obscure at just the point at which Hegel was becoming incredibly successful. Needless to say, they didn’t stay friends long, and Schelling became more and more bitter by the year.

The significance of this is that after Hegel and his protege died in quick succession, the Prussians decided that Hegelian philosophy was too much of a threat, and so they appointed Schelling to Hegel’s place to do a hatchet job on Hegelianism. Now, this was at the zenith of Hegel’s reputation, so all sorts of people went to Berlin to study Hegel… under Schelling. No one was impressed by Schelling, but everyone (both the Hegelians, like Engels, and the anti-Hegelians, like Kierkegaard) accepted Schelling’s exposition of Hegel’s philosophy at face value.

4 Surabaya Johnny May 20, 2007 at 8:34 pm

Kierkegaard said that Hegel would have been the greatest genius who ever lived if only he prefaced his system with one word. That word is “if.”

5 Anderson May 21, 2007 at 11:53 am

Since no one’s said it, a Hegel anecdote for which our authorities are (1) Schelling and (2) Kierkegaard, needs to be taken with several grains of salt.

Re: Schelling, “the night in which all cows are black” is such a great putdown of his philosophy that it’s no wonder he never forgave Hegel.

6 david bain December 16, 2007 at 6:53 pm

For all you Hegelian fans I invite you check out my post-hegelian network of some growing 20 to 30 blogsites on almost every area of philosophy that I can think of — or at least decently write about. Please make allowances for the fact that it is still under construction and changing day by day, week by week. It is called: ‘Hegel’s Hotel: DGBN Integrative Philosophy’ and can be found by googling ‘dgbainsky’ or ‘Hegel’s Hotel’…I have an academic background in psychology (The University of Waterloo, Ontario, 1974-79), The Adlerian Institute (1980-81), The Gestalt Institute (off an on from 1979 to 1991) until I started to focus on the self-study of philosophy and Hegel in particular who had a significant influence on Gestalt Therapy along with Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, The Gestalt Psychologists, Korzybski, and others…) You can also find some of my essays in ‘Helium: Where Knowledge Rules’…

And of course I wouldn’t want any potential interchange with you people to be one way: anything I can learn about Hegel that I don’t already know would be greatly appreciated…I believe in ‘multi-dialectical learning’ if you will and ‘multi-dialectical evolution’ — different people coming together — especially with a common interest and passion — and all learning from each other…db, dgbainsky@yahoo.com

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