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Young Hegelians

Lynnette M. Deem


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) was a popular name in the academic circles of the 1830s and 1840s, especially in Germany. Many groups were organized to (re)interpret Hegel's complex and unyielding view of history. The Young Hegelians represented Hegel's left-wing advocates. Leaders of this idealist trend, including David Strauss, the Bauer brothers, Max Stirner, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx , and Friedrich Engels , sought bourgeois reform based on Hegel's dialectical worldview. The Young Hegelians accepted Hegel's dialectical approach, while disagreeing with many of his other conclusions. The Young Hegelians’ reassessment of Hegel's philosophies brought them into conflict with the Right Hegelians (the intellectual leaders of the time). The latter believed in Hegel's proclamation that Prussian society was superior. The former group alleged that Prussian society was rather flawed and that historical progress was an ongoing phenomenon. These idealistic views were often suppressed by the intellectuals and the Prussian government. The primary claim of the Young Hegelians was that a dependency on Lutheranism hindered Prussia's progress; thus ideas of God and Christianity must be destroyed. Most agreed with the idea that God was invented by man, but each expressed this sentiment in his own unique, radical way. David Strauss, for example, argued that Christianity, as an organized ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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