Frederick C. Beiser: German Idealism

The Struggle Against Subjectivism, 1781-1801

Harvard University Press, 2008 (2002)

Back Cover:

BeiserSecond Prize Winner of the Napoleonic Studies Literary Prize, sponsored by the International Napoleonic Society

One of the very few accounts in English of German idealism, this ambitious work advances and revises our understanding of both the history and the thought of the classical period of German philosophy. As he traces the structure and evolution of idealism as a doctrine, Frederick Beiser exposes a strong objective, or realist, strain running from Kant to Hegel and identifies the crucial role of the early romantics – Hölderlin, Schlegel, and Novalis – as the founders of absolute idealism.

“[A] magnificent new book…That Beiser manages to keep the reader afloat as he steers through such deep and turbulent waters deserves the highest praise. Expository writing of unfailing lucidity is supported by reference to an unrivalled range of sources…I learned something from this book on almost every page…For anyone at all seriously interested in the topic this is now the place to start.”  Michael Rosen, Times Literary Supplement

“Frederick Beiser’s new work provides English readers [with] a comprehensive and masterly explanation of the central forces that shaped the important philosophical movement known as German idealism. German Idealism is well written, exquisitely argued, and copiously researched. It easily outdistances much of the German scholarship and will serve as a benchmark for future English language scholarship. It is a must-read for scholars of the field, a helpful, accessible guide for the interested, and a valuable resource for all historians of philosophy.”  Grant Kaplan, Review of Metaphysics

About the Author:

Frederick C. Beiser is Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University

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All original writing and photography © Jan Olof Bengtsson

"A Self-realized being cannot help benefiting the world. His very existence is the highest good."
Ramana Maharshi