The Ohio Hegelians (History of American Thought)

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9781843711209: The Ohio Hegelians (History of American Thought)
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The notion that there was a definable group of intellectuals that should be called "the Ohio Hegelians" originated with Loyd Easton's Hegel's First American Followers: the Ohio Hegelians (1966). Easton's extensive research and penetrating analysis of the lives and writings of John Stallo (1823-1900), Peter Kaufmann (1800-1869), Moncure Conway (1832-1907), and August Willich (1810-1878), persuasively demonstrated that there was a group of intellectuals in Ohio during the mid to late nineteenth century that are worthy of the attention of historians and present-day philosophers. Despite Easton's efforts, the Ohio Hegelians continue to be neglected because their writings are difficult to access, and, as with other American Hegelians, scholars know little about the complex philosophical details of the American reception of Hegel. Thoemmes continues to contribute to a recovery and more nuanced appreciation of American Hegelianism by adding the principal publications of the Ohio Hegelians, newly introduced, to its History of American Thought series. To this end, the Ohio Hegelians set includes Kaufmann's Temple of Truth (1858), Conway's The Earthward Pilgrimage (1870), and Stallo's The Concepts and Theories of Modern Physics (1882). The importance of Willich within this group, who wrote on politics as a decidedly left-Hegelian newspaper editor, is addressed in James A. Good's substantial introduction to the collection.

Volume 1: Peter Kaufmann was a Christian mystic and early utopian socialist who resourcefully adapted the ideas of Hegel and other German philosophers to his reform agenda. In his Temple of Truth he sought to reveal unassailable truth that would ground the human quest for knowledge, conceived broadly as knowledge of our environment and self-understanding.

Volume 2: Moncure D. Conway, a southern gentlemen, transcendentalist and Unitarian minister, emerged as a leading publicist for the abolitionist movement before the Civil War and a champion of pacifism and free thought thereafter. Less philosophically ambitious than Kaufmann, the crux of Conway's oeuvre is his ongoing effort to reveal the ways in which we allow our thinking to be distorted by authoritative social and political institutions, such as slavery and organized religion, as well as personal biases. Conway's project reached its apex in The Earthward Pilgrimage, in which he parodied John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, admonishing his fellow man to confront the facts of this world rather than escape to a supernatural one that exists only in the imagination.

Volume 3: J.B. Stallo's The Concepts and Theories of Modern Physics was hailed in 1961 by Nobel laureate Percy Williams Bridgman as a "landmark of intellectual history". The book argues that the mechanistic atomism of Newton and Descartes carried metaphysical commitments that science cannot sustain. Highly influential, it was translated into French and into German at the insistence of Ernest Mach.

three varied and influential works by American Hegelians
the original texts are very rare in libraries
new introduction by James A. Good

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