Love, Death, and Revolution in Central Europe: Ludwig Feuerbach, Moses Hess, Louise Dittmar, Richard Wagner

Overview

The philosopher of religion and critic of idealism, Ludwig Feuerbach had a far-reaching impact on German radicalism around the time of the Revolution of 1848. This intellectual history explores how Feuerbach’s critique of religion served as a rallying point for radicals, and how they paradoxically sought to create a new, post-religious form of religiosity as part of the revolutionary aim. At issue for the Feuerbachian radicals was the emergence of a humanity emancipated from the constraints of mere institutions, ...

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Overview

The philosopher of religion and critic of idealism, Ludwig Feuerbach had a far-reaching impact on German radicalism around the time of the Revolution of 1848. This intellectual history explores how Feuerbach’s critique of religion served as a rallying point for radicals, and how they paradoxically sought to create a new, post-religious form of religiosity as part of the revolutionary aim. At issue for the Feuerbachian radicals was the emergence of a humanity emancipated from the constraints of mere institutions, able to express itself freely and harmoniously. Caldwell also touches on Moses Hess, Louise Dittmar, and Richard Wagner in his discussion of the time. This book reconstructs the nature of Feuerbach’s radicalism and shows how it influenced early works of socialism, feminism, and musical modernism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an excellent work. The author explains very well and with considerable clarity Feuerbach’s ideas—no small accomplishment, in view of the notoriously cloudy language of Hegelian philosophy. Caldwell’s demonstration of the influence of Feuerbach’s thought on the figures he considers (an interesting and very diverse group of individuals) is eminently convincing.”—Jonathan Sperber, Curator's Professor and Department Chair, Department of History, University of Missouri

“A fine, innovative work of intellectual history. Caldwell reconstructs a sometimes overlooked side of the philosophical origins of the history of German radical thought, unearthing some of its forgotten potential for later counter-cultural movements, but also showing how, in the hands of Wagner, one current of post-Feuerbachian thought veered into more dangerous waters of myth and racism.”—Dr. Andrew Bonnell, Senior Lecturer, History and Convener of History discipline, School of HPRC, University of Queensland, Australia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230614963
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/15/2009
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter C. Caldwell is a professor of History at Rice University. He is also the author of Popular Sovereignty and the Crisis of German Constitutional Law: The Theory and Practice of Weimar Constitutionalism (1997) andDictatorship, State Planning, and Social Theory in the German Democratic Republic (2003).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations xi

Introduction: Love, Death, and Ludwig Feuerbach's Philosophy of Revolution 1

1 Feuerbachian Radicalism: The Finitude of the World and Infinite Human Potential 13

2 Moses Hess, Love, and "True Socialism" 39

3 Louise Dittmar, Myth, and Marriage 69

4 Richard Wagner, Love, and Death 95

5 Ethics and Finitude in the Late Feuerbach 119

Conclusion: The Feuerbachian Moment 145

Notes 157

Bibliography 205

Index 219

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