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Eduard von Hartmann - Geschichte der Metaphysik (1899,in German) (29.5 MB)

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Author:      Eduard von Hartmann
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Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann (February 23, 1842 - June 5, 1906) was a German philosopher.

Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann reputation as a philosopher was established by his first book, Philosophy of the Unconscious (1869; 10th ed. 1890). This success was largely due to the originality of its title, the diversity of its contents (von Hartmann professing to obtain his speculative results by the methods of inductive science, and making plentiful use of concrete illustrations), its fashionable pessimism and the vigour and lucidity of its style. The conception of the Unconscious, by which von Hartmann describes his ultimate metaphysical principle is, fundamentally, not as paradoxical as it sounds, being merely a new and mysterious designation for the Absolute of German metaphysicians.

Von Hartmann called his philosophy a transcendental realism, because in it he professed to reach by means of induction from the broadest possible basis of experience a knowledge of that which lies beyond experience. A certain portion of consciousness, namely perception, begins, changes and ends without our consent and often in direct opposition to our desires. Perception, then, cannot be adequately explained from the ego alone, and the existence of things outside experience must be posited. Moreover, since they act upon consciousness and do so in different ways at different times, they must have those qualities assigned to them which would make such action possible. Causality is thus made the link that connects the subjective world of ideas with the objective world of things.

The object of his philosophy was to unite the "idea" of Hegel with the "will" of Schopenhauer in his doctrine of the Absolute Spirit, or, as he preferred to characterize it, spiritual monism. He held that " a will which does not will something is not." The world was produced by will and idea, but not as conscious; for consciousness, instead of being essential, is accidental to will and idea-the two poles of " the Unconscious." Matter is both idea and will. In organic existences, in instinct, in the human mind, on the field of history, the unconscious will acts as though it possessed consciousness, that is, as though it were aware of the ends and of the infallible means for their realization.

Consciousness arises from the active will and the will's opposition to this condition. Because of the wisdom displayed in the action of the Unconscious, this is the best possible world; only this does not prove that the world is good, or that the world would not be better, the latter of which is true. Human life labors under three illusions: (1) that happiness is possible in this life, which came to an end with the Roman Empire; that life will be crowned with happiness in another world, which science is rapidly dissipating; that happy social well-being, although postponed, can at last be realized on earth, a dream which will also ultimately be dissolved. Man's only hope lies in "final redemption from the misery of volition and existence into the painlessness of non-being and non-willing." No mortal may quit the task of life, but each must do his part to hasten the time when in the major portion of the human race the activity of the Unconscious shall be ruled by intelligence, and this stage reached, in the simultaneous action of many persons volition will resolve upon its own non-continuance, and thus idea and will be once more reunited in the Absolute.

Rudolf Steiner, referring to Hartmann's Critical Establishment of transcendental Realism (Kritische Grundlegung des transzendentalen Realismus, 2nd Edition Berlin, 1875) gave his opinion, in the preface to his own book Truth and Knowledge (1892), that Hartmann's world-view was "the most significant philosophical work of our time".

Carl Jung wrote in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963), that he had read von Hartmann "assiduously".

Friedrich Nietzsche offers a scathing criticism of von Hartmann, calling his philosophy "unconscious irony" and "roguery", in the second of his Untimely Meditations, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life.

British film-maker and author Edouard d'Araille provides a modern-day appraisal of the philosophy of von Hartmann in his introductory essay to the 2001 Edition (3 Volumes) of The Philosophy of the Unconscious. He evaluates von Hartmann as the vital link between the vitalism of Arthur Schopenhauer and the psychology of the Unconscious of Sigmund Freud.

Von Hartmann's numerous works extend to more than 12,000 pages.

Partial Von Hartmann's Bibliography:

- "Fundamental problems of epistemology", 1889
- "Category of being", 1896
- "Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness", 1879
- "The Philosophy of the Beautiful", 1887
- "The Religion of the Spirit"; 1882
- "Philosophy of the Unconscious", 3 vols., which now include his, originally anonymous, self-criticism, Das Unbewusste vom - Standpunkte der Physiologie und Descendenztheorie, and its refutation, Eng. trans. by William Chatterton Coupland, 1884
- "Plan for a System of Philosophy", 8 vols, 1907-09: posthumous
- "Contributions to Natural Philosophy", 1876
- The Religious Consciousness of Mankind in the Stages of Its Development; 1881
- Geschichte der Metaphysik (2 vols.)
- Kants Erkenntnistheorie
- Kritische Grundlegung des transcendentalen Realismus (Critical Grounds of Transcendental Realism)
- Uber die dialektische Methode
- studies of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Hermann Lotze (1888), Julius von Kirchmann
- Zur Geschichte und Begrundung des Pessimismus (1880)
- Neukantianismus, Schopenhauerismus, Hegelianismus
- Geschichte der deutschen Asthetik und Kant
- Die Krisis des Christentums in der modernen Theologie (The Crisis of Christianity in Modern Theology; 1880)
- Philosophische Fragen der Gegenwart
- Ethische Studien
- Aesthetik (1886-87)
- Moderne Psychologie
- Das Christentum des neuen Testaments
- Die Weltanschauung der modernen Physik
- Wahrheit und Irrthum im Darwinismus (1875)
- Zur Reform des hoheren Schulwesens (1875)

Source: wikipedia