Rosenkranz’s works (2009)

Rosenkranz works can be found at

Rosenkranz (1805-1879), together with Michelet (more left) and Erdmann (more right), was one of those three Hegelian Professors of Philosophy who stayed Hegelian all their long life, knew Hegel personally but were very young when Hegel died 1831 and so had a very long life where they could publish many, many works for a long time (for Michelet’s work, see, for Erdmann ).

As the people writing to the Hegel mailing list regularly often showed a special interest in topics of religion and theology, I would like to draw your special attention to Rosenkranz work in this area, his “Theologische Enzyklopaedie” (in 2 editions, 1831 - reviewed by Strauss in the Jahrbücher für Wissenschaftliche Kritik - , and 1845 as a consequence of the Strauss/Bauer/Feuerbach etc. affair completely rewritten) and his book on “Naturreligion” (1831).

The works also contain his last big book, his autobiography (“Von Magdeburg nach Königsberg”, 1873), which covers the first 30 years of his life, including his becoming a Hegelian and his time in Berlin.

While Rosenkranz seems to be most known in the English world because of his “Pedagogic as a system” (A work more or less forgotten in Germany), in Germany he is best known for his “Aesthetic of the Ugly” (“Ästhetik des Hässlichen”, 1853) as well as for his Hegel biography of course.

The Hegel biography ‘Hegel Leben’ (1844), (abridged and commented English translation](] was the work he himself thought that it would prevail from him, even when everything else would be forgotten. (see also my reamarks on Rosenkranz’s Hegel biography).

At his time, among Hegelians, what was most discussed was his “Wissenschaft der Logischen Idee” (1858/59), in which he rewrote Hegel’s Logic, in a way that was full of nice samples and written in an easy to follow language, but witch most absence of dialectic and several significant changes to the architecture of Hegel’s Logic, so that it was not accepted by the fellow Hegelians.

Rosenkranz own ‘System der Wissenschaft’ was published 1850 and, besides an abbreviated version of his logic, has an interesting part on philosophy of nature and again a very much changed part of the philosophy of spirit (within those Hegelians who sticked to the Hegel school and named themselves Hegelian all over their life, Rosenkranz was probably the most heterodox – or creative, depending on your perspective).

Here you will find links to more “Right (and Center) Hegelians”

short biography and list of works from the Rosenkranz article in ‘Meyers grosses Konversationslexikon’ 1906, p. 1560

Rosenkranz, Karl, philosopher, born April 23, 1805 in Magdeburg, died June 14, 1879 in Königsberg, studied in Berlin, Halle and Heidelberg, habilitated in Halle in 1828, became an associate professor of philosophy in Königsberg in 1831, became a full professor of philosophy in Königsberg in 1833, was a lecturer in the Ministry of Culture in Berlin in 1848-49, resumed his professorship in Königsberg and finally went completely blind.

R. is one of the most versatile and brilliant students of Hegel, who admittedly deviated not insignificantly from Hegelian logic. He distinguished himself as a philosophical, also as a literary-historical and fictional writer.

Among his numerous writings are: “Geschichte der deutschen Poesie im Mittelalter” (Halle 1830); “Handbuch einer allgemeinen Geschichte der Poesie” (das. 1832-33, 3 vols.); “Enzyklopädie der theologischen Wissenschaften” (das. 1831, 2. Aufl. 1845); “Critique of Schleiermacher’s Doctrine of Faith” (Königsb. 1836); “Psychology or the Science of the Subjective Mind” (das. 1837, 3rd ed. 1863); “Critical Explanations of the Hegelian System” (das. 1840); “Königsberg Sketches” (Danz. 1842, 2 vols. ); “Lectures on Schelling” (das. 1843); “Pedagogy as a System” (Königsb. 1848); “My Reform of Hegelian Philosophy” (das. 1852); “Aesthetics of the Ugly” (das. 1853); “Poetry and its History” (das. 1855); “Science of Logical Idea” (das. 1858-59, 2 vols.); “Diderot’s Life and Works” (Leipz. 1866, 2 vols.); “Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature and the Treatment of the same by A. Vera” (Berl. 1868); “Notes on Hegel’s Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences” (das. 1871). In addition, he wrote the meritorious “Leben Hegels” (Berlin 1844) and for his 100th birthday celebration: “Hegel als deutscher Nationalphilosoph” (Leipzig 1870), in which he celebrated him as “Vollender Kant”. Together with F. W. Schubert, R. organized an edition of Kant’s works (Leipz. 1838-40, 12 vols., the last of which contains his “History of Kant’s Philosophy”). His writing “Goethe and his works” (Königsb. 1847, 2nd ed. 1856) is now obsolete. Smaller treatises etc. appeared collected as “Studien” (1st part, Berl. 1839; 2nd-5th part, Leipz. 1844-47) and “Neue Studien” (Leipz. 1875-78, 4 vols.). Under the title:“From Magdeburg to Königsberg” (Berl. 1873) R. published his self-biography up to his move to Königsberg. Cf. Quäbicker, Karl R. (Leipz. 1879); Jonas, Karl R. (das. 1907).

short biography and list of works from the Rosenkranz article in Rudolf Eisler’s ‘Philosophenlexikon’ 1912, p. 1560

Rosenkranz, Karl, born 1805 in Magdeburg, 1831 professor in Königsberg, died 1879 there.

R. belongs to the “middle” direction of the Hegelian school, but differs in some respects from Hegel.

The “science of logical idea” breaks down into metaphysics, logic and the theory of ideas. Metaphysics is divided into ontology, etiology, teleology. The theory of ideas deals with the principle, the method, the system. Thinking and being have their unity in the idea, the unity of the concept and its reality. It is the “absolute principle, which develops its immanent form as a method for the unity of all its necessary determinations, a system”. The idea is “the absolute being, which is not dependent on anything else and is unconditional in itself”.

The idea unfolds in nature and spirit. It is the “being for itself of the idea as idea”, the knowing and wanting idea, the prius of nature and reason. The objective mind is the mind that brings forth its freedom as an objective world; the absolute mind is “the mind that knows itself as the absolute content in the absolute form congruent with this content”.

Nature is the system in which thinking sets itself as being. Psychology divides R. into anthropology, phenomenology and pneumatology.

 Writings: De Spinozae philosophia, 1828.

The religion of nature, 1831. Encyclopedia of theology. Science, 1831; 2nd ed. 1845. - The Merit of the Germans around the philos. d. History, 1835. - Critique of Schleiermacher’s Faith Psychology, 1837; 3rd amendment, 1863. History of Kant’s Philosophy, 1840. Critical explanations of the Hegelian system, Studies, 1839-48. About Schelling and Schelling, 1843. Hegel, 1843, 1844 - Critique of the principles of the Strausses Doctrine of Faith, 1844; 2nd ed. 1864 - Goethe and his works, 1847; 2nd ed. 1856; - Pedagogy as a system, 1848. - System of science, 1850. - My reform of the Hegelian philosophers- aesthetics of ugliness in 1853. Apology of Hegel v. Haym, 1858. - The Wis- of the logical idea, 1858-59 (main work). - Epilegomena, 1862. - Diderot’s life and Works, 1866. - Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature, 1868 - Hegel as German national philosopher, 1870th - Explanations of Hegel’s Encyclop. d. Phi- los., 1878 (Philos. Bibl.). - New Studies, 1875 et seq. - See QUÄBICKER, K. R., 1879.