BOOK THREE BERLIN
The School and its
Berlin lends itself to the creation of "schools" and such a one emerged in Hegel's case more than was desirable. It is inevitable that the creator of a system should draw hearers amongst those still forming their ideas. Beyond that, the reports Hegel had written for the Minister of Public Instruction, on:
- Philosophy Teaching in the Gymnasium
- The Logics of Esser and Calker
Opponents and original thinkers were dismissed as "bad particularity". New ideas were found already in the system and assigned to it as "moments". Hegelianism was fitted to form a school, for it had:
- a developed system of categories
- a history of philosophy
- an encyclopaedic aspect.
"The theologian, the jurist, the naturalist, the linguist, the politician, the historian, the aesthetician; were all called to collaborate in the great work. The master had need of companions, and the companions had the prospect of becoming masters themselves in their specialty." (575)
Hegel's benevolence, seriousness, exhortations and example all helped forward scholarship in a variety of fields, which were transformed significantly though incompletely. It also gave the school a kind of unity.
Some were studious, others more poetic, others narrow journeymen. There were the considered, the exalted and the empty vessels. When these latter tried to correct him, he became despotic. They began to discredit the "Hegelian school", for they had only passively absorbed what in Hegel had the force of achievement. Friedrich Gruppe wrote a satire on this in 1831 in The Winds, or an altogether absolute Construction of World History, composed using the Horn of Oberon by Absolutus von Hegelingen. Zeller consoled Hegel over this comedy, which they both saw. Gruppe became a philosophy professor after 1844.
Allowances made however, even these young hearts felt a new life in Hegel's doctrines. Rosenkranz writes:
"That the negative is an immanent determination of the Absolute itself; and for this sole reason suppressed by it; the knowledge of the necessity of pain for the mind, but also of the mind's power, capable of bearing with contradiction, of overcoming it, of emerging victorious from all struggles, even the hardest, to be reconciled with itself; the certitude that the enjoyment of pure and simple truth is already possible in this life and that the Divine fills also this present reality, on the sole condition of having the eyes and ears of the mind to see and hear it. - This certainly became the principle of the intellectual and moral renaissance of a number of men gravely affected by a vague nostalgia, by the climate of the "beautiful soul", by superstitious belief..." (577-78)
These birthday celebrations reached their height in 1826 and a letter of Hegel to his family then in Nuremberg describes the event. He sat for a bust, there was a convivial gathering, gifts were offered, poems read and music played. Newspaper reports of this, combined with celebrations of Goethe on the following day (28 August) generated a reaction.