J.V. Snellmans Philosophie der Persönlichkeit

Dissertation, University of Helsinki (2017)

Lauri Kallio
University of Turku
The study discusses the philosophy of Finnish philosopher J.V. Snellman (1806–81). The focus is on Snellman's so-called philosophy of personality, which he presented in his work "Essay on the speculative Development of the Idea of Personality" (Tübingen, 1841). Besides this work he addressed his philosophy of personality in his other works and in his public lectures. In his philosophy of personality Snellman develops the concept of personality within the framework of G.W.F. Hegel's (1770–1831) philosophy. The concept of personality serves as a basis for Hegel's philosophy of right, and it plays an important role also in other parts of Hegel's system. However, he never provided a comprehensive definition of this concept. The essence of personality was debated among Hegelians after Hegel's death in 1831. In the course of the debate the Hegelian school split into two groups. At the time of publication of "The Idea of Personality" there was a serious rift between the Right- and the Left-Hegelians. The study analyzes Snellman's philosophy of personality in respect of Hegel's philosophy and in respect of the views of other Hegelians – mainly D.F. Strauss (1808–74), L. Feuerbach (1804–72) and C.F. Göschel (1781–1861). I also attend to some contemporaries outside the Hegelian School like F.W.J. Schelling (1775–1854) and I.H. Fichte (1796–1879). The study is divided into six sections (A–F). The first comprises an introduction and an outline of the structure of the study. The second section (B) discusses the historical context of Snellman's philosophy. The first subsection focuses on the Central European debate on Hegel's legacy. The second subsection deals with Snellman's life and his work on philosophy. The systematic part of the study comprises three sections (C–E), which consider the dialectic of Snellman's work of 1841. This dialectic follows the outline of Hegel's philosophy of subjective spirit and culminates in the definition of personality. Snellman, however, exceeds the realm of the philosophy of subjective spirit, as he discusses e.g. the philosophy of religion. He also comments on the debate among Hegelians. According to Snellman, neither Right- nor Left-Hegelians are true to Hegel's philosophy. In effect, his own standpoint in the debate, as I will argue, comes close to that of the Left-Hegelians. The study concludes with a summary (F).
Keywords Snellman  Hegel  Personality  Schelling
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