Nineteenth-century philosophy

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC100-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 22, 2018, from

Article Summary

In the first part of the nineteenth century, the reigning philosophical outlook was idealist in one form or another, as the attempt was made to complete the intellectual revolution which Kant had begun, but which he was seen as having compromised in a variety of ways. Culminating in the dominance of Hegel and Hegelianism in the 1830s, this idealist position was criticised in the second half of the century from a number of perspectives, including Neo-Kantianism (which sought a return to an idealism closer to Kant’s own), materialism (which rejected idealism altogether) and positivism (which sought to revive elements of empiricism that Kant had put in doubt). Nonetheless, idealism never fully lost its influence, and there are interesting and important cross-currents between all these positions throughout the nineteenth century. From our present viewpoint many of these debates can be seen to foreshadow contemporary controversies, such as those between naturalism and transcendentalism, and between various forms of idealism and realism, as well as wider issues concerning the nature of philosophy and the relation between science and religion.

Citing this article:
Stern, Robert. Nineteenth-century philosophy, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC100-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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