The Hegel Lectures Series Series Editor: Peter C. Hodgson Hegel's lectures have had as great a historical impact as the works he himself published. Important elements of his system are elaborated only in the lectures, especially those given in Berlin during the last decade of his life. The original editors conflated materials from different sources and dates, obscuring the development and logic of Hegel's thought. The Hegel Lectures series is based on a selection of extant and recently discovered transcripts and manuscripts. Lectures from specific years are reconstructed so that the structure of Hegel's argument can be followed. Each volume presents an accurate new translation accompanied by an editorial introduction and annotations on the text, which make possible the identification of Hegel's many allusions and sources. Lectures on the Proofs of the Existence of God Hegel lectured on the proofs of the existence of God as a separate topic in 1829. He also discussed the proofs in the context of his lectures on the philosophy of religion (1821-31), where the different types of proofs were considered mostly in relation to specific religions.
The text that he prepared for his lectures in 1829 was a fully formulated manuscript and appears to have been the first draft of a work that he intended to publish and for which he signed a contract shortly before his death in 1831. The 16 lectures include an introduction to the problem of the proofs and a detailed discussion of the cosmological proof. Philipp Marheineke published these lectures in 1832 as an appendix to the lectures on the philosophy of religion, together with an earlier manuscript fragment on the cosmological proof and the treatment of the teleological and ontological proofs as found in the 1831 philosophy of religion lectures. Hegel's 1829 lectures on the proofs are of particular importance because they represent what he actually wrote as distinct from auditors' transcriptions of oral lectures. Moreover, they come late in his career and offer his final and most seasoned thinking on a topic of obvious significance to him, that of the reality status of God and ways of knowing God. These materials show how Hegel conceived the connection between the cosmological, teleological, and ontological proofs. All of this material has been newly translated by Peter C.
Hodgson from the German critical editions by Walter Jaeschke. This edition includes an editorial introduction, annotations on the text, and a glossary and bibliography.
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