Notes on Hegel’s lectures published

We live in a time of online classes, which can also be followed at a later time as long as they remain digitally available. To get an impression of how lectures were given in the past, we are dependent on lecture notes as they were written down by students. Two such lecture notes, recording the classes in the philosophy of history by philosopher Georg W. F. Hegel from 1830/1 have now been published.

In the winter of 1830 the later Utrecht professor in Economics Jan Ackerdijck arrived in Berlin, where he followed lectures by Hegel, the most famous philosopher of his time. In Ackerdijck’s diary we read that he met Hegel several times, and had his lecture notes on Hegel’s first series of lectures copied in a notebook. He also made his own notes while following the remaining lectures.

Lecture notes digitised and transcribed

In 1864 Ackerdijck’s widow gave his manuscripts to Utrecht University Library. Both lecture notes have been digitized a few years ago (Ms. 1380 and Ms. 1381). Prof. Yoshihiro Niji has transcribed them and, together with an introduction and a facsimile of both lecture notes, published them at the Westdeutscher Universitätsverlag in Bochum, under the title Philosophie der Geschichte. Hegel discusses the goal of history and what concepts such as freedom, law, state and the general will signify in history. A Japanese translation is in preparation.