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Adventures of the SymbolicPost-marxism and Radical Democracy$
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Warren Breckman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231143943

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231143943.001.0001

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The Symbolic Dimension and the Politics of Young Hegelianism

The Symbolic Dimension and the Politics of Young Hegelianism

(p.24) Chapter One The Symbolic Dimension and the Politics of Young Hegelianism
Adventures of the Symbolic

Warren Breckman

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores how the emerging western European left engaged Romanticism in the early nineteenth century. In particular, it examines the Left Hegelians' critique of Romantic symbol theory as well as the process by which the Hegelian opposition, and finally Karl Marx, built their theory on a desymbolization, the reduction of the transcendent to the immanent and the secularization of social relations. To this end, the chapter considers the problem posed to the Young Hegelians by the insistence of Friedrich Schelling and his Romantic followers that the real is not only, or truly, the rational; how, then, is one to understand the irreducible otherness of the world to thought? It also discusses Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's attitude towards the Romantic concern for the symbolic intuition of divinity; Ludwig Feuerbach's return to symbolic or allegorical styles of thought within Young Hegelianism; and the Left Hegelians' critique of religion.

Keywords:   symbol theory, Karl Marx, desymbolization, secularization, social relations, Romanticism, Left Hegelians, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Ludwig Feuerbach, Young Hegelianism

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