Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Journal of Speculative Philosophy

The other day I was searching for something in Google Books and came across the important 19th Century journal The Journal of Speculative Philosophy. I knew that there were some hard to find translations of Fichte in there as well as some early translations of Hegel, but I did not realize what a goldmine they are, and I certainly did not think to look for them online. Check out some of the journals here. You can actually down load the entire volumes as PDFs. There is another journal called The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and from what I can tell it was started in 1987 and is unrelated.

The first volume of The Journal of Speculative Philosophy is from 1867, and it contains what were at the time new, and I suspect original translations of Goethe, Schelling, and Hegel. Each volume has many translations of German Idealist texts as well as translations of Schlegel, Herder, and articles by Anglo-American philosophers. Anyone interested in the reception of German Idealism in America will find these journals indispensable.

The editor, William Torey Harris, notes in his "Preface" to the first volume that to some the journal's contents might be perceived as "Un-American" in character. It is interesting that there is an apparent distinction between Speculative philosophy and Anglo-American philosophy being made by Harris that resembles the putative divide between analytic and Continental philosophy. It appears that Harris wants to overcome this divide between American philosophy, whatever that may be, and Un-American so-called Speculative philosophy. In doing so, the aim is to achieve universal knowledge, which if objective could not be claimed either American or Un-American. By bringing American scholars in contact with German philosophy, it appears he thinks such a goal can be obtained.

There are too many volumes of the journal online to mention what is worth looking at so I leave it up to you. It's worth mentioning that for some volumes you cannot preview them in Google Books, so if you want to see the contents, you have to download the PDF.

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