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Building or destroying community: the concept of Sittlichkeit in the political thought of Vormärz Germany

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Anton Jansson
Publicerad i Global Intellectual History
ISSN 2380-1883
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för litteratur, idéhistoria och religion
Centrum för Europaforskning (CERGU)
Språk en
Länkar https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ful...
Ämnesord Sittlichkeit, conceptual history, political ideologies, Karl Theodor Welcker, Wilhelm Weitling, Friedrich Julius Stahl
Ämneskategorier Historia, Praktisk filosofi, Idé- o lärdomshistoria

Sammanfattning

The purpose of this article is to emphasise the importance of the concept of Sittlichkeit for understanding the contestation around community and social cohesion during the German Vormärz, the decades before 1848. I will demonstrate the centrality of the concept of Sittlichkeit via a conceptual-historically inspired analysis of the works of three thinkers who were at the centre of the development of German political ideologies of the Vormärz era: the liberal Karl Theodor Welcker, the conservative Friedrich Julius Stahl, and the socialist Wilhelm Weitling. The concept of Sittlichkeit was influenced by the philosophy of Hegel and in various ways concerned the customs and social cohesion of a specific community. I will show how this was the case to different extents in the works of Welcker, Stahl, and Weitling. Concomitant with their respective political convictions, Sittlichkeit for Welcker was connected to constitutional liberties, for Stahl related to a hierarchical godly order, and for Weitling it was something which was oppressive, and needed to be destroyed. This discussion about the centrality of Sittlichkeit will also serve to stress another point: that in Vormärz Germany, political ideologies were formed in close connection with Christianity and Christian theology.

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