Discovery of the century – Hegel’s early lecture notes discovered – DW – 11/30/2022

Lecture notes by the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), still unknown to scholars, have been discovered in Germany – about four thousand handwritten pages stored in five archival boxes in the Diocesan Library of the Catholic Church in Munich (Diözesanbibliothek des Erzbistums München and Freising). This was announced at the end of November by the University of Bamberg.whose employees found these documents in the course of their research.

The first page of the abstract of Georg Hegel’s lecture “Philosophy of the Spirit”Photo: Archive and Library of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising

Hegel’s lecture notes in the archive

As stated in the publication on the website of the university, we are talking about lecture notes from the early period of Hegel’s scientific activity at the University of Heidelberg.

They belonged to one of the first students of the great German philosopher at this university – Friedrich Wilhelm Carové (1789-1852).

The notes came to the library along with the archive of a Munich Catholic theologian, the son of a philosophy professor from Bonn, to whom Friedrich Wilhelm Karowe himself presented his student notes. German scientists have known about the possibility of these documents for many years and have now made the sensational discovery of the century.

Artificial intelligence will help to understand Hegel

Unique documents will be of great importance for the study of the philosophical heritage of Hegel. In the near future, scientists will have to make these texts available for reading – to process the content of the notes written in small handwriting in old German cursive.

To decipher the records, in particular, computer programs based on artificial intelligence will be used. Then the results will be checked by specialists – every word and every line. The results of this first stage will be published in a year, after which philosophers from all over the world will be able to use the Munich find for further research.


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