- The Excerpt Mill: Throughout his life, Hegel recorded
everything he studied. At the age of 15, Hegel began a diary of his
studies and findings in which he wrote out or summarized long passages
from books. He included everything in his "excerpt mill" such
as philology, aesthetics, aphorisms, mathematics, psychology, and philosophy.
If, as is the case, many of the quotations in Hegel's works contain
mistakes or are mistakenly attributed, this is because Hegel nearly
always quoted from memory. The amount of material he had internalized
- Hegel's Sister, Christiane: Hegel was very attached
to his sister, Christiane. Hegel developed his idea on ethics from Sophocles'
tragedy, Antigone, where he learned that a sister's love for
her brother is the highest type of love there is. Christiane was also
fiercely attached to her brother. After Hegel's marriage, Christiane
suffered from a mental breakdown, understood in the gendered psychology
of the time as "hysteria." She was sent to an asylum, but
was released a year later. She was bitter about Hegel's marriage and
vented her jealousy over Hegel's young wife. Two weeks after Hegel's
death, Christiane wrote a formal letter to his widow and included a
memoir of Hegel's childhood. Within three months of her brother's death,
Christiane went out for a walk and drowned herself.
- Outstripped by Schelling: Hegel's bouts of depression were in part caused by his doubts about his own abilities, but also aggravated by his attempt to master so many different areas of learning. He was also harmed by comparing what seemed like his own slow progress with the birlliance of his young friend Schelling, who was already developing an idealist philosophical standpoint. Almost a decade later Hegel would still be regarded, and somewhat regard himself, as the philosophical disciple of Schelling.
- Hegel's Illegitimate Son: The wife of Hegel's landlord while living in Jena became pregnant with Hegel's child. Hegel's illegitimate son, Ludwig, was born on February 5, 1807. In 1811, at age 41, Hegel married Marie von Tucker, the daughter of a respected Nuremberg family. She was barely half his age. Christiana Fischer, mother of Ludwig, learned of this marriage and tried to create a stir. Hegel paid money to support his son and appeared to have placated her. When Hegel was offered a chair in philosophy in 1816, he brought his illegitimate son into the family. Ludwig was then shipped to the Dutch East Indies where he caught a fever and died.
Spencer, Lloyd and Andrzej Krauze. Introducing Hegel.
New York: Totem Books, 1996, pg. 6-7, 9, 23, 55, 72-73.
call number: B 2947.S64 1996