Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Eucken's Interpretation of Fichte
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
metaphysical, Platonic, 1914, Leuven, Thirty, Library, forgotten, Columbia, Harvard, Träger, barbaric, sacrifice, wartime, Befestigung, books, legitimizes, sons, Opfer, educator, Addresses, symbol, embody, trenches, mission, population, Ashquith, Prussian, eternal, Luther, Medieval, 1908, Fichte, backpacks, Innerlichkeit, Volk, Belgium, Eucken, spirit, outrage, philosophy, support, defend, Nation, lectures, Kriegsphilosophie, peculiar, interpretation, economic, Evans, Knossos, Verkörperung, nationhood, German, doubling, unify, reputation, weaponized
August 25th, 1914
three weeks after the Germans invaded               
German troops set fire to the city of             
destroyed the University               
including collection of over 300,000 books and manuscripts dating back to                  times
provoked international indignation and               
British Prime Minister                 
"The burning of Leuven is the worst thing the Germans have yet done. It reminds one of the              Years War."
British archaeologist Sir Arthur           
who had excavated palace at                in Crete
"May I be allowed to voice horror and profound indignation at the                  holocaust of Leuven."
the destruction of the library became a              of the war
between civilization and its                  opponent: the German culture
a damning judgment against Germany given its superlative achievements in                     , arts, and literature in the 19th century
German intellectuals mobilized to articulate and              the German cause
on the even of the First World War, German philosophy and German philosophers enjoyed an unprecedented international                     
Rudolf              (1846-1926)
in his day a very well known philosopher
had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in         
till today the only              philosopher to be awarded this honor
1911 invited to lecture at London, Oxford, Harvard, and                 
1912-1913 remained in U.S. at professor of               
traveled on East Coast giving                 
there were Eucken associations and Eucken reading clubs
The Idea of 1914
a distinctive interpretation of the war in favor of a German conception of freedom and                     
"Die                        des deutschen Idealismus" (1915)
with expressed purpose of bolstering the moral of German soldiers in the                 
became the principal exponent of a type of philosophical engagement in the war called                                   
the mobilization of philosophical discourse, the way it becomes                      as the pursuit of war by other means
the way it tries to understand the deeper philosophical or                          meaning of the War
Eucken and the intellectual atmosphere at the beginning of the war
1. the idea of         
2. the symbol of the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb              (1762-1814)
in 1913, a special painting was commissioned to represent the legendary "Addresses to the German             ", Fichte's speeches he gave a few years after the catastrophic defeat of the Prussian army at the hands of Napoleon in 1806
we see Fichte, his arm raised high, giving his speeches to the full spectrum of the German                     
speeches are meant to realize and            the German nation in time of war
in 1813 and once again in 1914
Fichte was seen as the philosopher of the German nation
this symbol became increasingly important over the course of the First World War
in 1908, Fichte had issues a new addition of Fichte's                    to the German Nation
he underlying Fichte as the                  of the German nation
it was precisely this formation of a national              through a philosophical act of speech that was first instituted by Fichte in the Napoleonic Wars that becomes repeated by Eucken in his own speeches and his own                writings
Eucken during the war
built upon Fichte's popular Kriegsphilosophie
gave lectures at university and town halls throughout Germany
wrote a number of            during the war
1915 "Die Träger des deutschen Idealismus"
dedicated to his          who are both serving in the field
writes the book as a narrative of German philosophy with its pinnacle in German idealism
the centerpiece will be an                              of Fichte
as a way to bolster the moral of the troops in the trenches, book is a paperback and meant to be portable
one can imagine soldiers in the field putting it in their                    and going to the front clear about what they are fighting for which is nothing less than the spirit of the German nation
three central ideas in Eucken's war philosophy
1. reconstruction and endorsement of the main conception of the German nation as proposed by Fichte in his Addresses to the German Nation
argument centers on establishing the notion of nation as the German people, "das         "
the German people is in turn defined in terms of its faith or love for a "world historical mission"
a kind of special mission that the German people have the realize
the realization of this mission is the idea of the German nation
based on the idea that human existence cannot be authentic without having some authentic love or belief in something, and the object of this belief has to be something that's               
so it takes up a                  idea that the object of true love is something that doesn't pass in time, but that is eternal
the mission of the German people is to realize something eternal
two terms to describe this:
to give body, to physically or materially realize something, an incarnation, which has also a religious connotation
the mission of the German nation is the incarnation of the eternal
a clear military term
entrenchment or citadel
has its origins in             : "the Befestigung of God"
so the mission of the German nation is also to defend the eternal
2. the important of                    for the nation
German vocabulary has only one word ("          ")to be the victim of something, as well as to the object of sacrifice
the ambiguity of the German term is that it can mean someone who a victim of something as well a someone who may even voluntarily want to be the sacrifice of something
what Eucken empasizes is that in order to realize the German nation, which itself realizes a certain notion of the eternal, individuals have to sacrifice their individuality to this               , that is become victims to it.
this gives a special meaning to the experience of death
the death of the individual is needed in order to              an idea of the nation which itself has eternal existence
give meaning to his book: "Die Träger des deutschen Idealismus", to carry and                it
the death of individuals on the battlefield will itself be the support through which something like the "German nation" will enter into existence and be eternal
the death of the individual is a kind of gift that he gives to the nation so that the nation can find its fulfillment
"the                  of the German spirit"
a                  idea of Eucken's
if the German nation is going to realize eternity
and if this eternity gives substance to the German people
then the German spirit operates to what we might call a double rotation
1. the realization of the German nation allows for the eternal to enter into history
and this requires an expansion of Germany into history which                        the expansion of Germany into the world
2. this is not only a shaping of the world, but a deepening of the German spirit itself, "                           zu bilden"
3. the notion of the existential conception of war
for Eucken, Germany is not fighting for political or                  causes, but for an eternal cause

Ideas and Concepts:

Economic theory of the day via tonight's WWI and Modern Philosophy class: "ordoliberalism, n. the German variant of social liberalism which emphasizes the need for the state to ensure that the free market produces results close to its theoretical potential. Ordoliberal ideals drove the creation of the post-World War II German social market economy and its attendant Wirtschaftswunder and were especially influential on forming a firm competition law in Germany. Ordoliberalism in Germany became known as the Social Market Economy. The Ordoliberal model implemented in Germany was started by the government of Konrad Adenauer. His government's Minister of Economics, Ludwig Erhard, was a known Ordoliberal and adherent of the Freiburg School. Under Adenauer's government, some, but not all, price controls were lifted, and taxes on small businesses and corporations were lowered. Furthermore, social security and pensions were increased to provide a social basis. The ordoliberal theory was developed from about 1920–1950 by German economists and legal scholars from the Freiburg School such as Walter Eucken and Franz Böhm although the term ordoliberalism was coined in 1950 by Hero Moeller, and refers to the academic journal ORDO (Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft) which is still printed today and provides a forum of debate for scholars of diverse disciplines such as economics, law, political science, sociology, and philosophy."
Insightful ambiguity of the day via this morning's WWI and Modern Philosophy class: "The German language has only one word "Opfer" which means both victim and sacrifice. The ambiguity of this term is that it can mean someone who is exploited by something external and foreign to them, but also someone who voluntarily desires to give themselves up to something they desire to be a part of. What Eucken emphasizes in his wartime writings is that in order to realize the German nation, which itself realizes a certain notion of the eternal, individuals must sacrifice their individuality to this mission, which also carries the meaning that they will become victims to it."
Carl von Clausewitz: On War
The Nature of Colonialism Wars
1916 Zurich and Perspectives on the Great War
The Necessity of War in Politics
Eucken's Interpretation of Fichte
Husserl, the Great War, and the Meaning of Death
Henri Bergson on WWI Germany and France
Hermann Cohen on Judentum and Deutschtum during WWI
Hodgson and Reinach on Foreboding