Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis concerns the origins, development, and legacy of Ludwig Feuerbach‰Û÷s philosophy, ‰Û¥the religion of humanity.‰ÛÐ Often characterized as a part of the German ‰Û¥Young Hegelian‰ÛÐ movement of the mid-nineteenth century, Feuerbach‰Û÷s work is commonly understood as a philosophical extension of his predecessor and teacher Georg Hegel or as a materialist revision of Hegelian absolute idealism. Feuerbach‰Û÷s work is further contextualized as the precursor to Marx and radical socialist thinking of the mid- to late-nineteenth century. This thesis works to revise both of these claims, i.e. that the origins of Feuerbach‰Û÷s philosophy can be drawn solely back to Hegel and that Marx was the only beneficiary of Feuerbach‰Û÷s philosophical work. Feuerbach drew upon diverse philosophical traditions, not merely Hegel‰Û÷s, and his philosophy was satisfyingly rich and complex to inspire figures of the Victorian era, in particular George Eliot. This thesis discusses the diverse origins of Feuerbach‰Û÷s philosophy, explicates the facets of his mature philosophy, identifies the Feuerbachian elements present in George Eliot‰Û÷s essays, correspondence and novels, and elucidates how and why the religion of humanity was abandoned by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Smith, Julia, "Ludwig Feuerbach and the Religion of Humanity" (2011). Honors Theses. 44.