Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Maguire, Matthew


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.


Includes bibliographical references: pages 123-128

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