Universität Erfurt

Max-Weber-Kolleg

Dr. Alexander Jordan: Junior Fellow

Universität Erfurt

Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien

Postfach 900 221

99105 Erfurt

Vita

Dr. Jordan read History and French at University College London and Université Paris-Sorbonne / Paris IV (2006-10). He holds a Master 1 from the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris (2010-11), and an MRes and PhD from the European University Institute in Florence (2011-15). Before coming to the Max-Weber-Kolleg, he held a post-doctoral scholarship at the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi in Turin (2015-16).

Until now, Dr. Jordan's research has focused primarily upon the thought of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), one of the towering figures of Victorian intellectual life. He is particularly interested in Carlyle's place in the history of British socialism, and also the contribution of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy to Carlyle's thought. Dr. Jordan has so far published five research articles on these and related themes, in History of European Ideas, Victorian Literature and Culture, The English Historical Review, The Journal of British Studies, and The Historical Journal. A monograph on Carlyle ought soon to be in the offing.

Research Project

The Battle for Hegel: 'Centre' Hegelianism in German and British political thought, 1830-1920

At the Max-Weber-Kolleg, Dr. Jordan is tentatively beginning work on a new postdoctoral project, tentatively entitled "The Battle for Hegel: 'Centre' Hegelianism in German and British Political Thought". Following the death of Hegel (1770-1831), his followers split into factions. The "Left" has attracted huge attention, due to the assumption that Hegelianism led inevitably to "Left" Hegelianism, and "Left" Hegelianism to Marxism. In contrast, there is nothing on the "Centre". This is remarkable, given that the "Left" soon collapsed, whereas the "Centre" continued to exist as a coherent movement for decades. Unlike the revolutionary "Left", the "Centre" Hegelians remained optimistic about Prussia becoming what Hegel called a "Vernunftstaat" (rational state), led by an enlightened civil service, dedicated to the public good. Thus, the "Left" Hegelian emphasis on negativity, critique, and revolution (culminating in Marxism) was not the only possible outcome of Hegel's thought.

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