When Franz Rosenzweig asserted that the two-page “system-program” in G. W. F. Hegel's handwriting that he had discovered in 1914 was in fact Hegel's copy of a text composed by F. W. J. Schelling, he sparked a scholarly controversy over the origins of German idealism that continues to this day. The present article claims that the overarching philosophical goal of Rosenzweig's essay is to revive the conception of philosophy's task that Hegel and Schelling shared and that Rosenzweig understood to have been obscured in his own time: the task of system. By examining how Rosenzweig understood the philosophical trends of his own day; by uncovering the meaning of the task of system, which Rosenzweig understood to have been set forth for the first time in the “system-program”; and by attending especially to the title Rosenzweig gave to the two-page manuscript, I explore the impact that such a discovery of the “oldest” expression of the task of system was meant to have for Rosenzweig's own time—and for the author of The Star of Redemption himself.
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Benjamin Pollock; Franz Rosenzweig's “Oldest System-Program”. New German Critique 1 November 2010; 37 (3 (111)): 59–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2010-015
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