Ph.d., Dr. habil. theol. & phil.
Institute of Philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences
|Curriculum Vitae||Publications||Current Projects||Papers Given||
Japanese translation of Kierkegaard's Relations to Hegel Reconsidered
published by 萌書房 Kizasu Shobo
Korean translation of
Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity
Podcast: Interview on A History of Nihilism in the Nineteenth Century
New Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Filozofia
See “Editorial: A View to the Future,” vol. 78, no. 5, 2023, Filozofia, pp. 317-320.
Today research in the history of Western philosophy is a global phenomenon. The series features the work of leading scholars from the different subfields, regardless of where they are found in the world. Philosophy is a discipline substantially enriched by a broad dialogue of perspectives that transcend the local contexts — the series New Research in the History of Western Philosophy provides a forum for this dialogue. The series also strives to showcase the modern importance and relevance of the history of Western philosophy to pressing issues of our day. It seeks single-author monographs and collected-author volumes that demonstrate that the texts, figures, and debates from the Western philosophical tradition are still very much alive not only in the academic field of philosophy but also in many other areas beyond its conventional boundaries. The series welcomes new approaches and studies on lesser-known figures and texts.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2023
The twentieth century is the period best known for thematizing the issue of nihilism with, for example, the works of the existentialists. For this reason, most philosophical or literary histories of this topic start with Nietzsche and move on from there. This study aims to show that the background for the tradition of twentieth-century nihilism was already well established in the nineteenth century. The thesis of the work is that the true origin of modern nihilism can be found in the rapid development of the sciences in the Enlightenment that established a new secular worldview that gradually displaced the old religious one. The modern scientific view presented a picture of human beings as increasingly small and insignificant in the vastness of space and time. This led to discussions about and literary portrayals of different issues related to nihilism in the first half of the nineteenth century, long before Turgenev and Nietzsche made the term fashionable. Drawing on the importance of Enlightenment science, this work tries to gain insight into the nature and development of nihilism in the nineteenth century.
Series: New Research in the History of Western Philosophy, volume 1
Volume Editors: Nassim Bravo and Jon Stewart
The articles in The Modern Experience of the Religious, edited by Nassim Bravo and Jon Stewart, explore the many ways in which religion was impacted by the emergence of modernity, particularly after the Enlightenment, which underscored the centrality of human reason and thus called into question traditional forms of religiosity. Modernity raised several questions that are studied by the authors of this volume: What should be the role of religion in a secular or pluralistic society? How does the human being relate to God? Can instituted religion be compatible with modern values such as civil liberties, pluralism or environmentalism?
Translated and edited by
Finn Gredal Jensen
and Jon Stewart
Leiden: Brill 2022
A classicist, philosopher, and poet, Poul Martin Møller was an important figure in the Danish Golden Age. After the early death of his wife in 1834, Møller was plunged into an extended period of depression. This traumatic event led him to think more profoundly about the question of the immortality of the soul. Møller had long been interested in Hegel’s philosophy, and this same issue was central to the then current debates in the Hegelian school. In 1837 he published his most important philosophical treatise, “Thoughts on the Possibility of Proofs of Human Immortality with Regard to the Latest Literature on the Subject.” This work gave an overview of the German debates about the issue and Møller’s own critical evaluation of them. It was read and commented upon by the leading figures of the Golden Age, such as Johan Ludvig Heiberg, Frederik Christian Sibbern, and Søren Kierkegaard. It proved to be the last important work that Møller wrote. He died in March of 1838 at the age of 43.
An Introduction to Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion:
The Issue of Religious Content in the
Enlightenment and Romanticism
This work attempts to give a basic introduction to Hegel’s religious thinking by seeing it against the backdrop of the main religious trends in his own day that he was responding to, specifically, the Enlightenment and Romanticism. The study provides an account of the criticism of religion by key Enlightenment thinkers such as Voltaire, Lessing, Hume, and Kant. This is followed by an analysis of how the Romantic thinkers, such as Rousseau, Jacobi and Schleiermacher, responded to these challenges. For Hegel, the views of these thinkers from both the Enlightenment and Romanticism tended to empty religion of its content. The goal that he sets for his own philosophy of religion is to restore this lost content. A detailed account is given of Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion with an eye to the issue of the content of religious faith. It is argued that the basic ideas of the Enlightenment and Romanticism are still present today and that this remains an important issue for both academics and non-academics, regardless of their religious orientation.
Hegel’s Century: Alienation and Recognition in a Time of Revolution
University Press 2021
The book is the
category winner in philosophy
Slovak Academy of Sciences Prize for Scholarly work for 2021
June 30, 2022
Many students who attended Hegel’s lectures in Berlin in the 1820s recalled with nostalgia in later life the stimulating intellectual environment that radiated from the ideas they heard in his lecture hall. This atmosphere still existed a decade after his death, as zealous students continued to flock to Berlin to study with Hegel’s students in the 1840s. Over the coming decades these students would come to constitute the leading lights in Continental philosophy in the nineteenth century: Feuerbach, Bauer, Kierkegaard, Engels, Marx, Bakunin, and others. The present work is an introduction to the history of this development. It takes as its point of departure two concepts that originated in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, namely, alienation and recognition. Hegel’s students of both the first and the second generation all appropriated these concepts, among others, and applied them indifferent contexts. It is argued that the broad constellation of problems surrounding these rich ideas can be seen as providing a central theme of philosophy in the nineteenth century. The work also sketches how these concepts constituted a broader cultural phenomenon as they spilled over into a number of other fields as well, including religion, politics, literature, and drama. Later in the twentieth century they were also taken up in the then budding social sciences, especially sociology and psychology. These concepts thus represent a key element in the nineteenth century’s contribution to the history of philosophy.
"It is often thought that Hegel's philosophy fell into a rather deserved obsolescence by the middle of the nineteenth century. But Hegel's Century shows that even while Hegelianism waned, Hegel's concerns with alienation and recognition continued to set the agenda for European philosophy, both inside and outside the universities. It offers a magisterial yet accessible guide to those thinkers, mystics, and revolutionaries who appropriated these Hegelian themes for radically new purposes."
Mark Alznauer - Northwestern University
this wide-ranging and important study, Jon Stewart
provides a convincing account of Hegel’s influence on
the philosophy that came after him, focusing on the
themes of alienation and recognition. Following these
themes through a range of central thinkers, from Heine
through to Engels, he shows how the shadow cast by
Hegel was a long one – and that we are living with
these issues still. Stewart is an engaging, well
informed and perceptive guide to this central
tradition in the history of ideas, and will bring the
debates alive for a range of different audiences.”
“Among other things, this book is to be celebrated for its clarity and breadth of exposition. In an age of increasing academic specialization, Stewart shows great range in tackling such a broad theme from such an intellectually active century. This work spans the fields of at least philosophy, theology, literature, and political theory, and displays a commanding knowledge of central texts from the period and the socio-historical context in which they appear.”
Century is a great book for advanced
undergraduates, graduate students, and even professors
who would like to get a better sense of Hegel’s impact
on the philosophical world, or would like to know a
bit more about the intellectual climate of the
nineteenth century. Its analyses are clear and
instructive, and I will continue to use it in my
Journal of Philosophical Studies,
vol. 30, April
Journal of Philosophical Studies,
vol. 30, April
▪ “The Crisis of Modern Nihilism and its Source,” Fifteen Eighty Four, April 4, 2023 (online journal).
▪ “Notes to
a Marxist Phenomenology: The
Body and the Machine in Engels’ The Condition of the
Working Class in England,”
Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai. Philosophia,
vol. 67, no. 1, 2022 (special issue, Hand—Work/Labor—Matter,
ed. by Jaroslava Vydrová and Michal Lipták), pp. 75-99.
▪ “Kierkegaard como hegeliano,” El Arco y la Lira: Tensiones y Debates Filosóficos, no. 9, 2021, pp. 161-167.
▪ “El concepto de realidad en Kierkegaard y la influencia de Schelling,” El Arco y la Lira: Tensiones y Debates Filosóficos, no. 9, 2021, pp. 33-47.
▪ "Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion as a Phenomenology," in Filozofia, vol. 75, no. 5, 2020, pp. 386-400.
▪ "The Crisis of the Danish Golden Age as the Problem of Nihilism," in The Crisis of the Danish Golden Age and Its Modern Resonance, edited by Jon Stewart and Nathaniel Kramer, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2020 (Danish Golden Age Studies, vol. 12), pp. 123-168.
The Palgrave Handbook of German Idealism and Existentialism
Edited by Jon
Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2020
This Handbook explores the complex relations between two great schools of continental philosophy: German idealism and existentialism. While the existentialists are commonly thought to have rejected idealism as overly abstract and neglectful of the concrete experience of the individual, the chapters in this collection reveal that the German idealists in fact anticipated many key existentialist ideas. A radically new vision of the history of continental philosophy is thereby established, one that understands existentialism as a continuous development from German idealism.
Oxford: Oxford University Press 2020
work presents a philosophical analysis of the development
of Western Civilization from antiquity to the Middle Ages.
It traces the various self-conceptions of the different
cultures from ancient Mesopotamia to Medieval Christendom.
The thesis is that as human civilization took its first
tenuous steps, it had a very limited conception of the
individual. Instead, the dominant principle was the wider
group: the family, clan or people. Only in the course of
history did the idea of individuality begin to emerge. The
conception of human beings as having an inner sphere of
subjectivity subsequently had a sweeping impact on all
aspects of culture and largely constitutes what is today
referred to as modernity.
Edited by Jon Stewart and Nathaniel Kramer
Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2020
(Danish Golden Age Studies, vol. 12)
The historical circumstances of the Danish Golden Age are well known: the Napoleonic Wars, the bombardment of Copenhagen, the state bankruptcy in 1814 with the ensuing financial crisis, the Revolution of 1848, and the establishment of a parliamentary democracy in 1849. There were peasant reforms, religious upheavals, and changes in class and social structures. These events constituted the milieu in which the Golden Age was born and developed. The guiding idea of the present volume is that these different crises served not just as a backdrop or as obstacles but rather as catalysts for the flowering of culture in the Golden Age.
Despite their many debates and polemics among themselves, the leading figures of Golden Age Denmark were generally in agreement about the fact that their age was in a state of crisis. The dramatic events spilled over into the various cultural spheres and shaped them in different ways. The articles in this volume trace the different crises as they appear in literature, criticism, religion, philosophy, politics and the social sciences. The contributing authors draw compelling parallels between the perceived crisis of the Golden Age and the acute issues of our own day. The articles collected here thus together show the continuing relevance of the Golden Age for readers of the twenty-first century.
Seminar dedicated to exploring the book
Hegel’s Century: Alienation and Recognition in
a Time of Revolution
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2021.
January 19, 2023
Bratislava International School of Liberal ArtsRead more here
“An Analysis of the Religion of the Maya: A Hegelian Approach based on the Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion and the Lectures on the Philosophy of Art”
Critics have argued that the development of the world religions that Hegel sketches in the Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion is a crass expression of 19th-century Eurocentrism. This criticism aims to undermine Hegel’s claim about the necessity of this development. If one wanted to defend Hegel against this charge, it would be necessary to explore other religions that he failed to treat and to see to what extent, if at all, they can be said to fit into his scheme of the development of world religions. If his theory is really universal as he claims, then we would expect to find this same kind of development in other religions, besides the ones that Hegel himself was familiar with. In the present paper I wish to do this by means of an exploration of the religion of the Maya in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. My thesis is that the polytheism of the Maya, in fact, fits very well into Hegel’s scheme. I argue specifically that it corresponds generally to the stage occupied by the Egyptian religion on Hegel’s account. Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Art also play a key role in this analysis since, I argue, similarities between the two cultures can perhaps best be seen by their artworks which depict their conceptions of their gods.
International Congress: “Hegel’s Aesthetics Today”
University of Urbino "Carlo Bo"
Palazzo Veterani, Aula 3
May 4, 2022
10:00 am (CET)
"Hegel’s Diagnosis of Modern Alienation, and the Story of the Fall, and its Echoes in
Bauer, Heine, and Bakunin"
In his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Hegel gives a provocative and heretical interpretation of the Fall in Genesis. Surprisingly, his focus on key concepts such as alienation and freedom proved to be highly influential for the development of social-political thinking in the 19th century. In this paper I trace this development in the works of Hegel’s students Heinrich Heine and Bruno Bauer, as well as Mikhail Bakunin (who can be regarded as one of his students at a second remove). All three of these thinkers make use of Hegel’s interpretation of the Fall in order to support their quite different agendas. Thus a largely overlooked part of Hegel’s philosophy of religion is transformed into a fruitful seed when it is transplanted into the field of social-political philosophy.
May 19, 2022: 2:00-3:30 pm (CET)
Research Seminar, Department of Political Science,
Comenius University, Bratislava
"Hegel as a Source of Inspiration for Heine, Feuerbach, and Marx and the Revolutions of 1848"
With regard to politics, Hegel is often known as a reactionary thinker, keen to defend the state of Prussia of his day and the repressive forces of the Restoration. He is not usually associated with young radicals. However, in this lecture I wish to sketch how Hegel inspired a number of his students in Berlin to play an active role in the call for radical social change that culminated in the Revolutions of 1848. This lecture will be based on my recent book, Hegel’s Century: Alienation and Recognition in a Time of Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2021).
Nová Cvernovka, Tabuľa
April 6, 2022
Watch the video lecture
"The Development of the Individual in Society"
The Carlos Llano Lectures
Departamento de Humanidades, Universidad Panamericana, Aguascalientes, Mexico
The first lecture will be held online: on Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 17:00-20:00 CET
The second lecture will be held online: on Friday, October 15, 2021 from 17:00-20:00 CET
To register, you just need to click here and give your name and e-mail:
main line of argument traces the various self-conceptions
of different cultures as they developed historically,
reflecting different views of what it is to be human. The
thesis is that through examination of these changes we can
discern the gradual emergence of what we today call
inwardness, subjectivity, and individual freedom. As human
civilization took its first tenuous steps, it had a very
limited conception of the individual. Instead, the
dominant principle was that of the wider group: the
family, clan, or people. Only in the course of history did
the idea of what we now know as individuality begin to
emerge, and it took millennia for this idea to be fully
recognized and developed. The conception of human beings
as having a sphere of inwardness and subjectivity
subsequently had a sweeping impact on all aspects of
culture, including philosophy, religion, law, and art:
indeed, this notion largely constitutes what is today
referred to as modernity.
Lecture 1, October 14
Part 1: Analysis of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King
Part 2: Analysis of Socrates in Plato’s Apology
New Role of Subjectivity
Lecture 2, October 15
Part 1: Analysis of Seneca’s Letters
Part 2: Analysis of the Gospel of MatthewConclusions: Subjectivity in the Modern World
Annual Book Prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
"Teaching Philosophy in Different Countries:
Reflections on Authority or the Lack thereof in the Classroom"
Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Matej Bel University
The lecture will be held online: on Wednesday 30th of September 2020 at 13:00 CET
Platform: MS Teams. We kindly ask everybody who is interested to participate to register by sending an email to: michal.sedik@.umb.sk no later than 29th of September 2020 till 19:00 CET.
Teaching is a social event, and the classroom is a part of a wider society. What takes place in the teaching context is thus invariably a reflection of the wider society. In this paper I wish to make some reflections based on several years of teaching philosophy in many different countries. I will explore how the social context of a given country influences the nature of the pedagogical approach and techniques used. My claim is that basic social structures concerning authority find their way into the classroom in ways that are not always conducive to the learning process.Read more
Annual Book Prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
June 23, 2020
title of Private Professor Awarded from
Book Prize of
The book Hegel’s Interpretation of the Religions of the World: The Logic of the Gods (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018) was awarded the annual book prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences under the category "Scientific Monographs in a Recognized Publishing House."