The Latin Texts of Benjamin Höijer

Project Description

The philosopher Benjamin Höijer (1776-1812) is one of the hidden treasures of Swedish philosophy and literature. He advocated the new Kantian-Fichtean philosophy of the late Enlightenment era. His Afhandling om den philosophiska constructionen (Treatise on Philosophical Construction) (1799) was translated into German and reviewed favorably by no other than F.W.J. Schelling. Despite this, Höijer has remained an inaccessible writer. Several of his texts are only available in Latin and his extensive lecture manuscripts were written in code and have, with few exceptions, remained unread in Uppsala University Library.

This projects deals with Höijer’s Latin texts. They were collected and published in his Collected Works in the 1820s but have not been translated into Swedish or any other language. Apart from different aspects of idealistic philosophy, the texts deal with topics such as history, art and poetry. During the later phase of his short life, Höijer devoted most of his work to the philosophy of art. This is also reflected in the Latin texts, including the early works from the late 1780s.

The project has two purposes:

  1. to translate and publish Höijer’s Latin texts into Swedish. The translation is done by Johnny Strand, retired lecturer from the University of Gothenburg, and Peter Sjökvist, a Latinist currently employed at the Uppsala University Library;
  2. to comment and contextualize the new material and Höijer’s place in North European thinking between the French Revolution and the end of premodern Sweden after the devastating Napoleonic wars.
     

(Illustration: first page of Benjamin Höijer's Aphorismi e Logica Transcendentali)

About the Project

Project Duration

2017-2019

Funding

Stiftelsen Olle Engkvist byggmästare

Researchers
  • Torbjörn Gustafsson Chorell, Senior Lecturer at the Department of History of Science and Ideas (Head of Project)
  • Peter Sjökvist, Docent in Latin and Librarian at Uppsala University Library
  • Johnny Strand, retired Lecturer in Latin from the University of Gothenburg