Hegel in Berlin
The Move to Prussia
It became clear at Heidelberg that Hegel had gained in intelligibility as a lecturer and his self esteem was boosted. Heidelberg the town is surrounded by nature and its spirit is a joyous realism focused on vocational knowledge. Those with ability, such as Jakob Fries, soon sought to move on.
In renouncing science, Prussia would renounce herself, for she is throughout an artificial state, a constructed state that can arrive at unity only by means of culture. (490)
Altenstein worked to secure Hegel's appointment. (see D’Hondt: Biographie, 275). This, thinks Rosenkranz was simply an expression of progressive tendencies in Prussia. Karl Solger, a native Prussian, had drawn Altenstein's attention to Hegel. His letters to Hegel are respectful and Hegel accepts a new offer on 24 January 1818 (Corr. II L328).
Berlin and Philosophy
Berlin is the town of absolute reflection and this restlessness of thought co-exists with the yet incomplete development of the Prussian state, as of the capital itself. In Berlin, there exists nothing naive, nothing immediate, but everything in it is the work of reflection. (494)
Doubtlessly these philosophers [like Hegel] in effect recognise the higher speculative thought as an entirely different kind from common thought, but they hold it, in its lawfulness and universality for the only effective and all that is not it, including empirical consciousness in the measure that it is not related back to these laws, for a fragmentation of these, erroneous and empty in all its relations. (498) [c.f. Ironie romantique, 104]
Hegel never disputed the necessity of experience as such, but he showed thoroughly how, by its own contradictions, it pushes on from itself to universality and to the necessity of determinations. (498)
The Inaugural Speech at Berlin
It must be that the Berliners' pride had something contagious about it. (503)
The Commission of Scientific Evaluation
In June 1820, Hegel was appointed scientific evaluator for the Province of Brandenburg in Prussia. In this role, he had to conduct viva voce exams of candidates for teaching and prospective students; also to review the Gymnasium verbal exams and German compositions, which he was well qualified for as a former Rector at Nürnberg.
Nonetheless, this was a distraction from higher tasks and he was relieved of the duty in 1822. He did not expect originality from young pupils, but clarity about what they had been taught. [Note: this would be worth comparing with the contemporary writings of Victor Cousin and George Jardine on education.]
An Essay On Philosophy Teaching in the Gymnasium survives from 1823 (SW17; see Textes Pédagogiques (trans. Bourgeois)). Hegel thought that two hours of formal logic and empirical psychology a fortnight would generalise scientific education, more so than the idea of "thinking for oneself", as praised by Kant. Herbart agreed with Hegel and this was taken up in Prussian schools. Herbart (1766-1841) was a leading educationalist then based in Königsberg who was developing a realist philosophy in opposition to post-Kantian idealism. Rosenkranz [who was also based in Prussia] thinks this initiative was valuable as an endorsement by the State.