Schiller and the dance of beauty

Inquiry 51 (1):37 – 49 (2008)
Abstract
Frederick Beiser’s study, Schiller as Philosopher, is a work of outstanding philosophical intelligence and exemplary scholarship. This is good news for the student of Schiller. It is, however, somewhat less good news for the aspiring critic of Beiser—at least for this aspiring critic, for there is little that I disagree with, and a very great deal that I admire, in Beiser’s book. Particularly valuable—to mention just one of the book’s many merits—is Beiser’s subtle and illuminating account of the relation between grace and dignity in Schiller’s text On Grace and Dignity (Uber Anmut und Wurde). Beiser points out that grace and dignity are not different kinds of virtue or disposition for Schiller, but different instances of a single moral virtue—a virtue that finds expression as dignity in tragic circumstances and grace in non-tragic ones. Grace and dignity are thus not at odds with one another, as it has seemed to some, but belong to one and the same Schillerian ideal of humanity. [...]
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