Against Violent Objects: Linguistic Theory and Practice in Novalis

Janus Head 10 (1):41-61 (2007)
This study rationally reconstructs Novalis’s linguistic theory. It traces Novalis’s assessment of earlier linguistic debates, illustrates Novalis’s transformation of their central questions and uncovers Novalis’s unique methodological proposal. It argues that in his critical engagement with Idealism, particularly regarding problems of representation and regulative positing, Novalis recognizes the need for both a philosophy of language and the artistic language designed to execute it. The paper contextualizes Novalis’s linguistic appropriation and repudiation of Kant and explains how, even while Novalis’s linguistic theory issues Kantianism such a challenge, it also begins to demonstrate the application of Kantian designs to linguistic philosophy. The modernity and potential of Novalis’s proposal is evaluated and its significance for discussions in linguistic philosophy and aesthetics is advocated
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