German idealist philosophers Kant and Hegel, who have had a significant influence on contemporary social and political theory, both insist on universal human freedom and dignity. However, they maintain teleological frameworks of human development which depend on distancing free and rational human agency from nature, leaving animality and “savageness” behind for a rational and spiritually developed future. This has implications for their implicit and explicit accounts of disability, which risk being reiterated today: insofar as disability is associated with being a (...) static product of nature, these frameworks situate it at best as that which must be overcome, and at worst as something that bars someone from full humanity. Recognizing and understanding the place of disability within their work is vital if we want to avoid their exclusions in our inherited ideas. (shrink)
Metaphysics relies on the presupposition of the non-being of the world: since the world has once not existed it is necessary to postulate a cause for its existence, i.e. an extrinsic principle to explain the absolute beginning of the causal series of all things that constitute the world. After the critique of theologizing metaphysics by authors like Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche, the notion of an absolute beginning still persists though in a field in which it often goes as such unnoticed, (...) while it factually enjoys wide acceptance, namely in epistemology. It sounds as a truism that knowledge begins: personal inexistence (birth-death cycle) and the phenomenon of unconsciousness (sleep-wake cycle) seem to endorse the obviousness of that statement. Now, to link the beginning of the phenomenal series of subjective acts of knowledge with the existence of an external world that causes the specific content of our temporary cognitive acts relies, however, on two presuppositions, namely on the thesis of a complete non-being or nothingness of knowledge and, intrinsically related to this first presupposition, on the thesis of an absolute beginning of cognitive activity. If knowledge begins from its own nothingness, there must be a cause that is external to the totality of acts of knowledge, a cause that it doesn´t belong to the series of cognitive acts and, therefore, that it is not caused by any of them: this uncaused cause of contentful knowledge is supposed to be the real world external to the knowing subject. In my paper I make explicit the relation between realist-empiricist approachs to epistemology and the double presupposition of the nothingness and absolute beginning of knowledge, I explain the difficulties implied by these two presuppositions and, finally, I propose as a plausible solution to those difficulties some key theoretical claims of absolute idealism. (shrink)
The paper addresses three late Hegelian philosophers from northern Europe: Norwegian M.J. Monrad (1816–97), Swede J.J. Borelius (1823–1909) and Finn Th. Rein (1838–1919). The focus is on their views on the crisis of Hegelian speculative philosophy. The popularity of G.W.F. Hegel's philosophy in Germany declined rapidly since the 1840s. The decline was influenced by e.g. new scientific discoveries. Hegelianism maintained a strong position in northern Europe (especially in Norway and in Finland) several decades longer than in Germany. Rein, Monrad and (...) Borelius, all professors of philosophy, endorsed Hegel’s philosophy and agreed that it has to be reformed in order to meet the new challenges. They disagreed with each other, however, about the extent of this reform. They had conflicting interpretations of Hegel’s method too. (shrink)
Introduction to: "The Edinburgh Edition of the Complete Philosophical Works of François Hemsterhuis", vol. 2: "The Dialogues of Francois Hemsterhuis, 1778-1787", edited and translated by Jacob van Sluis, Daniel Whistler (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022), pp. 22-41.
Issue number 4 of "SYMPHILOSOPHIE: International Journal of Philosophical Romanticism" is devoted to the Dutch philosopher François Hemsterhuis and 250th anniversary of the birth of the German romantics Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel. This fourth issue of the journal contains nearly 600 pages of new research articles, translations, review-essays, and book reviews. The main section on Hemsterhuis among the German Romantics was guest edited by Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway, University of London).
Susan Neiman pointed out to this reviewer the danger that Carl Jung studies pose to contemporary scholars. It is keeping in mind Neiman's cautionary advice that this review establishes Jung's contributions to Romanticism. "[Craig] Stephenson’s analysis of Aurélia has now superseded Arthur Lovejoy’s (1873–1962) and Mario Praz’s (1896–1982) contributions to the definitions of Romanticism.".
I argue that the reception of Hegel in the sub-field of history and philosophy of science has been in part impeded by a misunderstanding of his mature metaphilosophical views. I take Alan Richardson’s influential account of the rise of scientific philosophy as an illustration of such misunderstanding, I argue that the mature Hegel’s metaphilosophical views place him much closer to the philosophers who are commonly taken as paradigms of scientific philosophy than it is commonly thought. Hegel is commonly presented as (...) someone who conceived of philosophy as a science that relied on the solitary genius of the individual thinker, and as a science whose propositions could not and should not be made accessible to “the common people”. Against this view, I argue that Hegel in fact thought that philosophy was a thoroughly anti-individualistic activity, and that he emphasized the importance of the intersubjective accessibility of philosophical discourse. I argue that when we carefully reconstruct Hegel’s reasons for his break with Schelling, and if we pay close attention to his explicit metaphilosophical pronouncements, we can see that he in fact adhered to what I call a “proto-modernist” conception of philosophy as a science. I conclude by pointing out how the mischaracterization of Hegel has served to obscure the existence of a strand of scientific philosophy that emerged by way of an immanent critique of Hegel, namely Marxist philosophy. (shrink)
Around 1800, Johann Gottlieb Fichte's primary circle of recipients consisted not only of philosophers, but above all of theologians, religiously engaged laymen, educators, writers and caricaturists, medical practitioner, civil servants and lawyers. The entire reception in post-Kantian philosophy is limited to the years between 1792 and 1810. This period can be divided into two phases: namely the phase up to 1799, in which Fichte acquired students and followers, and the phase from 1799 onwards, in which Fichte's reception was related to (...) the atheism controversy. The discussion about Fichte began to wane in 1810, so that Beneke even claimed in 1833 that Fichte's philosophy "must be regarded as completely lost". Among others, the paper reports on Fichte's disciples such as August Ludwig Hülsen, Johann Gottfried Immanuel Berger, Johann Baptist Schad and sympathisers of Fichte such as Johann Christian Gottlieb Schaumann, Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer, Gottlieb Ernst Mehmel, and Johann Neeb. (shrink)
Rudolf Steiner, who draws attention with his multi-faceted works, is known for his important works in the fields of medicine, education, art and agriculture, as well as esotericism and occultism in particular. In this article, it is explicated to the intellectual infrastructure, the effect of the anthroposophy founded by Steiner and deals with the Spiritual Science, which Steiner created in a unique way. Rudolf Steiner has established an eclectic system by dissolving different schools such as Goethe's doctrine of nature, Rosicrucianism, (...) Kabbalah, Hinduism, Gnostic and Mystic Christianity in his system. The universality is dominant in Steiner's work. His inclusive ideas for all humanity suffered the reaction of the Nazis in his time. Steiner drew attention to the potential of discovering the senses of people by making a distinction between the sensory and the sensual world. The drive and power of discovering the spiritual world in humans has a significant share in his work. Steiner, who says he has seen and experienced the supernatural world personally, is intended to have more knowledge of other people about the supernatural world. The literature review was chosen as a method. Information gathered from different sources may provide a better understanding of Steiner's work. (shrink)
Owen Ware here develops and defends a novel interpretation of Fichte’s moral philosophy as an ethics of wholeness. While virtually forgotten for most of the twentieth century, Fichte’s System of Ethics is now recognized by scholars as a masterpiece in the history of post-Kantian thought and a key text for understanding the work of later German idealist thinkers. This book provides a careful examination of the intellectual context in which Fichte’s moral philosophy evolved and of the specific arguments he offers (...) in response to Kant and his immediate successors. A distinctive feature of this study is a focus on the foundational concepts of Fichte’s ethics—freedom, morality, feeling, conscience, community—and their connection to his innovative but largely misunderstood theory of drives. By way of conclusion, the book shows that what appears to be two conflicting commitments in Fichte’s ethics—a commitment to the feelings of one's conscience and a commitment to engage in open dialogue with others—are two aspects of his theory of moral perfection. The result is a sharp understanding of Fichte's System of Ethics as offering a compelling resolution to the personal and interpersonal dimensions of moral life. (shrink)
Nach den Kriterien einer einflußreichen (vor allem in den englischsprachigen Ländern vertretenen) Deutung der neuzeitlichen Philosophie enthält das Denken Kants die maximale Dosis an Idealismus, die eine Philosophie vertragen kann, ohne inkonsistent zu werden. Die Radikalisierung des idealistischen Ansatzes durch Fichte, Schelling und Hegel wird demnach als eine Abkehr von den geltenden Vernunftstandards betrachtet. Ausgangspunkt dieser Einschätzung ist nicht selten die Verwechslung des nachkantischen Idealismus mit einer überspannten Variante des Idealismus von Berkeley. Diese Lesart des postkantischen Idealismus läßt sich aber (...) weder exegetisch noch konzeptuell rechtfertigen. Der Grundsatz der Einheit von Sein und Denken, dessen erste explizite Aufstellung und Entfaltung Hegel zufolge Fichte zu verdanken ist, impliziert in keiner Weise, daß man dadurch die Existenz der Welt verneinen muß. Was dieser Grundsatz zum Ausdruck bringt, ist eigentlich nur die Notwendigkeit, ein komplexes theoretisches Modell auszuarbeiten, das imstande ist, zu erklären, wie sich die Existenz von wirklichen Dingen behaupten läßt, die vom Subjekt durch seine eigenen Erkenntnisakte erkannt werden, dabei aber zugleich vom Subjekt selbst verschieden sind. Hegels erkenntnistheoretischer Hauptansatz ist, daß die Verbindung von Denken und Sein, von Geist und Welt, strukturell ist. Das Sein kommt zu den Denkinhalten insofern nicht synthetisch hinzu; es sind hingegen die nur vorgestellten Erkenntnisinhalte, welche unter bestimmten Bedingungen der strukturellen Einheit des Geistes mit der Welt zugeschrieben werden. (shrink)
F.A. Trendelenburg's work "Logical Investigations" influenced greatly the decline of G.W.F. Hegel's philosophy in the early 1840s. In this work Trendelenburg challenged the very foundation of Hegel's system, his speculative logic. Somewhat twenty years later two leading late Hegelians, C.L. Michelet from Berlin and K. Rosenkranz from Königsberg, replied to Trendelenburg. Their common strategy was to show that Trendelenburg owes more to Hegel than he admits. At the same time, Trendelenburg has misunderstood Hegel's dialectics and in fact fallen into the (...) standpoint of empiricism. Michelet and Rosenkranz agreed on many problems of Trendelenburg's account, but their readings of Hegel differed in several respects. For example, they were apart on I. Kant's significance for Hegel. Partly because of this, I will argue, Rosenkranz has more affinity to Trendelenburg than Michelet. The debate between the three continued until Trendelenburg's passing in 1872. (shrink)
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843) was a nineteenth-century German philosopher, contemporaneous with so-called “German Idealism,” who is best known for his main work, New Critique of Reason (1807/1828–1831).¹ Fries regards Kant’s philosophy as incomplete and tries to revise and renew it. Since he adopts Kant’s spirit of criticism, he emphasises the finitude of human cognition and in this respect he criticises his contemporaneous opponents: Reinhold, Fichte, and Schelling. Fries criticises Kant’s conception of transcendental cognition as follows: Although transcendental cognition concerns cognitions (...) a priori, transcendental cognition itself can be acquired only in an empirical way because human cognition always begins with experience. Hence Kant was in error to regard it as a priori. German Idealists elaborated on Kant’s mistake and interpreted mere inner perception as cognition a priori, which led them to adopt the “synthetic method” as a means of philosophising. Fries corrects them by assuming the “analytical method,” whereby he starts from the standpoint of ordinary experience by analysing “the ordinary opinions (Beurtheilungen) in daily life” in order to reveal the philosophical cognitions constructing the general presuppositions of opinions. He calls such a project “Critique of Reason.” Kuno Fischer (1824–1907), however, contradicts Fries’s approach by defending German Idealists, arguing that the cognition a priori can never be acquired in an empirical way. Otto Liebmann (1840 –1912) also follows Fischer and criticises Fries’s approach as a “retrogression to Locke.” In this article I deal with Fries’s conception of the “Critique of Reason” and respond to the objections above. Fries’s method is an analysis of opinions, which are neither mere experience nor logical judging (urtheilen). The philosophical cognitions constructing the presuppositions of opinions belong to “reason,” which is to be distinguished from “understanding,” which conducts the “analysing” operation by relying on arbitrary reflection. (shrink)
This paper proposes an alternative perspective on the question of the relationship between German Idealism and American Pragmatism through attention to the philosophy of Josiah Royce. Despite being seen as a Hegelian, Royce declared himself a pragmatist. However, he also called his position Absolute Voluntarism. This paper suggests that the real issue between Idealism and Pragmatism is Intellectualism vs. Voluntarism. This distinction both parallels and cuts across the traditions of German Idealism and American Pragmatism, and promises to open up a (...) view broader than the traditional accounts of the qualified appreciation of Hegel seen in Peirce and Dewey, or the outright antipathy of James. With Peirce, we see that his continual call for Royce to study logic includes, or complements, his criticisms that Royce neglects Secondness. Regarding James, we see his influence on Royce is mediated also in their mutual study of Wundt’s voluntaristic psychology, which has its own roots in the pre-Kantian German Idealism of Leibniz. As for Dewey, he acknowledges Royce’s voluntarism, but rejects Royce’s claim that his Absolute Pragmatism/Voluntarism is pragmatism at all. Nonetheless, even if Royce failed to fuse his idealism and pragmatism, the very effort suggests he saw them as distinct enough to need fusion. (shrink)
Aesthetics versus Art History? Ernst Cassirer as Mediator in an ongoing Controversy on the Relevance of Art for Life. Against the background of Ernst Cassirer’s cultural philosophy, art studies are to be classified as cultural studies. Central to this is Cassirer’s philosophy as the basis for answering a question that has been posed by the methods of formal aesthetics and iconology since the 19th century but is still unanswered today, namely the question of the relevance of the arts for life. (...) In this way, aesthetics/Kunstwissenschaft and art history gain a new meaning as cultural studies beyond their achievements in the humanities and in epistemology. (shrink)
Art is a creative phenomenon which changes constantly, not just insofar as it is being created continually, but also in the very meaning of ‘art.’ Finding a suitable definition of art is no easy task and it has been the subject of much inquiry throughout artistic expression. This paper suggests a crucial distinction between ‘art forms’ and ‘forms of art’ is necessary in order to better understand art. The latter of these corresponds to that which we would typically call art (...) such as painting, singing, etc. The former corresponds to the form out of which these take shape, movement, speech, etc. With this distinction set out, it becomes clearer that art and the aesthetic is rooted in the properties of the ‘thing’ such as the color, shape, and the texture, rather than the product of creation itself. Thus, the future of art will bring a new aesthetic in which these properties become recognized as art and as such there will be an aesthetic of everyday life. (shrink)
The study discusses the philosophy of Finnish philosopher J.V. Snellman (1806–81). The focus is on Snellman's so-called philosophy of personality, which he presented in his work "Essay on the speculative Development of the Idea of Personality" (Tübingen, 1841). Besides this work he addressed his philosophy of personality in his other works and in his public lectures. -/- In his philosophy of personality Snellman develops the concept of personality within the framework of G.W.F. Hegel's (1770–1831) philosophy. The concept of personality serves (...) as a basis for Hegel's philosophy of right, and it plays an important role also in other parts of Hegel's system. However, he never provided a comprehensive definition of this concept. The essence of personality was debated among Hegelians after Hegel's death in 1831. In the course of the debate the Hegelian school split into two groups. At the time of publication of "The Idea of Personality" there was a serious rift between the Right- and the Left-Hegelians. -/- The study analyzes Snellman's philosophy of personality in respect of Hegel's philosophy and in respect of the views of other Hegelians – mainly D.F. Strauss (1808–74), L. Feuerbach (1804–72) and C.F. Göschel (1781–1861). I also attend to some contemporaries outside the Hegelian School like F.W.J. Schelling (1775–1854) and I.H. Fichte (1796–1879). -/- The study is divided into six sections (A–F). The first comprises an introduction and an outline of the structure of the study. The second section (B) discusses the historical context of Snellman's philosophy. The first subsection focuses on the Central European debate on Hegel's legacy. The second subsection deals with Snellman's life and his work on philosophy. The systematic part of the study comprises three sections (C–E), which consider the dialectic of Snellman's work of 1841. This dialectic follows the outline of Hegel's philosophy of subjective spirit and culminates in the definition of personality. Snellman, however, exceeds the realm of the philosophy of subjective spirit, as he discusses e.g. the philosophy of religion. He also comments on the debate among Hegelians. According to Snellman, neither Right- nor Left-Hegelians are true to Hegel's philosophy. In effect, his own standpoint in the debate, as I will argue, comes close to that of the Left-Hegelians. The study concludes with a summary (F). (shrink)
In recent work, Amie Thomasson has sought to develop a new approach to the philosophy of the categories which is metaphysically neutral between traditional realist and conceptualist approaches, and which has its roots in the ‘correlationalist’ approach to categories put forward in Husserl’s writings in the 1900s–1910s and systematically charted over the past few decades by David Woodruff Smith in his studies of Husserl’s philosophy. Here the author aims to provide a recontextualization and critical assessment of correlationalism in a Husserlian (...) vein. To this end, the author presents, first, the reasons why, later in his life, Husserl himself found his earlier treatment of categories philosophically naive, and why he increasingly advocated for a more genetic-teleological account. The author then draws upon arguments made a century earlier by Schelling and Hegel, in criticism of Fichte, to point up what might remain philosophically unsatisfying about even the post-correlationalist genetic position of the later Husserl, in light of the pronounced trend in Husserl’s own development, on the questions of reason and spirit, toward absolute idealism. (shrink)
Kosmos und Subjektivität – dieses Begriffspaar stellt sogleich einen Antagonismus vor, denn Subjektivität konstituiert sich alleine im irreduziblen Bruch mit der kosmischen Einheit. Gegen Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts kommt es zu diesem Bruch, der sich durch ein Ineinanderwirken von wissenschaftlichen, philosophischen und ästhetischen Diskursen auszeichnet. Als entscheidender Schritt dieser Entwicklung, so die These der Untersuchung, lässt sich die Frühromantik verstehen: Sie insistiert zum einen auf dem Bruch mit der tradierten Vorstellung des Kosmos und entdeckt darin die Möglichkeitsbedingung moderner Subjektivität. Zum (...) anderen hat sie die Erfahrung einer solchen Destruktion noch zur Voraussetzung ihrer eigenen Poetik. (shrink)
If a problem is the collision between a system and a fact, Spinozism and German idealism’s greatest problem is the corpse. Life’s end is problematic for the denial of death’s qualitative difference from life and the affirmation of nature’s infinite purposiveness. In particular, German idealism exemplifies immortalism – the view that life is the unconditioned condition of all experience, including death. If idealism cannot explain the corpse, death is not grounded on life, which invites mortalism – the view that death (...) is the unconditioned condition of experience. In “Philosophical Letters,” Schelling critiques idealism, arguing that death symbolizes the regulative ideal of a philosophical system’s derivation, our striving for which unifies our rational activity. I interpret Schelling’s critique as explaining how death puts philosophy into question, an idea he develops in the Freedom essay and Berlin lectures. Death is not a problem to be solved by a system, but represents philosophy’s highest yet unrealizable end. (shrink)
Bashabi Fraser is known the world over as a Scottish-Bengali aka diasporic writer. Further she has also been slotted as a feminist scholar with a huge corpus on Tagore. This essay proves the fallacy of such pigeon-holeing of Fraser and shows that she is as mainstream as Yeats and even before that, like unto Blake. The essay also makes a point for rejecting every other mode of poetry except the Romantic mode. It established the Vedantic nature of the poetic genius. (...) The endnotes are copious and comment on how/why/(what of) Fraser should compulsory reading at which age. The essay speaks at length on the nature of poetry. It stresses the value of Vedanta in assessing true poetry written even in English. This essay is also valuable since it has within it acute observations on Fraser as a Tagore scholar. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to establish a substantial positive philosophical connection between Bas van Fraassen and Hegel, by focusing on their respective notions of ‘stance’ and ‘form of consciousness’. In Section I, I run through five ways of understanding van Fraassen’s idea of a stance. I argue that a ‘stance’ is best understood as an intellectual disposition. This, in turn, means that the criteria for assessing a stance are ones which ask whether or not a stance adequately makes (...) sense of things. In Section II, the discussion turns to Hegel’s notion of a ‘form of consciousness’. I argue that Hegel’s notion of a ‘form of consciousness’ is best understood as comprising a worldview. The principal advantage of articulating stances in a Hegelian way is that such an interpretation improves on the previous five ways of understanding stances. This is because a form of consciousness explicitly details both the theoretical and affective attitudes that van Fraassen is after. Therefore, why Hegel is potentially a better source of understanding stances than the other accounts is that forms of consciousness most clearly illustrate the pragmatist elements of a stance. (shrink)
Fichte’s Foundations of Natural Right develops an intersubjective view of individual self-consciousness. The central concept of this view is his notion of the summons, which he characterizes as upbringing. I argue that Fichte has a developmental view of self-consciousness in which a subject is brought up, through relations of recognition, to be first an individual human being that is capable of responding to reasons and second a political individual that respects other political individuals’ rights. My argument shows that Fichte has (...) two conceptions of recognition, elementary recognition and political recognition, as well as two conceptions of the individual, the individual human being and the political individual. I examine Fichte’s conception of Erziehung, or upbringing, and particularly, Fichte’s remarks about child rearing in order to disambiguate the two types of recognition and individuality. (shrink)
For the Jena Romantics the idea of a self is always in a process, never fully completed. It develops itself as an acting I that interacts with the world, an ongoing interchange between what I am and what I am not. In order to grasp how the self develops and is educated, this paper compares this idea of the self to Schlegel’s account of irony. Both irony and the I exist as an ongoing process. In this comparison the self is (...) found to be a work of art, which is never what it is since its identity always still has to become completed. (shrink)
This volume constitutes the first collective critical study of German philosophy in the nineteenth century. A team of leading experts explore the influential figures associated with the period--including Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Frege--and provide fresh accounts of the philosophical movements and key debates with which they engaged.
What is a problem? What is problematic about any problem whatsoever, philosophical or otherwise? As the origin of assertion and apodeiction, the problematic suspends the categories of necessity and contingency, possibility and impossibility. And it is this suspension that is the essence of the problem, which is why it is so suspenseful. But then, how is the problem problematic? Only if what is suspended neither comes to presence, nor simply goes out into absence, that is, if the suspension continues, which (...) continues the problem. But what is problematic about suspension? As a consideration of language shows, the problem of suspension is the problem of implication. If being, for example, is merely implied, neither present nor absent, then it is the suspension of both, at least insofar as it is problematic. And this not only says something about language; rather, it has ontological implications as well — it speaks of being, and the being of anything whatsoever. For if being is implied, if that is the problem of being, it is because being is an implication. Then the being of things like problems is implied as well; or being is in things by implication. But what does it mean for being to be neither presence nor absence, but an implication? It means that being is implied in a way that is problematic — before it is necessary, or even possible. For being’s way of being is characterized by suspension — which has implications for thinking and speaking about being, and about things like problems, even about anything whatsoever. And this has implications for what being implies, namely, unity and time and aspect. (shrink)
In this paper, I trace a ‘leading thread’ from Kant’s Critique of Judgment to Goethe that involves a shift from a conceptual framework, in which a priori concepts furnish necessity and thereby science, to a framework in which sensible experience plays a far more significant and determining role in the formation of knowledge. Although this shift was not enacted by Kant himself, his elaboration of organic unity or organisms paved the way for this transformation. By considering both the methodological difficulties (...) that Kant encounters in his attempt to articulate the structure of organisms and Goethe’s response to these difficulties, my goal is to locate a specific trajectory in the history of nineteenth century philosophy, in which empirical experience and sensibility play a far more significant role than otherwise acknowledged. (shrink)
This paper looks at the ways in which Mikhail Bakhtin had appropriated the ideas of Kant and of the Marburg neo-Kantian school. While Bakhtin was greatly indebted to Kantian philosophy, and is known to have referred to himself as a neo-Kantian, he rejects the main tenets of neo-Kantianism. Instead, Bakhtin offers a substantial re-interpretation of Kantian thought. His frequent borrowings from neo-Kantian philosophers (Hermann Cohen, Paul Natorp, and others) also follow a distinctive pattern of appropriation, whereby blocks of interconnected ideas (...) are removed from their original context, and made to serve Bakhtin’s own—substantially different—philosophical purposes in the context of his own thought. Bakhtin’s thought thus remains original even as he is borrowing ideas from others. (shrink)
A scholar of Hellenistic and Prussian history, Droysen developed a historical theory that at the time was unprecedented in range and depth, and which remains to the present day a valuable key for understanding history as both an idea and a professional practice. Arthur Alfaix Assis interprets Droysen’s theoretical project as an attempt to redefine the function of historiography within the context of a rising criticism of exemplar theories of history, and focuses on Droysen’s claim that the goal underlying historical (...) writing and reading should be the development of the subjective capacity to think historically. In addition, Assis examines the connections and disconnections between Droysen’s theory of historical thinking, his practice of historical thought, and his political activism. Ultimately, Assis not only shows how Droysen helped reinvent the relationship between historical knowledge and human agency, but also traces some of the contradictions and limitations inherent to that project. (shrink)
Finally available in English, Príhonský's New Anti-Kant is an inescapable book for anyone interested in Kant's Critical philosophy. It provides a concise and systematic recapitulation of Bolzano's insightful, trenchant criticisms of Kant, and provides a fresh window into historical developments in 19th century post-Kantian philosophy.
The concept of sovereignty is a recurring and controversial theme in international law, and it has a long history in western philosophy. The traditionally favored concept of sovereignty proves problematic in the context of international law. International law’s own claims to sovereignty, which are premised on traditional concept of sovereignty, undermine individual nations’ claims to sovereignty. These problems are attributable to deep-seated flaws in the traditional concept of sovereignty. A viable alternative concept of sovereignty can be derived from key concepts (...) in Friedrich Nietzsche’s views on human reason and epistemology. The essay begins by considering the problem of sovereignty from the ancient philosophical perspective inherent in the fundamental assumptions and ideas of Plato’s political philosophy and epistemology. It then considers the contemporary problem of sovereignty in the context of international law by examining Louis Henkin’s formulation of and approach to it in his essay That S-Word: Sovereignty, and Globalization, and Human Rights, Etc. Finally, the essay articulates Nietzsche’s views on intellectual conscience, discusses their merits and advantages when used in dealing the problem of sovereignty in the context of international law, and proposes a solution to this problem that draws on the philosophies of Nietzsche, Novalis, Kant and Plato. The essay illustrates the relevance and advantages of this solution by examining the issue of states’ reservations to international treaties and conventions. (shrink)
Since the early 1990s, there has been a resurgence of interest in philosophy between “Kant and Hegel,” and in early German romanticism in particular. Philosophers have come to recognize that, in spite of significant differences between the contemporary and romantic contexts, romanticism continues to “persist,” and the questions which the Romantics raised remain relevant today. The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays on Early German Romantic Philosophy is the first collection of essays that offers an in-depth analysis of the reasons why philosophers (...) are (and should be) concerned with romanticism. Through historical and systematic reconstructions, the collection offers a deeper understanding and more encompassing picture of romanticism as a philosophical movement than has been presented thus far, and explicates the role that romanticism plays—or can play—in contemporary philosophical debates. (shrink)
Over the last two decades, environmental theorists have repeatedly pronounced the “end” of nature, arguing that the idea of nature is neither plausible nor desirable. This chapter offers an environmental reappraisal of romanticism, in light of these critiques. Its goals are historical and systematic. First, the chapter assesses the validity of the environmentalist critique of the romantic conception of nature by distinguishing different strands within romanticism, and locating an empiricist strand in the natural-scientific work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Second, (...) the chapter considers the systematic significance of Goethe’s “romantic empiricism,” and argues that while an abstract notion of nature is problematic, a concrete conception achieved through the mutually supportive work of observation and reflection is essential for environmental thought. (shrink)
In this article I ask how fruitful the concept of alienation can be for thinking critically about the nature and causes of the contemporary environmental crisis. The concept of alienation enables us to claim that modern human beings have become alienated or estranged from nature and need to become reconciled with it. Yet reconciliation has often been understood—notably by Hegel and Marx—as the state of being ‘at-home-with-oneself-in-the-world’, in the name of which we are entitled, perhaps even obliged, to overcome anything (...) in nature that is alien to the human mind. This approach to alienation derives ultimately from the German Idealist philosopher J. G. Fichte. I explore an alternative conception of alienation and reconciliation to be found in the work of the Early German Romantics, especially Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis. The Romantics think of reconciliation as including a dimension of alienation, in the form of an awareness that nature is greater than and exceeds the understanding of human beings, insofar as we are merely limited parts of the all-encompassing whole that is nature. I argue that this is a more fruitful approach to alienation and reconciliation than that pursued by Fichte, Hegel, and Marx. (shrink)
Our understanding of Schelling’s internal critique of German idealism, including his late attack on Hegel, is incomplete unless we trace it to the early “Philosophical Letters on Dogmatism and Criticism,” which initiate his engagement with the problem of systematicity—that judgment makes deriving a system of a priori conditions from a first principle necessary, while this capacity’s finitude makes this impossible. Schelling aims to demonstrate this problem’s intractability. My conceptual aim is to reconstruct this from the “Letters,” which reject Fichte’s claim (...) that the Wissenschaftslehre is an unrivalled system. I read Schelling as charging Fichte with misrepresenting a system’s livability or commensurability with our finitude. My historical aim is to provide a framework for understanding Schelling’s Freiheitsschrift, which argues that a system’s liveability depends on its incompleteness or limitation by our finitude. On my reading, Schelling is early and continually committed to systematicity within the bounds of human finitude. (shrink)