Philosophical Letters (1786)

In Antonino Falduto & Tim Mehigan (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook on the Philosophy of Friedrich Schiller. Springer Verlag. pp. 137-145 (2023)
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Abstract

In this essay, Falduto focuses primarily on Schiller’s Philosophical Letters, which narrate a crisis-inducing awakening from youthful metaphysical dreams in the style of an autobiographical analysis. The essay presents the Letters as evidence of the metaphysical universe of the younger Schiller and reconstructs the developmental history of Enlightenment in the microcosm of one individual. The concepts of world, thinking being, idea, love, sacrifice, and God are at the centre of the analysis. Through the treatment of Schiller’s overt negation of many points contained in the juvenile writing, it is shown how the dogmatic dreams of a Neoplatonist’s metaphysics are interrupted. In this way, the Letters are presented as evidence of the utmost importance of Schiller’s philosophical reflections before his acquaintance with Kant’s critical enterprise.

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