The 'spirit' and the 'letter' of the moral law: Text and commentary in the hermeneutics of German idealism, I

Filozofija I Društvo 20 (3):143-157 (2009)

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on different aspects of the hermeneutical problem in post-Kantian philosophical 'constellation'. In this domain, the problem of the relationship between the text and its commentary is theorized in terms of the antithesis between 'Spirit' and 'Letter', which clearly has religious roots. Therefore, the first part of the paper examines the historical origins of this antithesis, as well as its application in philosophical discussions which developed by the end of the 18th century about the problem of finding the 'true' interpretation to Kant's philosophy. The second part of the text, which is to be published in the next issue of this review, brings the duality of spiritual and literal interpretation into closer connection with the topics of Kant's moral philosophy
Keywords commentary, idealism, interpretation, letter, spirit, text
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DOI 10.2298/fid0903143m
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