The West's foremost translator of the I Ching, Richard Wilhelm thought deeply about how contemporary readers could benefit from this ancient work and its perennially valid insights into change and chance.
E. W. Ch. Sartorius , a forgotten lutheran theologian of the 19th century, provides a comprehensive understandig of God as love in the three volumes of his dogmatics . He sees love as the intentional relative property of the surrrender of one self-conscious particular being to another. In applying this concept to the being of God, Sartorius develops the trinity of three divine persons from the statement ‘God is love’. However, this conception seems to fail because this particular concept of (...) love implicitly presupposes a concept of individual self-consciousness. Consequently, God is “loving selfconsciousness” – three times. The main problem consists in the fact, that Sartorius, although he is able to develop the trinity from the concept of love, he is unable to show how the persons are constituted by love. However, the relationship of the notions of ordo amoris and surrender, the concept of faith as trusting in being loved and his concept of a specific relationship of the doctrine of the trinity to soteriology in order to avoid forms of “panentheism” could provide interesting suggestions for the present discussion of the doctrine of God. (shrink)
Ernst Haeckel was convinced that the origin of language was the key to understand human evolution. The distinguished slavist August Schleicher was his original inspiration on that matter but his cousin Wilhelm Bleek was the decisive source for his views of human language. Bleek lived in Southern Africa, studied Xhosa and Zulu, and had the rare opportunity to learn the bushman language which, with its characteristic clicks, suggested the form of the original human language in its evolution from ape-like sounds. (...) Haeckel's view of anthropology based on cultural elements rather than physical characters alone was shared by other scholars including the Vienna-based Friedrich Mueller who applied Haeckel's approach in his studies during the voyage of the Habsburg ship "Novara." Haeckel's anthropological views were heavily entangled with contemporary concepts of race so that he and Mueller related different languages to different human groups both from a cultural and racial angle. Such racialist attitude presented obvious political implications which all authors mentioned denied vehemently. (shrink)
In February 1686, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz sent a letter to Antoine Arnauld, via their mutual friend Ernst, the Landgrave of Hessen-Rheinfels. This letter contained a short summary of Leibniz's most recent philosophical work, the Discourse on Metaphysics, and asked Arnauld for his reaction to it. Arnauld's response was extremely harsh: he called Leibniz's views shocking and useless and advised him to stop engaging in metaphysical speculations. Yet, Leibniz did not let this discourage him. In the exchange that followed, Leibniz was (...) intent on convincing Arnauld that the views contained in the Discourse are well supported and less radical than Arnauld initially thought. And while he never convinced Arnauld... (shrink)
Ultraviolet radiation is generally considered to have been discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter in 1801. In this article, we study the reception of Ritter’s experiment during the first decade after the event—Ritter’s remaining lifetime. Drawing on the attributional model of discovery, we are interested in whether the German physicists and chemists granted Ritter’s observation the status of a discovery and, if so, of what. Two things are remarkable concerning the early reception, and both have to do more with neglect than (...) with reception. Firstly, Ritter’s observation was sometimes accepted as a fact but, with the exception of C. J. B. Karsten’s theory of invisible light, it played almost no role in the lively debate about the nature of heat and light. We argue that it was the prevalent discourse based on the metaphysics of Stoffe that prevented a broader reception of Ritter’s invisible rays, not the fact that Ritter himself made his findings a part of his Naturphilosophie. Secondly, with the exception of C. E. Wünsch’s experiments on the visual spectrum, there was no experimental examination of the experiment. We argue that theorizing about ontological systems was more common than experimenting, because, given its social and institutional situation, this was the appropriate way of contributing to physics. Consequently, it was less clear in 1810 than in 1801 what, if anything, had been discovered by Ritter.Keywords: Johann Wilhelm Ritter; Carl Johann Bernhard Karsten; Christian Ernst Wünsch; Ultraviolet radiation; Conceptions of heat and light. (shrink)
This paper explores Bakhtin’s reception of Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre with a view to assess how Bakhtin’s interest in this early chronotopical masterpiece can be understood in the wider context of his utopian thinking and his political eschatologies. Bakhtin reads Goethe’s novel as a critique of totalitarian forms of Socialist Realism as well as Dostoyevsky’s bourgeois realism. Like his contemporary Ernst Bloch, Bakhtin praises the complexity and richness of Goethe’s concept of realism. In the wake of Hermann Cohen, Georg Simmel (...) and Friedrich Gundolf to whom Bakhtin alludes and whom he quotes, Goethe is regarded as a modern literary and anthropological role model, the epitome of Bildung. For Bakhtin, Goethe’s and Rabelais’ writings about the carnivalesque constitute complementary forms of reflection of and agents for social and cultural transformation in modernity. (shrink)
Nel contributo si analizzano le valutazioni che Ernst Cassirer e Jonas Cohn, in alcuni loro scritti pubblicati tra il 1903 e il 1918, espressero in modo esplicito o implicito l’uno del pensiero dell’altro nelle sfere della teoria della conoscenza e dell’estetica e a proposito della questione del rapporto fra la cultura tedesca e l’ebraismo. Si delineano, allo scopo di comprendere il loro dialogo, i diversi orientamenti della scuola neokantiana marburghese e della scuola neokantiana sud-occidentale, delle quali furono fondatori i loro (...) rispettivi maestri, Hermann Cohen e Wilhelm Windelband. Si ricorda infine l’interesse che ambedue gli autori mostrarono, nelle opere composte durante l’esilio dalla Germania, da cui Cassirer emigrò nel 1933, Cohn nel 1938, per la letteratura religiosa ebraica e cristiana come fonte di concetti filosofici quali l’individuo, l’amore verso l’altro, Dio come persona. (shrink)
Wilhelm Bender was professor of systematic theology in Bonn from 1876–1888. Like many of his contemporaries, he steered a course away from mediatory theology via the ‘Ritschlian school’ to liberal theology. His attempt to sublate Darwin's theory of evolution and scientific materialism into an idealistic system of the history of religion and culture set him in sharp opposition to the conservative currents within the Church, costing him his chair. In his efforts to establish a relative absoluteness of Christianity as the (...) highest value discernible in the history of religion he can be seen as a forerunner of Ernst Troeltsch. (shrink)
Heidelberg's intellectual milieu of the early twentieth century can be characterised as a ‘laboratory of the modern age’. Here scholars intensively discussed the crisis of the modern age and in numerous historical and systematic studies attempted to determine the ‘cultural significance’ of religion for modernity. This article takes a look at exemplary aspects of the debates on religion of the jurist Georg Jellinek, the sociologist Max Weber and the Protestant theologian Ernst Troeltsch. Jellinek investigated the significance of religious ideas for (...) the genesis of modern human rights, Weber analysed the ascetic-Protestant, i.e. Puritan roots of the modern capitalism and Troeltsch examined the differences between the social ethos of German Lutheranism and that of the Calvinist world of thought. The primary concern of all was the relevance of religion to present times. For this reason it is necessary that the theories set forth by Jellinek, Weber and Troeltsch also be read with regard to their possible ‘cultural significance’ for the present day. (shrink)
William James' Varieties of Religious Experience was published in 1902, and translated into German in 1907. This essay explores the develop ment of Max Weber's investigations into human psychology and forms of religious life, arguing that James' work had a lasting impact on Max Weber and coloured the development of his 'sociological' investi gations.