Two names often grouped together in the study of religion are Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1884) and Rudolf Otto (1869–1937). Central to their understanding of religion is the idea that religious experience, characterized in terms of feeling, lies at the heart of all genuine religion. In his book On Religion, Schleiermacher speaks of religion as a “sense and taste for the Infinite.” In The Christian Faith, Schleiermacher grounds religion in the immediate self-consciousness and the “feeling of absolute dependence.” Influenced by Schleiermacher, (...) Otto also grounds religion in an original experience of what he calls “the numinous,” which can only be grasped through states of feeling. This article discusses the views of Otto and Schleiermacher on religion as feeling. It examines how both men conceived of feeling, the reasons they believed religion had to be understood in its terms, and the common threads linking their perspectives. It also considers Schleiermacher's interpretation of religious feeling as transcendental experience. (shrink)
This paper considers three general dilemmas that tend to undermine successful configurations of unity: the either/or dilemma, the synthesis dilemma and the relativism dilemma. It argues that, in his aesthetic writings, Schiller’s critique of Kantian dualisms leads him to an adualistic conception of unity that operates with a different, more inclusive approach to opposition and unification. In order to clarify Schiller’s innovative and often misunderstood position, the paper draws on the disjunctive logic recently developed by Friedrich Kümmel.
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) as the person who coined the term.1 However, apart from this tribute, Krause's own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I first present a brief overview of Krause's life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause's own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates (...) a scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as “panentheism” since everything is what it is “in and through” the Absolute, while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause's panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773-1843): A Philosophy of the Exact Sciences -/- Shortened version of the article of the same name in: Tabula Rasa. Jenenser magazine for critical thinking. 6th of November 1994 edition -/- 1. Biography -/- Jakob Friedrich Fries was born on the 23rd of August, 1773 in Barby on the Elbe. Because Fries' father had little time, on account of his journeying, he gave up both his sons, of whom Jakob Friedrich was the elder, to (...) the Herrnhut Teaching Institution in Niesky in 1778. Fries attended the theological seminar in Niesky in autumn 1792, which lasted for three years. There he (secretly) began to study Kant. The reading of Kant's works led Fries, for the first time, to a deep philosophical satisfaction. His enthusiasm for Kant is to be understood against the background that a considerable measure of Kant's philosophy is based on a firm foundation of what happens in an analogous and similar manner in mathematics. -/- During this period he also read Heinrich Jacobi's novels, as well as works of the awakening classic German literature; in particular Friedrich Schiller's works. In 1795, Fries arrived at Leipzig University to study law. During his time in Leipzig he became acquainted with Fichte's philosophy. In autumn of the same year he moved to Jena to hear Fichte at first hand, but was soon disappointed. -/- During his first sojourn in Jenaer (1796), Fries got to know the chemist A. N. Scherer who was very influenced by the work of the chemist A. L. Lavoisier. Fries discovered, at Scherer's suggestion, the law of stoichiometric composition. Because he felt that his work still need some time before completion, he withdrew as a private tutor to Zofingen (in Switzerland). There Fries worked on his main critical work, and studied Newton's "Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica". He remained a lifelong admirer of Newton, whom he praised as a perfectionist of astronomy. Fries saw the final aim of his mathematical natural philosophy in the union of Newton's Principia with Kant's philosophy. -/- With the aim of qualifying as a lecturer, he returned to Jena in 1800. Now Fries was known from his independent writings, such as "Reinhold, Fichte and Schelling" (1st edition in 1803), and "Systems of Philosophy as an Evident Science" (1804). The relationship between G. W. F. Hegel and Fries did not develop favourably. Hegel speaks of "the leader of the superficial army", and at other places he expresses: "he is an extremely narrow-minded bragger". On the other hand, Fries also has an unfavourable take on Hegel. He writes of the "Redundancy of the Hegelistic dialectic" (1828). In his History of Philosophy (1837/40) he writes of Hegel, amongst other things: "Your way of philosophising seems just to give expression to nonsense in the shortest possible way". In this work, Fries appears to argue with Hegel in an objective manner, and expresses a positive attitude to his work. -/- In 1805, Fries was appointed professor for philosophy in Heidelberg. In his time spent in Heidelberg, he married Caroline Erdmann. He also sealed his friendships with W. M. L. de Wette and F. H. Jacobi. Jacobi was amongst the contemporaries who most impressed Fries during this period. In Heidelberg, Fries wrote, amongst other things, his three-volume main work New Critique of Reason (1807). -/- In 1816 Fries returned to Jena. When in 1817 the Wartburg festival took place, Fries was among the guests, and made a small speech. 1819 was the so-called "Great Year" for Fries: His wife Caroline died, and Karl Sand, a member of a student fraternity, and one of Fries' former students stabbed the author August von Kotzebue to death. Fries was punished with a philosophy teaching ban but still received a professorship for physics and mathematics. Only after a period of years, and under restrictions, he was again allowed to read philosophy. From now on, Fries was excluded from political influence. The rest of his life he devoted himself once again to philosophical and natural studies. During this period, he wrote "Mathematical Natural Philosophy" (1822) and the "History of Philosophy" (1837/40). -/- Fries suffered from a stroke on New Year's Day 1843, and a second stroke, on the 10th of August 1843 ended his life. -/- 2. Fries' Work Fries left an extensive body of work. A look at the subject areas he worked on makes us aware of the universality of his thinking. Amongst these subjects are: Psychic anthropology, psychology, pure philosophy, logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, religious philosophy, aesthetics, natural philosophy, mathematics, physics and medical subjects, to which, e.g., the text "Regarding the optical centre in the eye together with general remarks about the theory of seeing" (1839) bear witness. With popular philosophical writings like the novel "Julius and Evagoras" (1822), or the arabesque "Longing, and a Trip to the Middle of Nowhere" (1820), he tried to make his philosophy accessible to a broader public. Anthropological considerations are shown in the methodical basis of his philosophy, and to this end, he provides the following didactic instruction for the study of his work: "If somebody wishes to study philosophy on the basis of this guide, I would recommend that after studying natural philosophy, a strict study of logic should follow in order to peruse metaphysics and its applied teachings more rapidly, followed by a strict study of criticism, followed once again by a return to an even closer study of metaphysics and its applied teachings." -/- 3. Continuation of Fries' work through the Friesian School -/- Fries' ideas found general acceptance amongst scientists and mathematicians. A large part of the followers of the "Fries School of Thought" had a scientific or mathematical background. Amongst them were biologist Matthias Jakob Schleiden, mathematics and science specialist philosopher Ernst Friedrich Apelt, the zoologist Oscar Schmidt, and the mathematician Oscar Xavier Schlömilch. Between the years 1847 and 1849, the treatises of the "Fries School of Thought", with which the publishers aimed to pursue philosophy according to the model of the natural sciences appeared. In the Kant-Fries philosophy, they saw the realisation of this ideal. The history of the "New Fries School of Thought" began in 1903. It was in this year that the philosopher Leonard Nelson gathered together a small discussion circle in Goettingen. Amongst the founding members of this circle were: A. Rüstow, C. Brinkmann and H. Goesch. In 1904 L. Nelson, A. Rüstow, H. Goesch and the student W. Mecklenburg travelled to Thuringia to find the missing Fries writings. In the same year, G. Hessenberg, K. Kaiser and Nelson published the first pamphlet from their first volume of the "Treatises of the Fries School of Thought, New Edition". -/- The school set out with the aim of searching for the missing Fries' texts, and re-publishing them with a view to re-opening discussion of Fries' brand of philosophy. The members of the circle met regularly for discussions. Additionally, larger conferences took place, mostly during the holidays. Featuring as speakers were: Otto Apelt, Otto Berg, Paul Bernays, G. Fraenkel, K. Grelling, G. Hessenberg, A. Kronfeld, O. Meyerhof, L. Nelson and R. Otto. On the 1st of March 1913, the Jakob-Friedrich-Fries society was founded. Whilst the Fries' school of thought dealt in continuum with the advancement of the Kant-Fries philosophy, the members of the Jakob-Friedrich-Fries society's main task was the dissemination of the Fries' school publications. In May/June, 1914, the organisations took part in their last common conference before the gulf created by the outbreak of the First World War. Several members died during the war. Others returned disabled. The next conference took place in 1919. A second conference followed in 1921. Nevertheless, such intensive work as had been undertaken between 1903 and 1914 was no longer possible. -/- Leonard Nelson died in October 1927. In the 1930's, the 6th and final volume of "Treatises of the Fries School of Thought, New Edition" was published. Franz Oppenheimer, Otto Meyerhof, Minna Specht and Grete Hermann were involved in their publication. -/- 4. About Mathematical Natural Philosophy -/- In 1822, Fries' "Mathematical Natural Philosophy" appeared. Fries rejects the speculative natural philosophy of his time - above all Schelling's natural philosophy. A natural study, founded on speculative philosophy, ceases with its collection, arrangement and order of well-known facts. Only a mathematical natural philosophy can deliver the necessary explanatory reasoning. The basic dictum of his mathematical natural philosophy is: "All natural theories must be definable using purely mathematically determinable reasons of explanation." Fries is of the opinion that science can attain completeness only by the subordination of the empirical facts to the metaphysical categories and mathematical laws. -/- The crux of Fries' natural philosophy is the thought that mathematics must be made fertile for use by the natural sciences. However, pure mathematics displays solely empty abstraction. To be able to apply them to the sensory world, an intermediatory connection is required. Mathematics must be connected to metaphysics. The pure mechanics, consisting of three parts are these: a) A study of geometrical movement, which considers solely the direction of the movement, b) A study of kinematics, which considers velocity in Addition, c) A study of dynamic movement, which also incorporates mass and power, as well as direction and velocity. -/- Of great interest is Fries' natural philosophy in view of its methodology, particularly with regard to the doctrine "leading maxims". Fries calls these "leading maxims" "heuristic", "because they are principal rules for scientific invention". -/- Fries' philosophy found great recognition with Carl Friedrich Gauss, amongst others. Fries asked for Gauss's opinion on his work "An Attempt at a Criticism based on the Principles of the Probability Calculus" (1842). Gauss also provided his opinions on "Mathematical Natural Philosophy" (1822) and on Fries' "History of Philosophy". Gauss acknowledged Fries' philosophy and wrote in a letter to Fries: "I have always had a great predilection for philosophical speculation, and now I am all the more happy to have a reliable teacher in you in the study of the destinies of science, from the most ancient up to the latest times, as I have not always found the desired satisfaction in my own reading of the writings of some of the philosophers. In particular, the writings of several famous (maybe better, so-called famous) philosophers who have appeared since Kant have reminded me of the sieve of a goat-milker, or to use a modern image instead of an old-fashioned one, of Münchhausen's plait, with which he pulled himself from out of the water. These amateurs would not dare make such a confession before their Masters; it would not happen were they were to consider the case upon its merits. I have often regretted not living in your locality, so as to be able to glean much pleasurable entertainment from philosophical verbal discourse." -/- The starting point of the new adoption of Fries was Nelson's article "The critical method and the relation of psychology to philosophy" (1904). Nelson dedicates special attention to Fries' re-interpretation of Kant's deduction concept. Fries awards Kant's criticism the rationale of anthropological idiom, in that he is guided by the idea that one can examine in a psychological way which knowledge we have "a priori", and how this is created, so that we can therefore recognise our own knowledge "a priori" in an empirical way. Fries understands deduction to mean an "awareness residing darkly in us is, and only open to basic metaphysical principles through conscious reflection.". -/- Nelson has pointed to an analogy between Fries' deduction and modern metamathematics. In the same manner, as with the anthropological deduction of the content of the critical investigation into the metaphysical object show, the content of mathematics become, in David Hilbert's view, the object of metamathematics. -/-. (shrink)
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
I consider Friedrich Schlegel as a philosopher, and argue that Schlegel’s philosophical views must be understood in relation to his emphasis on history and historical knowledge and his claim that philosophy must emerge from and in relation to life. Thus, in deep contrast to two influential interpretations of Schlegel--Hegel’s view of Schlegel’s philosophy as a poetic exaggeration of the Fichtean subject and the postmodern view of Schlegel as a deeply sceptical anti-idealist--I contend that Schlegel sough to develop a historically-informed (...) philosophy and maintained that it is only through concrete knowledge of political and social realities that we can understand the nature of morality and achieve moral progress. Furthermore, I argue that Schlegel did not entirely forgo the possibility of systematic knowledge, but developed a new conception of systematicity based on his understanding of living or organic beings. (shrink)
Ayn Rand and Friedrich A. Hayek were two of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century in the effort to turn the current of opinion away from collectivism and toward what could be called classical liberalism or libertarianism. The purpose of this pedagogical article is to explain, describe, and compare the essential ideas of these great advocates of liberty in language that permits generally educated readers to understand, recognize, and appreciate their significance. It that sense, it hopes to (...) make the the ideas of Rand and Hayek accessible to a wide range of readers through the use of clear explanations. To aid in this endeavor, the article concludes with the presentation and discussion of a table that summarizes and compares their ideas on a variety of problems in and dimensions of philosophy and social science. The target audience of this essay includes educated laypeople and college students, many of whom may decide to read and study the original works of these prominent theorists of a free society after being exposed to their essential ideas. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a rehabilitation of early German Romanticism in philosophy, including a renewed interest in Romantic ethics. Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829) is acknowledged as a key figure in this movement. While significant work has been done on some aspects of his thought, his views on ethics have been surprisingly overlooked. This essay aims to redress this shortcoming in the literature by examining the core themes of Schlegel’s ethics during the early phase of his career (1793–1801). I argue that (...) Schlegel’s position stands out against both the dominant Kantianism of his era, as well as against some of fellow Romantics. I show how Schlegel anticipates contemporary philosophers such as Bernard Williams, Harry Frankfurt, John McDowell, and Stanley Cavell in both his criticisms of traditional moral theory and in his attempts to develop a positive position. (shrink)
Friedrich Albert Lange (b. 1828, d. 1875) was a German philosopher, pedagogue, political activist, and journalist. He was one of the originators of neo-Kantianism and an important figure in the founding of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism. He is also played a significant role in the German labour movement and in the development of social democratic thought. His book, THE HISTORY OF MATERIALISM, was a standard introduction to materialism and the history of philosophy well into the twentieth century.
It is difficult to imagine a world without common sense, the distinction between truth and falsehood, the belief in some form of morality or an agreement that we are all human. But Friedrich Nietzsche did imagine such a world, and his work has become a crucial point of departure for contemporary critical theory and debate. This volume introduces this key thinker to students of literary and cultural studies, offering a lucid account of Nietzsche's thought on: * anti-humanism * good (...) and evil * the Overman * nihilism * the Will to Power. Lee Spinks prepares readers for their first encounter with Nietzsche's most influential texts, enabling them to begin to apply his thought in studies of literature, art and contemporary culture. (shrink)
Published in France in 1980, Marine Lover is the first in a trilogy in which Luce Irigaray links the interrogation of the feminine in post-Hegelian philosophy with a pre-Socratic investigation of the elements.
In my chapter "Christology and Anthropology in Friedrich Schleiermacher,” I discuss Schleiermacher's understanding of both the person and work of Christ. Schleiermacher's dialogue with the orthodox Christological tradition preceding him, as well as his understanding of the work of Christ, is founded on a critical analysis of the fundamental person-forming experience of being in relation to Christ and the community founded by him. I provide an analysis of Schleiermacher's discussion of the difficulties surrounding the use of the word "nature" (...) in relation to Jesus' humanity and divinity, and then move to discuss how Schleiermacher understands both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, as well as how the two stand in relation to one another. In the original divine decree Jesus Christ is ordained as the person through which the whole human race is to be completed and perfected, and the essence of perfect human nature just is to express divine. This is the essence of Schleiermacher's solution to the Christological problem, that is, of how the divine and the human can converge in one person. I then move to discuss Schleiermacher's understanding of the work of Christ as involving two interrelated moments. The first is the awakening of the God-consciousness. The second involves the self-expression of this God-consciousness in the form of Christian love in the community of believers. As such, the principle work of Christ is the founding of the kingdom of God. (shrink)
This book offers a conversation with Nietzsche rather than a consideration of the secondary literature, yet it takes to task many prevalent approaches to his work, and contests especially the way we often restrict our encounter with him to ...
Lecture on Nietzsche's relativism and perspectivism given at a conference on the 'crisis of reason' in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, October 26, 1991. Nietzsche claims that truth does not exist and knowledge is not possible, because knowledge serves life and is bound to an organic position. In fact, this is a paradox that refutes itself. Knowledge has evolved precisely because organisms must have limited, perspectivistic knowledge of their environment from a subjective point of view. In science, subjectivity can even be transcended (...) to some extent by making models that take into account the effects of our subjective experience of the world. The fact that theories are ‘just models’, ‘just interpretations’ does not mean that knowledge is impossible, because models and interpretations can be improved, corrected and be more or less adequate. In fact, Nietzsche relativism is incompatible with his metaphysical, psychological and ethical claims which implicitly claim a kind of philosophical or scientific progress. (shrink)
Nietzsche has the reputation of being a virulent misogynist, so why are feminists interested in his philosophy? The essays in this volume provide answers to this question from a variety of feminist perspectives. The organization of the volume into two sets of essays, "Nietzsche's Use of Woman" and "Feminists' Use of Nietzsche," reflects the two general approaches taken to the issue of Nietzsche and woman. First, many debates have focused on how to interpret Nietzsche's remarks about women and femininity. Are (...) all of Nietzsche's comments to be read literally, or is he being ironic, perhaps even parodying and subverting stereotypes about women? Second, is his philosophy useful to feminist theory? Can we separate his philosophy from his seemingly derogatory remarks about women? Can feminists use his criticisms of truth, objectivity, reason, and the autonomous subject to challenge the exclusion of women from the history of philosophy? Some view his critiques of dualism and essentialism as well as his perspectivism and social constructivism as adumbrating later feminist positions. Others find troubling his privileging of masculinity and paradigms of domination; they see Nietzsche's sexual dualism as countering otherwise transgressive themes. Contributors are Debra Bergoffen, Maudmarie Clark, Daniel Conway, Jacques Derrida, Jean Graybeal, Kathleen Higgins, Luce Irigaray, Sarah Kofman, Tamsin Lorraine, Kelly Oliver, David Owen, Marilyn Pearsall, Ofelia Schutte, Linda Singer, Lynne Tirrell, and Kathleen Wininger. (shrink)
Soweit Engels' Position zum Geltungsanspruch der Naturwissenschaften seiner Zeit aus diesen Texten hervorgeht, kann man sie kaum als konsistent bezeichnen. Erkenntnisse, an deren Gewissheit in der Naturforschung der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts nicht ernsthaft gezweifelt wurde, werden von ihm teils umstandslos übernommen, teils aber auch einer geltungskrltischen Analyse unterzogen. In weitgehender Unahängigkeit von seinen weltanschaulichen Ambitionen kommt Engels über die Untersuchung der Struktur naturwissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisprozesse zu einer bisher erst wenig beachteten und seiner Zeit vorauseilenden Einsicht in die relativen Geltungsbedingungen (...) des experimentell erzeugten Wissens. Die widersprüchliche Form,in der er seine heute noch sehr aktuelle Kritik am Wahrheitsanspruch der Naturwissenschaften vorträgt, ist der damaligen Umbruchssituation dieser Disziplinen geschuldet und gibt seinem Werk ein hohes Mass an Authentizität. In Anlehnung an Engels' Klassifizierung der Wissenschaften sollen hier die wichtigsten geltungskritischen Ansätze rekonstruiert werden. In dieser Perspektive, die seine Skepsis gegenüber den naturwissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisleistungen hervortreten lässt, erscheint die von ihm behauptete ausgezeichnete Geltung der Dialektik in einem neuen Licht: Sie ist nicht mehr die immer schon vorausgesetzte Grundannahme seiner wissenschafts- und naturtheoretischen Auffassungen, sondern Reaktion auf einen Relativismus, der aus der Reflexion über die Entwicklung der Naturforschung unabweisbar zu folgen scheint und jedes Streben nach einem wissenschaftlich fundierten, einheitlichen Naturbild zunichte macht. (shrink)
The aim of Kant’s Sources in Translation is to retrieve the rich intellectual world that influenced Kant’s philosophical development. In its first stage, the series makes available the most important textbooks Kant used throughout his long teaching career. Many of these textbooks are in Latin or in German and remain inaccessible to Anglophone readers. Lacking this material, however, it is difficult to appreciate Kant’s originality and process of philosophical maturation, for readers are unable to understand what prompted Kant to introduce (...) a distinction, offer a qualification, attack a position, or develop a new thesis. This background is essential to understand the genesis of Kant’s thought. -/- This volume provides a translation of Georg Friedrich Meier’s Auszugaus der Vernunftlehre, the textbook that serves not only as the basis for Kant’s lectures on logic and related Reflexionen but is also crucial for studying the so-called Jäsche Logic of 1800, which is redacted from the marginal and interleave notes found in Kant’s personal copy of Meier’s book. Given the recent growth in scholarship on Kant’s logic, normative epistemology, and the psychology of belief, this volume makes a major contribution to contemporary debates in the field. (shrink)
L'éthique classique hérite avec Diogène de Sinope de l'idée maîtresse de simplicité, dont l'individu peut faire l'expérience dans l'existence, et dont la jarre est le symbole. L'école cynique, dont Diogène est le représentant, enseigne une pratique de l'absence de souffrance (apathia), caractérisitique d'une simplicité déterminée par la contrainte ou acquise par l'exercice volontaire de l'abandon de certains traits propres à notre identité locale, de ce qui nous entraîne à nous abuser nous-mêmes, et donc à nous décevoir sur le long terme; (...) c'est une réflexion et un engagement personnel vers une utopie, où nous nous attacherions à l'essentiel dans la vie. Ce qui est simple pour moi, devrait l'être aussi pour autrui, ce qui ne veut pas dire qu'il ne faille pas faire un effort pour réaliser une vie bonne, puisque l'homme est traversé par des désirs et des besoins, ceci depuis l'enfance. Nietzsche parle de Diogène comme d'un premier cosmopolite et bon Européen, puisque le cynique a saisi certaines composantes éthiques classiques de base, qui traverseront l'histoire des éthiques ultérieures non seulement de la Grèce et de la Macédoine, mais préfigurant une ligne directrice de l'éthique chrétienne, ayant des accents d'une sagesse hindoue et bouddhiste ancienne de l'Orient. (shrink)