These lectures by one of the most influential and original philosophers of the twentieth century constitute a sustained argument for the philosophical basis of romanticism, particularly in its American rendering. Through his examination of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Stanley Cavell shows that romanticism and American transcendentalism represent a serious philosophical response to the challenge of skepticism that underlies the writings of Wittgenstein and Austin on ordinary language.
The Theory of Literature in German Romanticism Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy. Preface: The. Literary. Absolute. I. "There are classifications that are bad enough as classifications, but that have nonetheless dominated entire ...
These challenging essays defend Romanticism against its critics. They argue that Romantic thought, interpreted as the pursuit of freedom in concrete contexts, remains a central and exemplary form of both artistic work and philosophical understanding. Marshalling a wide range of texts from literature, philosophy and criticism, Richard Eldridge traces the central themes and stylistic features of Romantic thinking in the work of Kant, Hölderlin, Wordsworth, Hardy, Wittgenstein, Cavell and Updike. Through his analysis he shows that Romanticism is neither (...) emptily literary and escapist nor dogmatically optimistic and sentimental. This is the first serious philosophical defense of the ethical ideals of Romanticism and will appeal particularly to all professionals and students in philosophy, literature and aesthetics who are interested in what, philosophically, literature can show that philosophy cannot say. (shrink)
_Philosophical Romanticism _is one of the first books to address the relationship between philosophy and romanticism, an area which is currently undergoing a major revival. This collection of specially-written articles by world-class philosophers explores the contribution of romantic thought to topics such as freedom, autonomy, and subjectivity; memory and imagination; pluralism and practical reasoning; modernism, scepticism and irony; art and ethics; and cosmology, time and technology. While the roots of romanticism are to be found in early German (...) idealism, _Philosophical Romanticism_ shows that it is not a purely European phenomenon: the development of romanticism can be traced through to North American philosophy in the era of Emerson and Dewey, and up to the current work of Stanley Cavell and Richard Rorty. The articles in this collection suggest that philosophical romanticism offers a compelling alternative to both the reductionist tendencies of the naturalism in 'analytic' philosophy, and deconstruction and other forms of scepticism found in 'continental' philosophy. This outstanding collection will be of interest to those studying philosophy, literature and nineteenth and twentieth century thought. (shrink)
German Romanticism is a thinking of life as exposed. Philosophical conceptions of botanical life are paradigmatic of this. Goethe, Schelling, and Hegel each address the plant in their respective philosophies of nature. This article traces the connections and divergences in their thinking of plants, focusing on the role of love, lack, and exposure in order to present the plant as a peculiarly apt figure for considerations of life as exposed.
Each society is marked by a selective cultural memory which, beside events and traditions whose importance is emphasized, is also constituted by its parts and contents whose influence is either diminished or forgotten. Our society, too is marked by such kind of memory, with obvious reduction, value opposition and, in sum, general duality within the reception of cultural memory, which is always more complex than it appears in political speeches mother-tongue reading books or history textbooks. For this reason, an examination (...) of construction and reception of cultural memory, with an emphasis on traditions of Enlightenment and Romanticism, stems from a necessity to answer a set of questions regarding the contemporary relation to the past, the way "distance" or "proximity" to the latter is constituted, and especially the way in which contemporary practices mark, change and make use of cultural history. Starting from the assumptions that shaping cultural history, its heritage and "memory" is closely connected to the beginnings of nation-building and that cultural memory is a never-ending political process it is my intention in this research project to examine the rivalry juxtapositions, "interruptions" and new foundations of traditions, focusing on the interdependent relation of Enlightenment and Romanticist strands, and particularly on their unmarked, empty spots. Just as cultural memory is a result of two opposed processes - foregrounding and oblivion - so this research is similarly devoted to a double and apparently paradoxical task. On one hand, the accent is on the resurrection and reinforcement of integrative segments of these traditions which, at the time of their emergence as well as in subsequent interpretations, were mostly neglected. On the other hand there is the need to keep pace with what is required by the current "acceleration of time", which amounts to nothing else but the necessity to forget. Briefly put, the aim is to point to disciplinary-interdependent, more nuances and more communicative ways of viewing these relations, which would diminish the exclusivist and profound opposition within the contemporary reception of the traditions examined. (shrink)
Romanticism was the first period in art history that explicitly started to question the possibilities of a direct understanding of Nature and of achieving concrete and exact knowledge of it or of the “outside” world. In many cases, it can even be interpreted as a direct counter-tendency to the Enlightenment¢•s concept of domestication and domination of Nature. In this paper it is argued that many window- and cave representations of Romanticism, especially in Northern Romanticism, are strongly connected (...) with the differentiation of inside and outside, thus the main affirmation and message of these pictures is the inaccessibility of Nature, and this influences the composition, appearance and interpretation of the works. (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)
This paper explores the reception of Kant's understanding of consciousness by both Romantics and Idealists from 1785 to 1799, and traces its impact on the theory of religion. I first look at Kant's understanding of consciousness as developed in the first Critique, and then looks at how figures such as Fichte, Jacobi, Hölderlin, Novalis, and Schleiermacher received this theory of consciousness and its implications for their understanding of religion.
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)
In this provocative new study, Richard Eldridge presents a highly original and compelling account of Wittgenstein's _Philosophical Investigations_, one of the most enduring yet enigmatic works of the twentieth century. He does so by reading the text as a dramatization of what is perhaps life's central motivating struggle—the inescapable human need to pursue an ideal of expressive freedom within the difficult terms set by culture. Eldridge sees Wittgenstein as a Romantic protagonist, engaged in an ongoing internal dialogue over the nature (...) of intentional consciousness, ranging over ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of mind. The picture of the human mind that emerges through this dialogue unsettles behaviorism, cognitivism, and all other scientifically oriented orthodoxies. Leading a human life becomes a creative act, akin to writing a poem, of continuously seeking to overcome both complacency and skepticism. Eldridge's careful reconstruction of the central motive of Wittgenstein's work will influence all subsequent scholarship on it. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to examine Giorgio Agamben’s important but underappreciated debts to the early German Romantics and to Hegel. While maintaining critical distance from these figures, Agamben develops crucial aspects of his approach to radical passivity with reference to them. The focus of this essay is on Agamben’s consideration of the early German Romantics’ notions of criticism and irony, Hegel’s notion of language, and the implications of this view of language for his notion of community.
This article asks how ideas about nature in the 18th and 19th century Romantic movement have traveled in and been translated by the various religious groups that constitute contemporary Paganism. Drawing on the work of poets, philosophers, historians, social scientists, and contemporary Pagans themselves, the article argues that contemporary Paganism borrows freely from Romantic notions of inspiration and imagination to craft a vision of nature, that, for them, responds to the emotional and political needs of their own time and place. (...) At the center of this vision is what I describe as the Romantic hero, a figure in search of a more authentic existence in a broadly conceived "natural world.". (shrink)
Interweaving past and present texts, The Challenge of Coleridge engages the British Romantic poet, critic, and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in a "conversation" (in Hans-Georg Gadamer's sense) with philosophical thinkers today who ...
An appeal to all that doubt or disbelieve the truths of the Gospel, whether they be deists, Arians, Socinians, or nominal Christians, by W. Law.--Siris; a chain of philosophical reflexions and inquiries concerning the virtues of tar water, and divers other subjects, by G. Berkeley.--Observations on man, his frame, his duty, and his expectations, by D. Hartley.--The theory of moral sentiments, by A. Smith.--An essay on original genius, by W. Duff.--The light of nature pursued, by A. Tucker.--A new system; or, (...) An analysis of antient mythology, by J. Bryant.--Enquiry concerning political justice and its influence on morals and happiness, by W. Godwin. (shrink)
This eagerly awaited study brings to completion Louis Dupré's planned trilogy on European culture during the modern epoch. Demonstrating remarkable erudition and sweeping breadth, _The Quest of the Absolute_ analyzes Romanticism as a unique cultural phenomenon and a spiritual revolution. Dupré philosophically reflects on its attempts to recapture the past and transform the present in a movement that is partly a return to premodern culture and partly a violent protest against it. Following an introduction on the historical origins of (...) the Romantic Movement, Dupré examines the principal Romantic poets of England, Germany, and France, all of whom, from different perspectives, pursued an absolute ideal. In the chapters of the second part, he concentrates on the critical principles of Romantic aesthetics, the Romantic image of the person as reflected in the novel, and Romantic ethical and political theories. In the chapters of the third, more speculative, part, he investigates the comprehensive syntheses of romantic thought in history, philosophy, and theology. _The Quest of the Absolute_ is an important work both as the culmination of Dupré's ongoing project and as a classic in its own right. The book will meet the expectations of the specialist as well as appeal to more general readers with philosophical, cultural, and religious interests. "_The Quest of the Absolute _is the third volume in Louis Dupré's trilogy dealing with the origins and development of modernity and the major cultural currents defining its history. It follows _Passage to Modernity_ and _The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture_. This third volume deals with the Romantic movement. Dupré's account is concerned to restore something of the full dimensionalities to Romanticism as a whole, to acknowledge something of the immense intellectual, political, and spiritual ambitions at work in it, without reneging on a reflective critical relation to it." —_William Desmond, Catholic University Louvain and Villanova University_. (shrink)
This article aims to analyze the tiger-hunting scene on Yeh Pulu relief, located in Bedulu Village, Gianyar, Bali. This relief is estimated to have been created by Balinese artists of the end of the era of Ancient Bali Kingdom in about the 14th century AD. There are only few in-depth studies conducted on this monumental relief in the context of iconology by visual art researchers. Therefore, the author has conducted intensive field research and studies since a year ago based on (...) Panofsky's iconology theory. Tiger-hunting is part of a series of scenes on the relief which in general tends to tell about everyday routines. The tiger-hunting scene carries an unusual theme amidst a wide range of Balinese cultural artifacts which tend to revolve around mythology and epics such as Mahabrata and Ramayana. Based on the theory of iconology which consists of a sequence of analyses starting from the pre-iconographic analysis, the relief characters were found in the form of rough sculptures on the surface of a rocky soil wall located near the Petanu watershed in Gianyar. The iconography aspects revealed that the characters on the relief figuration tend to be naturalistic; and iconologically, they tend to relate to the meaning of narratives on the romanticism of everyday heroism. Heroism nurtures the Balinese people's proletariat side in facing challenges in their life and the political power in the era of the Ancient Bali Kingdom. (shrink)
Commentators often construe Foucault as an anti-Enlightenment thinker; much of this criticism assumes that Foucault inherits early German Romanticism in some sense. This essay examines these claims by assessing the role the German Romantics play in Foucault’s work, both early and late. After a brief consideration of the meaning of the term “Romanticism,” the essay examines the role that language and literature plays in Foucault early texts before examining the place of self-formation or Bildung in his later work. (...) I conclude that examining the relationship between Foucault and the German Romantics can help us better understand Foucault’s texts and thereby avoid what Foucault terms the “blackmail of the Enlightenment,” the idea that one must be either for or against Enlightenment ideals rather than critically interrogating them. (shrink)
_From Romanticism to Critical Theory_ explores the philosophical origins of literary theory via the tradition of German philosophy that began with the Romantic reaction to Kant. It traces the continuation of the Romantic tradition of Novalis, Friedrich Schlegel and Schleiermacher, in Heidegger's approaches to art and thruth, and in the Critical Theory of Benjamin and Adorno. Andrew Bowie argues, against many current assumptions, that the key aspect of literary theory is not the demonstration of how meaning can be deconstructed, (...) but rather the relevation of how questions of language and literature change modern philosophical conceptions of thruth. He shows how the dialogue between literary theory, hermeneutics and analytical philosophy can profit from a re-examination of the understanding of language, thruth and literature in modern German philosophy. _From Romanticism to Critical Theory_ will provide a vital new introduction to central theoretical questions for students of philosophy, literature, German studies, cultural and social theory. (shrink)
Since the dawn of Romanticism, artists and intellectuals in Germany have maintained an abiding interest in the gods and myths of antiquity while calling for a new mythology suitable to the modern age. In this study, George S. Williamson examines the factors that gave rise to this distinct and profound longing for myth. In doing so, he demonstrates the entanglement of aesthetic and philosophical ambitions in Germany with some of the major religious conflicts of the nineteenth century. Through readings (...) of key intellectuals ranging from Herder and Schelling to Wagner and Nietzsche, Williamson highlights three crucial factors in the emergence of the German engagement with myth: the tradition of Philhellenist neohumanism, a critique of contemporary aesthetic and public life as dominated by private interests, and a rejection of the Bible by many Protestant scholars as the product of a foreign, "Oriental" culture. According to Williamson, the discourse on myth in Germany remained bound up with problems of Protestant theology and confessional conflict through the nineteenth century and beyond. A compelling adventure in intellectual history, this study uncovers the foundations of Germany's fascination with myth and its enduring cultural legacy. (shrink)
Polanyi’s claim that a wholly tacit knowledge is possible is contested. Polanyi’s praise for the tacit, and his critique of the ideal of total explicitness, harbors a threat of Romanticism, which, in turn, may become a threat to the value of the explicit itself, and ultimately a political threat, something that Heidegger’s anti-Enlightenment philosophy and political life manifested all too dramatically. Polanyians must not lose sight of the primacy of the explicit for personal existence, something that Polanyi’s work need (...) not undermine, and indeed, that has the resources to affirm and support. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis article discusses the turn to polytheism in postmodern theory. In postmodernism, there is a strong interest in polytheism as an alternative to the much-criticized dominance of onto-theology in the philosophical tradition. The article argues that the new polytheism cannot be unequivocally understood as an alternative for an onto-theological way of thinking, or as a ‘liberation’ from monotheism. Already in Romanticism, the engagement with polytheism and paganism was ambiguous. There was the familiar superiority of Christian monotheism over polytheism. But (...) there was also an appropriation of polytheism that served a new self-perception of the West. This article focuses on this second line of interpretation and argues that postmodern theory inherits the theo-political concerns central to eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Romanticism. The article sets out to sketch the role of polytheism in a post-secular paradigm. Subsequently, it sketches the engagement with polytheism in British and German Romanticism. It will be argued that in Romanticism, polytheism was always embedded in more substantial cultural and political narratives. The remainder of the article will scrutinize the function of polytheism in the writings of Richard Rorty and John Milbank and how their respective forms of polytheism give way to different political theologies. (shrink)
Solar crosses were symbolic markers that once punctuated the rolling pathways at the foot of the French Pyrenees. For Henri Lefebvre, these “crucified suns” came to symbolize a number of time-tested traditions that could revitalize everyday life in the modern world. His efforts to resurrect the archaic confronted two contemporary contexts: the hypermodernization promoted throughout France's long Reconstruction and the degradation of provincial communities that attended it. A heretical Marxist, Lefebvre's social thought included a Romantic sensibility that was organically connected (...) to southwestern France and Friedrich Nietzsche. Dialectical in nature, Lefebvre's revolutionary Romanticism repurposed age-old styles of symbolic expression and cyclical recurrence in order to transform everyday life and keep the deracinating forces of modernization at bay. The French sociologist's enduring interest in archaic traces, and his belief that they might one day be revived, reorients how we approach his landmark studies on space and time in the modern city. (shrink)