This volume examines the remarkable conceptual affinity between Fichte and Sartre. Fichte thinks of freedom with respect to self-determination while Sartre sees humans as being thrust into freedom and responsibility that they must endure and bear. In terms of the current debate on the questionable nature of freedom, these two intense thinkers about freedom, subjectivity, and otherness are brought into dialogue.
The term Bildungstrieb, which was used toward the end of the eighteenth century by thinkers like Johann Gottfried Herder, Immanuel Kant, or Friedrich Schiller, but which is obsolete in today’s vernacular, was of great importance for Friedrich Hölderlin. In this article, I explore the historical roots of this concept in the biology of the time, which was then still searching for the right concepts to describe the organic. Bildungstrieb is found in Kant’s teleology in the Critique of Judgment, where Kant (...) with the help of this concept works out the specificity of organic life as well as its vicinity and difference to the teleology of human acts and action. Kant himself refers to the Göttingen anatomist, zoologist, and anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, in whose writings Kant found the term which he reinterpreted for his own purposes. Friedrich Schiller adopts the word Bildungstrieb in his work On the Esthetic Education of Man in a Series of Letters, reinterpreting it from the point of view of the history of ideas. It is Friedrich Hölderlin, finally, who in his Essay The Perspective from which We Have to Look at Antiquity, and in related texts, gives the Bildungstrieb an important role. The Bildungstrieb needs to be awakened, if art is going to draw in an original way from an undeformed source. During work on the tragedy The Death of Empedocles, the poet further developed the concept of Bildungstrieb to include the idea of an opposition between what he calls the ‘aorgic’ and the ‘organic’, which mutually condition, complete, and penetrate one another, in a manner similar to Nietzsche’s even more powerful formulation of the Janus-faced artistic impulse, as embodied in the opposition of the Dionysian and the Apollonian. (shrink)
The sculptor Olafur Eliasson produces works together with his team that have two main goals: first, he intends to sensitize our daily perception of the world and our surroundings, and second, Eliasson’s works are not only works of art, but they also explore nature, the physical properties of light, of energy, of water, and other elements. With the famous project Little Suns, small plastic lamps with LED light bulbs and solar cells, he contributes to the amelioration of daily life for (...) those who do not have access to electricity even today. In other works he focuses on elementary phenomena such as the movement of elements in a vortex of water or air, on the properties of light, of mirrored light, or the fascinating world of kaleidoscopes. Some of these works are very popular and often include visitors such as the Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London created in 2003. This work is said to have provoked spontaneous meetings, celebrations, and even episodes of civil protest. The work turned the museum into a kind of agora, the public square in Ancient Greek cities that was at the heart of daily life, of politics, of democratic practices. (shrink)