Although Chinese Marxism—primarily represented by Maoism—is generally seen by Western intellectuals as monolithic, Liu Kang argues that its practices and projects are as diverse as those in Western Marxism, particularly in the area of aesthetics. In this comparative study of European and Chinese Marxist traditions, Liu reveals the extent to which Chinese Marxists incorporate ideas about aesthetics and culture in their theories and practices. In doing so, he constructs a wholly new understanding of Chinese Marxism. Far from being secondary considerations in Chinese Marxism, aesthetics and culture are in fact principal concerns. In this respect, such Marxists are similar to their Western counterparts, although Europeans have had little understanding of the Chinese experience. Liu traces the genealogy of aesthetic discourse in both modern China and the West since the era of classical German thought, showing where conceptual modifications and divergences have occurred in the two traditions. He examines the work of Mao Zedong, Lu Xun, Li Zehou, Qu Qiubai, and others in China, and from the West he discusses Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, and Marxist theorists including Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Marcuse. While stressing the diversity of Marxist positions within China as well as in the West, Liu explains how ideas of culture and aesthetics have offered a constructive vision for a postrevolutionary society and have affected a wide field of issues involving the problems of modernity. Forcefully argued and theoretically sophisticated, this book will appeal to students and scholars of contemporary Marxism, cultural studies, aesthetics, and modern Chinese culture, politics, and ideology.
Ever since Kant and Hegel, the notion of autonomy—the idea that we are beholden to no law except one we impose upon ourselves—has been considered the truest philosophical expression of human freedom. But could our commitment to autonomy, as Theodor Adorno asked, be related to the extreme evils that we have witnessed in modernity? In Autonomy after Auschwitz, Martin Shuster explores this difficult question with astonishing theoretical acumen, examining the precise ways autonomy can lead us down a path of evil and how it might be prevented from doing so.
Shuster uncovers dangers in the notion of autonomy as it was originally conceived by Kant. Putting Adorno into dialogue with a range of European philosophers, notably Kant, Hegel, Horkheimer, and Habermas—as well as with a variety of contemporary Anglo-American thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, and Robert Pippin—he illuminates Adorno’s important revisions to this fraught concept and how his different understanding of autonomous agency, fully articulated, might open up new and positive social and political possibilities. Altogether, Autonomy after Auschwitz is a meditation on modern evil and human agency, one that demonstrates the tremendous ethical stakes at the heart of philosophy.
Friedrich Nietzsche has been one of the most widely read authors in the world from the time of his death to the present day, as well as one of the most controversial. He has been celebrated as a liberating theorist of individual creativity and self-care, but also condemned as the inhumane advocate of anti-modern politics and hierarchical communalism. Jeremy Fortier contends that rather than adopting one of these approaches to Nietzsche’s thought at the expense of the other, we ought instead to understand Nietzsche’s complex legacy as the consequence of a self-conscious and artful tension woven into the fabric of his books.
The Challenge of Nietzsche uses Nietzsche as a guide to Nietzsche, highlighting the fact that Nietzsche equipped his writings with retrospective self-commentaries and an autobiographical apparatus that clarify how he understood his development as an author, thinker, and human being. Fortier shows that Nietzsche used his writings to establish two major character-types, the Free Spirit and Zarathustra, who represent two different approaches to the conduct and understanding of life: one that strives to be as independent and critical of the world as possible, and one that engages with, cares for, and aims to change the world. Nietzsche developed these characters at different moments of his life, in order to confront from contrasting perspectives such elemental experiences as the drive to independence, the feeling of love, and the assessment of one’s overall health (or well-being). Understanding the tension between the Free Spirit and Zarathustra takes readers to the heart of what Nietzsche identified as the tensions central to his life, and to all human life.
Kant’s proclamation of humankind’s emergence from “self-incurred immaturity” left his contemporaries with a puzzle: What models should we use to sculpt ourselves if we no longer look to divine grace or received authorities? Deftly uncovering the roots of this question in Rhineland mysticism, Pietist introspection, and the rise of the bildungsroman, Jennifer A. Herdt reveals bildung, or ethical formation, as the key to post-Kantian thought. This was no simple process of secularization, in which human beings took responsibility for something they had earlier left in the hands of God. Rather, theorists of bildung, from Herder through Goethe to Hegel, championed human agency in self-determination while working out the social and political implications of our creation in the image of God. While bildung was invoked to justify racism and colonialism by stigmatizing those deemed resistant to self-cultivation, it also nourished ideals of dialogical encounter and mutual recognition. Herdt reveals how the project of forming humanity lives on in our ongoing efforts to grapple with this complicated legacy.
Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration provides a comprehensive analysis of the politics that are implicit and explicit in Nietzsche's work. Tracy B. Strong's discussion shows that Nietzsche's writings are of a piece and have as their common goal a politics of transfiguration: a politics that seeks radical change in how human beings live and act in the modern Western world. This edition includes a new introduction that demonstrates how the styles of Nietzsche's writings expand our notions of democratic politics and democratic understanding.
From Kant to Husserl
Charles Parsons Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress B2741.P37 2012 | Dewey Decimal 193
In From Kant to Husserl, Charles Parsons examines a wide range of historical opinion on philosophical questions from mathematics to phenomenology. Amplifying his early ideas on Kant’s philosophy of arithmetic, the author then turns to reflections on Frege, Brentano, and Husserl.
German Idealism as Constructivism is the culmination of many years of research by distinguished philosopher Tom Rockmore—it is his definitive statement on the debate about German idealism between proponents of representationalism and those of constructivism that still plagues our grasp of the history of German idealism and the whole epistemological project today. Rockmore argues that German idealism—which includes iconic thinkers such as Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel—can best be understood as a constructivist project, one that asserts that we cannot know the mind-independent world as it is but only our own mental construction of it.
Since ancient Greece philosophers have tried to know the world in itself, an effort that Kant believed had failed. His alternative strategy—which came to be known as the Copernican revolution—was that the world as we experience and know it depends on the mind. Rockmore shows that this project was central to Kant’s critical philosophy and the later German idealists who would follow him. He traces the different ways philosophers like Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel formulated their own versions of constructivism. Offering a sweeping but deeply attuned analysis of a crucial part of the legacy of German idealism, Rockmore reinvigorates this school of philosophy and opens up promising new avenues for its study.
One of the very few accounts in English of German idealism, this ambitious work advances and revises our understanding of both the history and the thought of the classical period of German philosophy. As he traces the structure and evolution of idealism as a doctrine, Frederick Beiser exposes a strong objective, or realist, strain running from Kant to Hegel and identifies the crucial role of the early romantics--HÃƒÂ¶lderlin, Schlegel, and Novalis--as the founders of absolute idealism.
Traditionally, German idealism is understood as a radical form of subjectivism that expands the powers of the self to encompass the entire world. But Beiser reveals a different--in fact, opposite--impulse: an attempt to limit the powers of the subject. Between Kant and Hegel he finds a movement away from cosmic subjectivity and toward greater realism and naturalism, with one form of idealism succeeding another as each proved an inadequate basis for explaining the reality of the external world and the place of the self in nature. Thus German idealism emerges here not as a radical development of the Cartesian tradition of philosophy, but as the first important break with that tradition.
Table of Contents:
Introduction 1. Realism in German Idealism 2. Exorcising the Spirit 3. The Critique of Foundationalism 4. The Troublesome Hegelian Legacy 5. The Taxonomy of German Idealism
I. KANT'S CRITIQUE OF IDEALISM
Introduction: Kant and the Problem of Subjectivism 1. The Clash of Interpretations 2. Method and Results 3. Contemporary Kant Scholarship
1. Idealism in the Precritical Years 1. The Idealist Challenge 2. The First Refutation of Idealism 3. Idealist Dreams and Visions 4. The Critique of Idealism in the Inaugural Dissertation 5. Skeptical Ambivalence 6. David Hume, Transcendental Realist
2. Transcendental Idealism and Empirical Realism 1. The Case for Subjectivism 2. The First Edition Definitions of Transcendental Idealism 3. Transcendental versus Empirical Idealism 4. Empirical Realism in the Aesthetic 5. Empirical Realism and Empirical Dualism
3. The First Edition Refutation of Skeptical Idealism 1. The Priority of Skeptical Idealism 2. The Critique of the Fourth Paralogism 3. The Proof of the External World 4. A Cartesian Reply 5. Appearances and Spatiality 6. The Ambiguity of Transcendental Idealism 7. The Coherence of Transcendental Idealism
4. The First Edition Refutation of Dogmatic Idealism 1. The Missing Refutation 2. Kant's Interpretation of Leibniz 3. The Dispute in the Aesthetic 4. Dogmatic Idealism in the Antinomies
5. Kant and Berkeley 1. The GÃƒÂ¶ttingen Review 2. Kant's Reaction 3. Berkeleyianism in the First Edition of the Kritik 4. The Argument of the Prolegomena 5. Kant's Interpretation of Berkeley 6. The Small but Real Differences?
6. The Second Edition Refutation of Problematic Idealism 1. The Problem of Interpretation 2. Kant's Motives 3. The Question of Kant's Realism 4. Realism in the Refutation 5. The New Strategy 6. The Argument of the Refutation 7. Outer vis-ÃƒÂ -vis Inner Sense 8. Kant's Refutations in the Reflexionen, 1788-93
7. Kant and the Way of Ideas 1. The Theory of Ideas 2. Loyalty and Apostasy 3. The Transcendental versus the Subjective 4. The Question of Consistency 5. The Doctrine of Inner Sense 6. Kantian Self-Knowledge and the Cartesian Tradition
8. The Transcendental Subject 1. Persistent Subjectivism 2. Eliminating the Transcendental Subject 3. The Criteria of Subjectivity 4. The Subjectivity of the Transcendental 5. Restoring the Transcendental Subject
9. The Status of the Transcendental 1. The Problematic Status of the Categories 2. The Metaphysial Interpretation 3. The Psychological Interpretation 4. The Logical Interpretation 5. The Ineliminable Psychological Dimension 6. Problems of Transcendental Psychology 7. Transcendental Psychology and Transcendental Idealism
10. Kant's Idealism in the Opus postumum 1. Kant's Peruke 2. The Gap in the Critical System 3. The Transition Program and Its Implications 4. The Transition and Refutation 5. The Selbstsetzungslehre 6. Appearance of Appearance: Continuity with Critical Doctrines 7. Appearance of Appearance: Its Novelty 8. The Thing-in-Itself
II. FICHTE'S CRITIQUE OF SUBJECTIVISM
Introduction: The Interpretation of Fichte's Idealism
1. Fichte and the Subjectivist Tradition 1. The Challenge of Subjectivism 2. Early Critique of Reinhold 3. The Discovery of Desire 4. The Primacy of Practical Reason 5. Fichte's Foundationalism?
2. The Battle against Skepticism 1. First Doubts 2. The Aenesidemus Review 3. Maimon's Skepticism 4. The Official Response 5. The Final Line of Defense
3. Criticism versus Dogmatism 1. The Transformation of the Kantian Problematic 2. The Two Systems 3. The Refutation of Dogmatism 4. Fichte and the Thing-in-Itself
4. Freedom and Subjectivity 1. The Meaning of Freedom 2. The Theory of Subjectivity 3. Woes of the Absolute Ego 4. The Two Egos
5. Knowledge of Freedom 1. The Break with Kant 2. A Philosophy of Striving 3. The Origins of Intellectual Intuition 4. The Meaning of Intellectual Intuition 5. Fichte versus Kant on Intellectual Intuition 6. Self-Knowledge and Freedom 7. Faith in Freedom
6. Critical Idealism 1. Problems of Idealism 2. The Role of Striving 3. The Synthesis of Idealism and Realism 4. Reintroducing and Reinterpreting the Thing-in-Itself
7. The Refutation of Idealism 1. Later Arguments against Idealism 2. The Fichtean versus Kantian Refutation 3. Problems of Exposition 4. The Deduction of the External World
8. The Structure of Intersubjectivity 1. Kant versus Fichte on the Problem of Other Minds 2. First Reflections 3. The Argument for Intersubjectivity 4. The Normative Structure of Intersubjectivity
III. ABSOLUTE IDEALISM
1. Absolute Idealism: General Introduction 1. The Dramatis Personae 2. The Meaning of Absolute Idealism 3. Absolute versus Critical Idealism 4. The Break with Critical Idealism 5. Intellectual Sources 6. The Rehabilitation of Metaphysics 7. The Aesthetics of Absolute Idealism
2. HÃƒÂ¶lderlin and Absolute Idealism 1. Philosophy versus Poetry 2. Sources of Absolute Idealism 3. The Critique of Fichte 4. Aesthetic Sense 5. The Concept of Nature 6. Philosophy in Literature
3. Novalis' Magical Idealism 1. Novalis and the Idealist Tradition 2. Fichte Studies 3. Fichte in Novalis' Idealism 4. The Elements of Magical Idealism 5. Syncriticism 6. Models of Knowledge
4. Friedrich Schlegel's Absolute Idealism 1. Philosophy, History, and Poetry 2. The Break with Fichte 3. An Antifoundationalist Epistemology 4. Romanticism and Absolute Idealism 5. The Mystical 6. Lectures on Transcendental Idealism
IV. SCHELLING AND ABSOLUTE IDEALISM
Introduction: The Troublesome Schellingian Legacy
1. The Path toward Absolute Idealism 1. The Fichte-Schelling Alliance 2. Early Fault Lines 3. An Independent Standpoint 4. The First Quarrel
2. The Development of Naturphilosophie 1. The Claims of Naturphilosophie 2. The Early Fichtean Phase 3. The First Decisive Step 4. The Priority of Naturphilosophie
3. Schelling's Break with Fichte 1. Background 2. The Dispute Begins 3. Schelling States His Case 4. A Botched Reconciliation 5. Persistent Hopes 6. The Irresolvable Differences
4. Problems, Methods, and Concepts of Naturphilosophie 1. Absolute Idealism and Naturphilosophie 2. The Problematic of Naturphilosophie 3. Rethinking Matter 4. Nature as Organism 5. Regulative or Constitutive? 6. The Methodology of Naturphilosophie
5. Theory of Life and Matter 1. The Spinozism of Physics 2. The Dynamic Construction of Matter 3. The Theory of Life 4. Irritability, Sensibility, and World Soul 5. The Mental and Physical as Potencies
6. Schelling's Absolute Idealism 1. The Blinding Light of 1801 2. Objective Idealism 3. The Kantian-Fichtean Interpretation 4. The Interpretation of Subject-Object Identity
7. The Dark Night of the Absolute 1. The Dark Parmenidian Vision 2. The Dilemma of Absolute Knowledge 3. Rethinking the Absolute 4. The Fall
8. Absolute Knowledge 1. In Defense of Speculation 2. The Strategy for the Defense 3. Intellectual Intuition 4. Fichte versus Schelling on Intellectual Intuition 5. Art versus Philosophy 6. The Method of Construction 7. Head over Heels into the Absolute? 8. The Paradox of Absolute Knowledge
Notes Bibliography Index
Reviews of this book: [A] magnificent new book...That Beiser manages to keep the reader afloat as he steers through such deep and turbulent waters deserves the highest praise. Expository writing of unfailing lucidity is supported by reference to an unrivalled range of sources...I learned something from this book on almost every page...For anyone at all seriously interested in the topic this is now the place to start. --Michael Rosen, Times Literary Supplement
Hegel frequently claimed that the heart of his entire system was a book widely regarded as among the most difficult in the history of philosophy, The Science of Logic. This is the book that presents his metaphysics, an enterprise that he insists can only be properly understood as a “logic,” or a “science of pure thinking.” Since he also wrote that the proper object of any such logic is pure thinking itself, it has always been unclear in just what sense such a science could be a “metaphysics.”
Robert B. Pippin offers here a bold, original interpretation of Hegel’s claim that only now, after Kant’s critical breakthrough in philosophy, can we understand how logic can be a metaphysics. Pippin addresses Hegel’s deep, constant reliance on Aristotle’s conception of metaphysics, the difference between Hegel’s project and modern rationalist metaphysics, and the links between the “logic as metaphysics” claim and modern developments in the philosophy of logic. Pippin goes on to explore many other facets of Hegel’s thought, including the significance for a philosophical logic of the self-conscious character of thought, the dynamism of reason in Kant and Hegel, life as a logical category, and what Hegel might mean by the unity of the idea of the true and the idea of the good in the “Absolute Idea.” The culmination of Pippin’s work on Hegel and German idealism, this is a book that no Hegel scholar or historian of philosophy will want to miss.
Hegel’s Theory of Intelligibility picks up on recent revisionist readings of Hegel to offer a productive new interpretation of his notoriously difficult work, the Science of Logic. Rocío Zambrana transforms the revisionist tradition by distilling the theory of normativity that Hegel elaborates in the Science of Logic within the context of his signature treatment of negativity, unveiling how both features of his system of thought operate on his theory of intelligibility.
Zambrana clarifies crucial features of Hegel’s theory of normativity previously thought to be absent from the argument of the Science of Logic—what she calls normative precariousness and normative ambivalence. She shows that Hegel’s theory of determinacy views intelligibility as both precarious, the result of practices and institutions that gain and lose authority throughout history, and ambivalent, accommodating opposite meanings and valences even when enjoying normative authority. In this way, Zambrana shows that the Science of Logic provides the philosophical justification for the necessary historicity of intelligibility. Intervening in several recent developments in the study of Kant, Hegel, and German Idealism more broadly, this book provides a productive new understanding of the value of Hegel’s systematic ambitions.
In this latest book, renowned philosopher and scholar Robert B. Pippin offers the thought-provoking argument that the study of historical figures is not only an interpretation and explication of their views, but can be understood as a form of philosophy itself. In doing so, he reconceives philosophical scholarship as a kind of network of philosophical interanimations, one in which major positions in the history of philosophy, when they are themselves properly understood within their own historical context, form philosophy’s lingua franca. Examining a number of philosophers to explore the nature of this interanimation, he presents an illuminating assortment of especially thoughtful examples of historical commentary that powerfully enact philosophy.
After opening up his territory with an initial discussion of contemporary revisionist readings of Kant’s moral theory, Pippin sets his sights on his main objects of interest: Hegel and Nietzsche. Through them, however, he offers what few others could: an astonishing synthesis of an immense and diverse set of thinkers and traditions. Deploying an almost dialogical, conversational approach, he pursues patterns of thought that both shape and, importantly, connect the major traditions: neo-Aristotelian, analytic, continental, and postmodern, bringing the likes of Heidegger, Honneth, MacIntyre, McDowell, Brandom, Strauss, Williams, and Žižek—not to mention Hegel and Nietzsche— into the same philosophical conversation.
By means of these case studies, Pippin mounts an impressive argument about a relatively under discussed issue in professional philosophy—the bearing of work in the history of philosophy on philosophy itself—and thereby he argues for the controversial thesis that no strict separation between the domains is defensible.
Jargon of Authenticity
Theodor W. Adorno Northwestern University Press, 1973 Library of Congress B3181.A313 | Dewey Decimal 193
Leo Strauss on Hegel
Leo Strauss University of Chicago Press, 2019 Library of Congress D16.8.H49S77 2019 | Dewey Decimal 901
In the winter of 1965, Leo Strauss taught a seminar on Hegel at the University of Chicago. While Strauss neither considered himself a Hegelian nor wrote about Hegel at any length, his writings contain intriguing references to the philosopher, particularly in connection with his studies of Hobbes, in his debate in On Tyranny with Alexandre Kojève; and in his account of the “three waves” of modern political philosophy.
Leo Strauss on Hegel reconstructs Strauss’s seminar on Hegel, supplemented by passages from an earlier version of the seminar from which only fragments of a transcript remain. Strauss focused his seminar on the lectures collected in The Philosophy of History, which he considered more accessible than Hegel’s written works. In his own lectures on Hegel, Strauss continues his project of demonstrating how modern philosophers related to ancient thought and explores the development and weaknesses of modern political theory. Strauss is especially concerned with the relationship in Hegel between empirical history and his philosophy of history, and he argues for the primacy of religion in Hegel’s understanding of history and society. In addition to a relatively complete transcript, Leo Strauss on Hegel also includes annotations, which bring context and clarity to the text.
Although Leo Strauss published little on Nietzsche, his lectures and correspondence demonstrate a deep critical engagement with Nietzsche’s thought. One of the richest contributions is a seminar on Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, taught in 1959 during Strauss’s tenure at the University of Chicago. In the lectures, Strauss draws important parallels between Nietzsche’s most important project and his own ongoing efforts to restore classical political philosophy.
With Leo Strauss on Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” eminent Strauss scholar Richard L. Velkley presents Strauss’s lectures on Zarathustra with superb annotations that bring context and clarity to the critical role played by Nietzsche in shaping Strauss’s thought. In addition to the broad relationship between Nietzsche and political philosophy, Strauss adeptly guides readers through Heidegger’s confrontations with Nietzsche, laying out Heidegger’s critique of Nietzsche’s “will to power” while also showing how Heidegger can be read as a foil for his own reading of Nietzsche. The lectures also shed light on the relationship between Heidegger and Strauss, as both philosophers saw Nietzsche as a central figure for understanding the crisis of philosophy and Western civilization.
Strauss’s reading of Nietzsche is one of the important—yet little appreciated—philosophical inquiries of the past century, both an original interpretation of Nietzsche’s thought and a deep engagement with the core problems that modernity posed for political philosophy. It will be welcomed by anyone interested in the work of either philosopher.
Daniel Brudney traces the development of post-Hegelian thought from Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer to Karl Marx's work of 1844 and his Theses on Feuerbach, and concludes with an examination of The German Ideology. Brudney focuses on the transmutations of a set of ideas about human nature, the good life, and our relation to the world and to others; about how we end up with false beliefs about these matters; about whether one can, in a capitalist society, know the truth about these matters; and about the critique of capitalism which would flow from such knowledge.
Brudney shows how Marx, following Feuerbach, attempted to reveal humanity's nature and what would count as the good life, while eschewing and indeed polemicizing against "philosophy"--against any concern with metaphysics and epistemology. Marx attempted to avoid philosophy as early as 1844, and the central aims of his texts are the same right through The German Ideology. There is thus no break between an early and a late Marx; moreover, there is no "materialist" Marx, no Marx who subscribes to a metaphysical view, even in The German Ideology, the text canonically taken as the origin of Marxist materialism. Rather, in all the texts of this period Marx tries to mount a compelling critique of the present while altogether avoiding the dilemmas central to philosophy in the modern era.
Table of Contents:
Introduction Themes from the Young Hegelians Feuerbach's and Marx's Complaint against Philosophy The Interest of These Texts Chapter by Chapter
1. Feuerbach's Critique of Christianity The Critique of Christianity The Method of The Essence of Christianity Comparisons The Geistiger Naturforscher
2. Feuerbach's Critique of Philosophy The Status of Philosophy The Method of the Critique of Philosophy The Content of the Critique of Philosophy Problems Antecedents Final Comment
3. Bruno Bauer Self-Consciousness State and Civil Society The Critique of Religion Bauer's Method Assessment
4. The 1844 Marx I: Self-Realization Species Being: Products Species Being: Enjoyments The Human Relation to Objects Species Being: Immortality The Human Self-Realization Activity
5. The 1844 Marx II: The Structure of Community Completing One Another Mediation with the Species 3 Digression on Community
6. The 1844 Marx III: The Problem of Justification The Workers' Ignorance of Their True Nature The Problem of Justification The Problem of Communists' Ends and Beliefs Marx's 1844 Critique of Philosophy The Problem of the Present
7. The Theses on Feuerbach Fundamental Relations/Orientations Thesis Eleven Labor The Practical-Idealist Reading The Problem of the First Step Thesis Six
8. The German Ideology I: More Anti-Philosophy Some General Comments The Attack on the Young Hegelian Empirical Verification Anti-Philosophy I Anti-Philosophy II Transformation
9. The German Ideology II: The Picture of the Good Life and the Change from 1844 Division of Labor Community Self-Activity The Change from 1844
10. The German Ideology III: The Critique of Morality (and the Return to Philosophy) What Is the Problem with Morality? The (Weak) Sociological Thesis The Strong Sociological Thesis and the Structural Thesis Morality and Moral Philosophy under Communism Can The German Ideology Justify a Condemnation of Capitalism? Returning to Philosophy
Reviews of this book: "[Marx's Attempt to Leave Philosophy] is plainly the work of a thoughtful and intelligent philosopher. The discussions of Bruno Bauer and Marx's writings of 1844-6, in particular, are valuable resources for students of German philosophy of the 1840s."
--Brian Leiter, Times Literary Supplement
"Brudney's work offers some fascinating insights into the world of the Young Hegelians from whence Marx came. It also makes some subtle points about the epistemology of moral theory and about the communitarian aspects of Marx's vision that are important for contemporary philosophy."
What, if anything, does biological evolution tell us about the nature of religion, ethical values, or even the meaning and purpose of life? The Moral Meaning of Nature sheds new light on these enduring questions by examining the significance of an earlier—and unjustly neglected—discussion of Darwin in late nineteenth-century Germany.
We start with Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings staged one of the first confrontations with the Christian tradition using the resources of Darwinian thought. The lebensphilosophie, or “life-philosophy,” that arose from his engagement with evolutionary ideas drew responses from other influential thinkers, including Franz Overbeck, Georg Simmel, and Heinrich Rickert. These critics all offered cogent challenges to Nietzsche’s appropriation of the newly transforming biological sciences, his negotiation between science and religion, and his interpretation of the implications of Darwinian thought. They also each proposed alternative ways of making sense of Nietzsche’s unique question concerning the meaning of biological evolution “for life.” At the heart of the discussion were debates about the relation of facts and values, the place of divine purpose in the understanding of nonhuman and human agency, the concept of life, and the question of whether the sciences could offer resources to satisfy the human urge to discover sources of value in biological processes. The Moral Meaning of Nature focuses on the historical background of these questions, exposing the complex ways in which they recur in contemporary philosophical debate.
German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) is best known in the English-speaking world for his Jerusalem (1783), the first attempt to present Judaism as a religion compatible with the ideas of the Enlightenment. While incorporating much of Jerusalem, Michah Gottlieb’s volume seeks to expand knowledge of Mendelssohn’s thought by presenting translations of many of his other seminal writings from the German or Hebrew originals. These writings include essays, commentaries, unpublished reflections, and personal letters. Part One includes selections from the three major controversies of Mendelssohn’s life, all of which involved polemical encounters with Christian thinkers. Part Two presents selections from Mendelssohn’s writings on the Bible. Part Three offers texts that illuminate Mendelssohn’s thoughts on a diverse range of religious topics, including God’s existence, the immortality of the soul, and miracles. Designed for class adoption, the volume contains annotations and an introduction by the editor.
Though many well-known German philosophers have devoted considerable attention to music and its aesthetics, surprisingly few of their writings on the subject have been translated into English. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, a philosopher, and Oliver Fürbeth, a musicologist, here fill this important gap for musical scholars and students alike with this compelling guide to the musical discourse of ten of the most important German philosophers, from Kant to Adorno.
Music in German Philosophy includes contributions from a renowned group of ten scholars, including some of today’s most prominent German thinkers, all of whom are specialists in the writers they treat. Each chapter consists of a short biographical sketch of the philosopher concerned, a summary of his writings on aesthetics, and finally a detailed exploration of his thoughts on music. The book is prefaced by the editors’ original introduction, presenting music philosophy in Germany before and after Kant, as well as a new introduction and foreword to this English-language addition, which places contemplations on music by these German philosophers within a broader intellectual climate.
Walter Benjamin Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PN6283.B413 2016 | Dewey Decimal 838.91209
Presented in a new edition with expanded notes, this genre-defying meditation on the semiotics of late-1920s Weimar culture, composed of 60 short prose pieces that vary wildly in style and theme, offers a fresh opportunity to encounter Walter Benjamin at his most virtuosic and experimental, writing in a vein that anticipates later masterpieces.
The absolute was one of the most significant philosophical concepts in the early nineteenth century, particularly for the German romantics. Its exact meaning and its role within philosophical romanticism remain, however, a highly contested topic among contemporary scholars. In The Romantic Absolute, Dalia Nassar offers an illuminating new assessment of the romantics and their understanding of the absolute. In doing so, she fills an important gap in the history of philosophy, especially with respect to the crucial period between Kant and Hegel.
Scholars today interpret philosophical romanticism along two competing lines: one emphasizes the romantics’ concern with epistemology, the other their concern with metaphysics. Through careful textual analysis and systematic reconstruction of the work of three major romantics—Novalis, Friedrich Schlegel, and Friedrich Schelling—Nassar shows that neither interpretation is fully satisfying. Rather, she argues, one needs to approach the absolute from both perspectives. Rescuing these philosophers from frequent misunderstanding, and even dismissal, she articulates not only a new angle on the philosophical foundations of romanticism but on the meaning and significance of the notion of the absolute itself.
"All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both the lives of the people who held it and the development of nineteenth-century science.
Integrating Romantic literature, science, and philosophy with an intimate knowledge of the individuals involved—from Goethe and the brothers Schlegel to Humboldt and Friedrich and Caroline Schelling—Richards demonstrates how their tempestuous lives shaped their ideas as profoundly as their intellectual and cultural heritage. He focuses especially on how Romantic concepts of the self, as well as aesthetic and moral considerations—all tempered by personal relationships—altered scientific representations of nature. Although historians have long considered Romanticism at best a minor tributary to scientific thought, Richards moves it to the center of the main currents of nineteenth-century biology, culminating in the conception of nature that underlies Darwin's evolutionary theory.
Uniting the personal and poetic aspects of philosophy and science in a way that the German Romantics themselves would have honored, The Romantic Conception of Life alters how we look at Romanticism and nineteenth-century biology.
The Romantic Imperative
Frederick C. Beiser Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PT363.P5B45 2003 | Dewey Decimal 830.912
The Early Romantics met resistance from artists and academics alike in part because they defied the conventional wisdom that philosophy and the arts must be kept separate. Indeed, as the literary component of Romanticism has been studied and celebrated in recent years, its philosophical aspect has receded from view. This book, by one of the most respected scholars of the Romantic era, offers an explanation of Romanticism that not only restores but enhances understanding of the movement's origins, development, aims, and accomplishments--and of its continuing relevance.
Poetry is in fact the general ideal of the Romantics, Frederick Beiser tells us, but only if poetry is understood not just narrowly as poems but more broadly as things made by humans. Seen in this way, poetry becomes a revolutionary ideal that demanded--and still demands--that we transform not only literature and criticism but all the arts and sciences, that we break down the barriers between art and life, so that the world itself becomes "romanticized." Romanticism, in the view Beiser opens to us, does not conform to the contemporary division of labor in our universities and colleges; it requires a multifaceted approach of just the sort outlined in this book.
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Romanticism Now and Then 1. The Meaning of "Romantic Poetry" 2. Early German Romanticism: A. Characteristic 3. Early Romanticism and the AufklÃƒÂ¤rung 4. FrÃƒÂ¼hromantik and Platonic Tradition 5. The Sovereignty of Art 6. The Concept of Bildung Early German Romanticism 7. Friedrich Schlegel: The Mysterious Romantic 8. The Paradox of Romantic Metaphysics 9. Kant and the Naturphilosophen 10. Religion and Politics in FrÃƒÂ¼hromantik
Abbreviations Notes Bibliography Index
This is an excellent book. Its ten chapters are much more accessible and often clearer than the larger classic tomes on the subject. Each takes up a very significant topic and is sure to be read with profit by a wide range of readers - whether they are new to the field or already quite familiar with it. The book concerns an era, Early German Romanticism, that is properly becoming a major focus of new research. This volume could become one of the most helpful steps in making the area part of the canon for Anglophone scholars in all fields today. It is surely one of the best remedies for correcting out of date images of the work of the German romantics as regressive, obscurantist, or irrelevant. Early German Romanticism extends and modifies the project of the Enlightenment. The author shows that it deserves our attention not only because it is an era represented by some of the most interesting and creative personalities in our cultural history, but also because its main line of thought is responsible for a way of thinking central to our own time, namely a naturalism that might be expansive enough to do justice to traditional interests in the unique value of human freedom. --Karl Ameriks, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
This book is a very fine and erudite study. It is impressively wide-ranging: literature, metaphysics, political philosophy, science, ethics, and religion all come seriously into play. It almost functions as an introduction to Early German Romanticism at a very high though not forbidding level. --Ian Balfour, Professor of English, York University
Schopenhauer and Nietzsche
Georg Simmel University of Illinois Press, 1991 Library of Congress B3148.S513 1991 | Dewey Decimal 193
Anticipating contemporary deconstructive readings of philosophical texts,
Georg Simmel pits the two German masters of philosophy of life against
each other in a play of opposition and supplementation. This first English
translation of Simmel's work includes an extensive introduction, providing
the reader with ready access to the text by mapping its discursive strategies.
Theory as Practice was first published in 1997. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In light of recent, dramatic revisions in criticism of European-particularly German-Romanticism, this anthology brings together key texts of the movement, especially those written in the last quarter of the eighteenth century by a small, influential circle centered at Jena.
In their introductory essays, the editors locate writings by Fichte, Schelling, Novalis, August Wilhelm Schlegel, and Friedrich Schlegel, among others, in this context. The selections include extensive excerpts from the correspondence of the Jena Romantics, their commentaries on each other's work, their most pertinent essays, fragments, and dialogues as well as diary entries and reviews. These works, together with the editors' articulation and elaboration of their significance, provide a new perspective on the provenance of postmodern thought and literary theory.
Jochen Schulte-Sasse is professor of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota and coeditor (with Wlad Godzich) of the Theory and History of Literature series at the University of Minnesota Press. Haynes Horne (University of Alabama), Andreas Michel (Indiana University), Assenka Oksiloff (New York University), Elizabeth Mittman (Michigan State University), Lisa C. Roetzel (University of Rochester), and Mary R. Strand each received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
“What a strange invention marriage is!” wrote Kierkegaard. “Is it the expression of that inexplicable erotic sentiment, that concordant elective affinity of souls, or is it a duty or a partnership . . . or is it a little of all that?”
Like Kierkegaard a few decades later, many of Germany’s most influential thinkers at the turn of the eighteenth century wondered about the nature of marriage but rejected the easy answers provided by biology and theology. In Uncivil Unions, Adrian Daub presents a truly interdisciplinary look at the story of a generation of philosophers, poets, and intellectuals who turned away from theology, reason, common sense, and empirical observation to provide a purely metaphysical justification of marriage.
Through close readings of philosophers like Fichte and Schlegel, and novelists like Sophie Mereau and Jean Paul, Daub charts the development of this new concept of marriage with an insightful blend of philosophy, cultural studies, and theory. The author delves deeply into the lives and work of the romantic and idealist poets and thinkers whose beliefs about marriage continue to shape ideas about gender, marriage, and sex to the present day.