Aesthetics and subjectivity

From Kant to Nietzsche

Andrew Bowie
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In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto proclaims the 'highest act of reason' as an 'aesthetic act'. The ways in which this transformation relates to the development of some of the major directions in modern philosophy is the focus of this book. The book focuses on the main accounts of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. Immanuel Kant's main work on aesthetics, the 'third Critique', the Critique of Judgement, forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. The early Romantics, who, after all, themselves established the term, can be characterized in a way which distinguishes them from later German Romanticism. The 'Oldest System Programme of German Idealism', is a manifesto for a new philosophy and exemplifies the spirit of early Idealism, not least with regard to mythology. The crucial question posed by the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling of the System of Transcendental Idealism (STI) is how art relates to philosophy, a question which has recently reappeared in post-structuralism and in aspects of pragmatism. Despite his undoubted insights, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's insufficiency in relation to music is part of his more general problem with adequately theorising self-consciousness, and thus with his aesthetic theory. Friedrich Schleiermacher argues in the hermeneutics that interpretation of the meaning of Kunst is itself also an 'art'. The book concludes with a discussion on music, language, and Romantic thought.

Front Matter
Pages: Cover–v
Pages: 1–15
Chapter 3: Reflections on the subject
Fichte, Hölderlin and Novalis
Pages: 69–101
Chapter 4: Schelling
Art as the ‘organ of philosophy’
Pages: 102–139
Chapter 5: Hegel
The beginning of aesthetic theory and the end of art
Pages: 140–182
Chapter 6: Schleiermacher
Art and interpretation
Pages: 183–220
Pages: 312–333
The so-called ‘Oldest System Programme of German Idealism’ (1796)
Pages: 334–335
Pages: 336–341
Pages: 342–345
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