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The Genesis of Neo-Kantianism, 1796-1880$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198722205

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198722205.001.0001

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The Battle against Pessimism

The Battle against Pessimism

(p.398) 10 The Battle against Pessimism
The Genesis of Neo-Kantianism, 1796-1880

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 discusses a crucial development in the formation of neo-Kantianism: its polemic against pessimism. Neo-Kantianism resisted Schopenhauer’s philosophy chiefly because of its quietism, which ran counter to neo-Kantian liberalism and nationalism. This liberal activism is shown to have its roots in the neo-Kantian sympathy with Fichte, who was a life-long activist and nationalist. One section discusses the neo-Kantian polemic against Schopenhauer. A final section treats Schopenhauer’s famous critique of university philosophy, which has been influential and has stood as a cloud over the reception of neo-Kantianism.

Keywords:   pessimism, quietism, nationalism, neo-Fichteanism, university philosophy

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