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Transformation of the Self in the thought of Schleiermacher$
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Jacqueline Mariña

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206377

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206377.001.0001

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The World is the Mirror of the Self

The World is the Mirror of the Self

(p.109) 4 The World is the Mirror of the Self
Transformation of the Self in the thought of Schleiermacher

Jacqueline Mariña (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Schleiermacher's Monologen in the context of his 1797-8 study of Leibniz's philosophy. It provides an analysis of his understanding of the self in its relation to God and of the self in its relation to the world. With Kant, and against Leibniz, Schleiermacher argues that individuals genuinely interact with one another; this is a qualified monadic individualism in which transcendental freedom also plays a role. In the Monologen, Schleiermacher presents his vision of the transcendentally free being who expresses himself or herself into the world. The self has no reflexive access to itself aside from the way that it unites its representations and constructs its world; in a play on Leibniz's idea of the self as the mirror of the world, Schleiermacher affirms that ‘the world is spirit's most beautiful work, its self-created mirror’. Here, Schleiermacher is well on his way to one of the fundamental ideas behind the Dialectic and The Christian Faith, namely, that the rule through which a person connects representations and thereby represents the world to himself or herself is seamlessly integrated with his or her desires, and hence with his or her actions. All are elements of the person's self-expression, itself the product of the transcendental activity of the self. The self knows itself through this expressive activity, which is received and reflected back to it through the activity of others.

Keywords:   Kant, Leibniz, transcendental freedom, monads, God, world, absolute, inner fire, fonds, fulgurations

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