Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Genealogy of the Romantic Symbol$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nicholas Halmi

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212415.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2019

Uses of Philosophy

Uses of Philosophy

Chapter:
(p.63) 3 Uses of Philosophy
Source:
The Genealogy of the Romantic Symbol
Author(s):

Nicholas Halmi (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212415.003.0003

This chapter argues that the Enlightenment in its multiplicity made the Romantic concept of a universal and inherently meaningful symbolism not only intellectually desirable, but philosophically possible. Four developments, each entailing in its way a rejection of dualism, were crucial: (1) the non-subjectivist recuperation of sensible intuition in the disciplines comprising ‘ natural history’; (2) the interpretation of humanity's cognitive relation to nature in terms of a microcosm-macrocosm analogy; (3) the increased acceptance of metaphysical monism after the reported affirmation of Spinoza's philosophy by the much-admired Lessing; and (4) the replacement of mechanistic with vitalist theories of matter in the later 18th century. These developments were not necessarily compatible with each other: vitalism, for example, rejected the mechanistic concepts that Spinoza applied more rigorously and comprehensively than anyone else. But by a process of syncretic assimilation the Romantics, especially Schelling (with active encouragement from Goethe), undertook to develop out of the various anti-dualist tendencies in Enlightenment thought ‘a markedly unified interpretation of matter and spirit, of nature and history, as elements of a single ascending process’ — in short, the Naturphilosophie on which the claims for the symbol would be based.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, Romantics, symbol, natural history, humanity, nature, metaphysical monism, Spinoza, Lessing, vitalism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .