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8 Nietzsche and the fate of Romantic thought The old and the new Nietzsches The alternatives in some of the most controversial debates in recent philosophy often come down to whether what is at issue is in essence a Hegelian, or a Nietzschean position. The differences between Habermas and Rorty, or between the early Derrida and Davidson, for example, can be seen in these terms. These figures are all what Habermas would call ‘post metaphysical’ thinkers. However, despite their renunciation of the idea of a foundational ‘first philosophy’, Habermas and Davidson wish

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
From Kant to Nietzsche

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.

that, until recently, have made the analytical tradition so incapable of saying anything much about music that really matters? The links I have tried to establish between Romantic thought and contemporary pragmatism can be of further help here. A vital part of Rorty’s conception of language is suggested by his question: ‘At what point in biological evolution did organisms stop just coping with reality and start representing it?’ His answer is: ‘Maybe they never did start representing it’ (Rorty 1999 p. 269). In consequence: ‘there was no decisive moment at which

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Fichte, Hölderlin and Novalis

his late philosophy become obsessed with the problem of whether Idealist philosophy can overcome the contingency of the fact that there is a manifest world at all. There is, then, an essential tension in Idealist and Reflections on the subject 81 Romantic thought which resides in the uneasy coexistence of the (Idealist) desire to be able to say what it is in thinking that is unlimited, with an accompanying (Romantic) sense of the impossibility of saying it, an impossibility which seems to make the philosophical enterprise of grasping the absolute itself

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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Art as the ‘organ of philosophy’

‘the striving of intelligence to become conscious of its action as such continually fails’, which is why ‘the world becomes really objective for it’ (I/3 pp. 536–7) and requires the endless task of scientific explanation. Art also cannot provide an articulated ‘proof ’ of such unity, but the point of the 118 Aesthetics and subjectivity argument is precisely to suggest the importance of what art can show that cannot be said by philosophy. The reasons for the significance of music in Romantic thought already begin to become apparent here, though Schelling does not

in Aesthetics and subjectivity