Why German Idealism Matters

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sciborg2

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« on: November 10, 2018, 07:49:29 am »
Why German Idealism Matters

"German idealism is an invitation to exercise our freedom of thought and to consider that what at first appears impossible may become necessary."

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Our sensory experience, attended to in earnest, reveals itself to be infinite, sublime; it is only after reflective consciousness has manufactured for us a finite, determined world that this infinity is obscured. In attempting to descend below the veil of transcendental reflection into the depths of the sensible, Schelling reverses the typical orientation of philosophy toward the intelligible. His aesthetic (un)grounding of philosophy is a challenge to the Hegelian notion that philosophy ought to overcome itself by arriving at a finished “system of science.” His Naturphilosophie is an infinite creative task, not a finished system. It is not a philosophy about nature but “Nature itself philosophizing” (autophusis philosophia), as he put it. Where Kantian philosophy put the human subject at the center, Schelling argued that “Nature is a priori.”

What makes the human being unique among earthly creatures is that it knows reality’s ground is incomprehensible. Wise to our ignorance, we can either use our new found freedom to flee upwards by way of idealistic transcendentalism, or we can fall deeper in love with cosmogenesis via a naturalistic and descendental approach. The former option, freedom without love, quickly devolves into alienation. Idealists like Kant and Fichte tried to overcome this devolution by privileging practical over theoretical philosophy. To save the possibility of love between free humans they had to deny the possibility of a loving knowledge of living nature. Schelling moved away from the modern equation of knowledge with power in favor of what Goethe termed a “gentle empiricism” or loving knowledge. Rather than recoiling from the abyss of the sensible to a supposedly stable intelligible ground, as transcendental philosophy does, Schelling dives heart first into its radiant darkness.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 09:03:18 pm »
Another Open Access freebie from Re Press:

Knowledge and Freedom: Essays in German Idealism

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In this important new work on the philosophy of German Idealism, Valkanov investigates the Kantian notion of the limits of human cognition and its implication for our understanding and practice of freedom. He then turns to the question of the connection between knowledge and freedom in the philosophy of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. Valkanov moves beyond the more traditional and formalized treatments of Kant, by applying the critical analysis of limitation, confusion and conflict to our own ways of thinking. This approach tests the stability of our conceptions and sense of certainty through a voluntary exposure to the destructive force of Kant’s transcendental critique. The result is a text which presents the essence of the arguments and exposes the passion that underpins the complex terminology and architectonics of transcendental philosophy. This ground-breaking work restores a sense of wonder at the depths of Kant’s transcendental discoveries, the immensity of the challenge that he posed and the intense, living connection between his work and the work of those who succeeded him.
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https://docs.google.com/document/d/12NfnxYU5ZSur-RahRNI-bNMnTjxE12vyGWmY46Xq2h0/edit

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