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Interpreting the Fichte-Studien

Interpreting the Fichte-Studien

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter One Interpreting the Fichte-Studien
Source:
The Romantic Absolute
Author(s):
Dalia Nassar
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226084237.003.0002

This chapter focuses on Novalis’ so-called Fichte-Studien (1795-6), which Manfred Frank has described as the “most important contribution to philosophical romanticism.” It considers two competing interpretations of the Fichte-Studien and of Novalis’ relationship to Fichte, and argues that both overemphasize the significance and coherence of the text. The chapter illustrates that in these early notes, Novalis develops two mutually exclusive conceptions of being, only one of which remains in his later writings, and show that the conception of the work of art presented in the Fichte-Studien does not suggest an original or unique understanding of the meaning or role of art— but in fact mirrors Fichte’s understanding. The chapter concludes with the claim that, while the Fichte-Studien can offer insights into Novalis’ questions and concerns, it does not offer a consistent and cohesive philosophical worldview and must therefore be read alongside Novalis’ later writings.

Keywords:   Friedrich von Hardenberg, Fichte-Studien, Fichte, Wissenschaftslehre, transcendental philosophy, German romanticism, German idealism, history of philosophy, the unconditioned, the absolute

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