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A Living Organon of the Sciences

A Living Organon of the Sciences

(p.71) Chapter Four A Living Organon of the Sciences
The Romantic Absolute
Dalia Nassar
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the meaning and implication of this claim, and elaborates Novalis’ conception of an “encyclopedia” of knowledge. It argues that for Novalis the artistic or creative mind is most able to grasp nature, precisely because the artist, through the creation of works of art or “living thoughts,” partakes in the activity or productivity of nature. The chapter illustrates that, although the work of the creative mind transforms nature, this transformation does not imply falsification, but a higher manifestation of nature— a manifestation that discerns the fundamental characteristics of the natural phenomena and articulates them with intention and clarity. It also shows that for Novalis, the encyclopedia of knowledge is not a closed and static system, but a dynamic open system, constructed to mirror the growth and development of the natural organism.

Keywords:   Friedrich von Hardenberg, Novalis, romantic encyclopedia, Friedrich Schlegel, romantic fragment, philosophy of nature, Naturphilosophie, history of philosophy, German romanticism

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