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New Philosophical Ideals:

New Philosophical Ideals:

Schlegel’s Critique of First Principles

(p.89) Chapter Five New Philosophical Ideals:
The Romantic Absolute
Dalia Nassar
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores Schlegel’s earliest philosophical writings, including his review of Jacobi’s novel, Woldemar and critical notes on the Wissenschaftslehre from 1795-96. It elaborates Schlegel’s critique of Jacobi and of the notion of the unconditioned, and argues that for Schlegel, the idea of an unconditioned principle is problematic for two reasons. First, it implies an unjustified presupposition of the task and object of philosophy. Second, as unconditioned, the first principle of a system of knowledge necessarily remains outside of the system (outside of determination). Thus, although it determines the system, it remains undetermined, and hence unknown from within the system. The chapter concludes with an explication of Schlegel’s alternative to the notion of an unconditioned and the method of transcendental philosophy.

Keywords:   Friedrich Schlegel, Jacobi, Woldemar, Fichte, Wissenschaftslehre, transcendental philosophy, Wechselerweis, German romanticism, German idealism, the absolute

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