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date: 30 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter treats two main dimensions of German Romanticism. First, its development in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Jena, where Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) and Friedrich Schlegel crafted distinctive alternatives to German Idealism. Schlegel and, less so, Novalis forward philosophically interesting conceptions of dialectical subjectivity that are married to complex phenomenological accounts of the inherent tension between freedom in thought and being rooted in specific historical and linguistic contexts. Second is Friedrich Hölderlin, whose works suggest yet a different conception of dialectic, with more of an objective ontological cast. Here an innovative account of the imaginative function of memory in experientially unifying subjects internally in relation to nature plays a main role. These two camps of Romanticism significantly overlap in their concerns, although the emphasis on the operation of concrete history on thought in the Jena variety of Romanticism marks it as more modern in temperament.

Keywords: absolute, art, dialectic, irony, Romanticism

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