Abstract and Keywords
The chapter illuminates the background conditions for the centrality of ‘freedom’ as a philosophical preoccupation of nineteenth-century German philosophy, and argues that understanding the force of the attraction of Hellenic thought and culture for German thinkers from the Weimar classicists to Nietzsche is crucial for appreciating the variety of approaches to ‘freedom’ in that era, especially in the context of post-Kantian reactions to the Critical philosophy. Though the Greek legacy was indisputably a rich source of philosophical inspiration for late modern thinkers, it came to exercise its own kind of tyranny, which could not be overcome until the progress of German scholarship in this ‘golden age’ gradually dispelled the illusions that had long sustained it.
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