Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2009
This book contains work that has been in process for over fifteen years, and during that time I was greatly aided by the encouragement and advice of wonderful colleagues and students in many places: philosophers and scholars too numerous to mention here, but some of whom will perhaps recognize their influence in parts of the book that follow. Let this serve as a gesture of my thanks and deep appreciation for their time and thoughtful discussions. Three constellations of scholars deserve mention in connection with this book, all tied in one way or another to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): The NEH Summer Seminar “What is Enlightenment?” conducted by James Schmidt at Boston University during the bicentenary of the French Revolution, the NEH Workshop “Figuring the Self” conducted by David Klemm and Günter Zöller at the University of Iowa over the Spring semester of 1992, and the NEH Summer Institute for College Teachers on “Nature, Art and Politics after Kant: Reevaluating Early German Idealism” directed by Karl Ameriks and myself at Colorado State University in 2001. The participants at these NEH venues were truly inspired and inspiring, and without them much of this book would have remained unwritten, even unconceived.
I owe a special debt of gratitude to the faculty at the University of Cincinnati's Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures for the very formative time I spent there doing MA studies in German literature and aesthetics.