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Chapter 1 begins with an overview of Hegel’s life. This chapter offers an introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and explains the role of the work vis-à-vis what Hegel calls “science.” The work is intended to refute different forms of dualistic thinking. A close reading of his analysis of the lord and the bondsman and the unhappy consciousness from the “Self-Consciousness” chapter is given. Hegel’s account of intersubjective recognition is explored. Self-consciousness is our awareness of ourselves in contrast to our awareness of objects. We like to think of ourselves as independent individuals. We know who we are, regardless of what the circumstances are or what others might think of us. But Hegel goes through a series of arguments to refute this view of common sense. He demonstrates that our awareness of ourselves is in fact dependent on other people. It is argued that the Phenomenology can be read as a book primarily about alienation. At each level in the work, there is some kind of other that confronts the human mind. The goal is to work through these different conceptions and overcome them by showing the deeper, hidden unity.
Spinoza’s philosophy of mind has been subject to widely divergent interpretations. What explains this lack of consensus? The principal reason is that Spinoza’s notion of an attribute and its relation to his substance monism is poorly understood. This chapter begins by setting out some interpretative difficulties regarding Spinoza’s notion of an attribute in general. It will then explain Spinoza’s conception of the attributes of thought and extension in particular. Next, it will explain how Spinoza argues for the structural similarity of the mental and physical realms from his claim that the mind and the body are one and the same thing conceived under different attributes. This will require developing a new interpretation of Spinoza’s notion of attribute. This interpretation will both explain why his philosophy of mind has been subject to such contradictory interpretations as well as solve a host of interpretative difficulties that have long vexed commentators. The chapter will conclude by explaining how Spinoza’s denial of mind-body causal explanation is compatible with his assertion of mind-body identity.
The empiricist legacy of John Locke developed in various directions in the British Romantic period, especially informing the movement known as theological utilitarianism, which taught ethics based on prudence and sought evidences for a benevolent, Christian God as designer of the world. This approach was challenged, however, above all by the idealism of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who drew on Platonic and recent German sources. Further, newly translated Hindu texts influenced both metaphysical speculation and practical recommendations of a life of moderation and self-denial, including in the work of several female novelists in the period.
This chapter reviews how the early post-Kantians perceived the need of reforming Kant’s Critique in order to complete the philosophical revolution it had initiated. In 1785, Jacobi had brought Spinoza to the discussion, claiming that his monism undermined human freedom and personality. He further claimed that this monism was the logical conclusion of all philosophy. The post-Kantians’ task was thus threefold: (1) to demonstrate that personalism is consistent which monism, which they in principle accepted as the necessary standpoint of reason; (2) to show that Kant’s idealism could be the basis for the desired personalism; and (3) to overcome what they took to be the formalism of Kant’s system that stood in the way of it. All this came down to ridding the system of its presumed unknown “thing-in-itself” while finding a principle that would unify it internally, not just by means of external reflection. Fichte had attempted this with his “I.” Even more important, however, was his analysis of feeling, which he considered the concrete counterpart of the “I” and which, as in the feeling of guilt, brought reason and nature together. This was the synthesis that the post-Kantian idealists explored in their different ways.
This chapter explores the portrayal of Chicago in the fiction of Saul Bellow, examining the conflict between materialism and visionary idealism that lies at the heart of his work. Starting from the stereotypical characterization of Chicago as the home of brute matter, cynical pragmatism, and the mass production of commodities and physical things, the chapter traces Bellow’s autobiographical search for hidden spiritual truths, connecting this to the Jewish notion of being exiled in a foreign land, vestiges of the soul or the spirit disguised among the quotidian ugliness of industrial America. This conflict between things and ideas, matter and spirit, morality and “the hustle” of economic life, draws on both the conflicts of Bellow’s early life and the wider patterns of Jewish immigration and assimilation. Chicago appears in Bellow’s work as both an overwhelming physical presence and a metaphysical absence, linked to the emptiness of the prairies and haunted by the Jewish-Russian past of Bellow’s family. These contradictions and paradoxes are traced through a close reading of Bellow’s short fiction, as well as his major novels The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Humboldt’s Gift.
Hegel and the Challenge of Spinoza explores the powerful continuing influence of Spinoza's metaphysical thinking in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century German philosophy. George di Giovanni examines the ways in which Hegel's own metaphysics sought to meet the challenges posed by Spinoza's monism, not by disproving monism, but by rendering it moot. In this, di Giovanni argues, Hegel was much closer in spirit to Kant and Fichte than to Schelling. This book will be of interest to students and researchers interested in post-Kantian Idealism, Romanticism, and metaphysics.
This chapter examines the nature and the origins of what it identifies as a distinctively Romantic view of music. According to this, the purpose of music is to provide non-linguistic knowledge or insight, most usually into one’s inner self or, especially, into the fundamental nature of reality. The chapter starts by charting some key moments in the philosophical background of the 1780s and ’90s. Building on this, it traces the emergence of the Romantic view of music in the works of the two philosophers most closely involved in its earliest formulations: Friedrich Schlegel and Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg (better known by his pen name Novalis). It concludes with brief examinations of the ways in which this view was elaborated by two now-canonical philosophers of this era, Friedrich Schelling and Arthur Schopenhauer, and with a reflection on the subsequent influence of this view.
Chapter 3 further establishes the significance of Aristotelian virtue theory within the landscape of British moral philosophy, where it has been almost entirely neglected. It begins with the 1874 publication of Henry Sidgwick’s The Methods of Ethics, which was a significant literary event because it identified virtue ethics with “aesthetic” modes of reasoning. An Aristotelian conception of stylistic character subsequently flourished in the philosophical writings of J.S. Mill, John Grote, T.H. Green, and Bernard Bosanquet, all of whom rejected the dissociation of ethics from aesthetics and imagined character as an aesthetic realization of the self. In this way, philosophers in the Aristotelian tradition provided an ethical justification for aesthetic autonomy and the character-based formalism of Victorian stylistic criticism.
In this chapter, I endeavor to weave together a complex series of European legal developments connected with the emergence of intellectual property. I begin by tracing the emergence of intellectual property in France, focusing on the context for this development in the revolutionary processes through which a new French nation was formed, and on the ambivalent implications of national codification for intellectual property in France. I then go back to the Reformation, pointing out the significance of Calvinist and Lutheran legal dcotrines for jurisprudential traditions carrying new conceptions of sovereignty and natural rights. Shifting to the legacies of these traditions for legal and administrative theories that developed in German-speaking lands, we see early foundations for a new jurisprudential narrative that becomes vital to the substantive rationale of intellectual property in our own time: progressivism. The upshot of these complex developments is a paradoxical linkage between bureaucratic impersonalism in the formal application of legal doctrines and an idealizing personalism in the agentive capacities of individual human beings: the idolizing of "genius."
Chapter 2 focuses on the debate about war prevention in the Bryce Group, the first pro-league circle in Britain. While scholars have tended to associate the pro-league activists with utopianism, some focused studies of the group have mostly depicted its post-war plan as a product of realistic thinking. This chapter reveals that their early thinking defies simple categorisation. Not only was their war prevention plan realistic about the role of armed force, but it also depended critically on idealistic expectations about the moral force of public opinion. Realistic and idealistic views could rarely be separated, and both of them developed the group’s plan for peace which incorporated the collective use of force as a crucial element of the post-war order. Although the group attempted to maintain a balance between the two views, the result was inconsistencies and contradictions, which remained in the war prevention system of the League of Nations.
We need to understand neuroscience as an emanation of artificial intelligence. By that, a range of methods is being used to understand not only how the brain functions but also how it might be brought to function. Such neural change will increasingly come from connecting the brain to external sources of intelligence, both artificial and human. Yet the algorithms that are driving these developments are not neutral. As the world is itself increasingly being claimed to be algorithmic, we need to see not only that algorithms – and the data they interpret – are designed but that this design carries personal and cultural presumptions. We are re-creating the world through algorithms and that is both a form of idealism and one which is, because of that cultural frame, mythological in the sense of the dominant social dynamic. That is, because algorithmic designs are not determined by each individual, they are technologies of subjection, willing embraced or imposed. They are formative not only of the world but also of the individual self. This process is as evident in virtual and augmented realities as it is in clinical neuroscience.
Ibsen, who originally wanted to be a painter, came of age at a time when theatre and painting were still considered closely connected art forms. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, painters would paint scenes from plays, and playwrights would create plays inspired by paintings. In their salons, the aristocracy admired pictorial performances known as ‘attitudes’ or ‘living sculptures’ and staged tableaux vivants, theatrical enactments of famous paintings. The constant interaction between the ‘sister arts’ created an aesthetic environment in which it felt natural to think about paintings in dramatic terms and about drama in painterly terms. Thus Ibsen was inspired by painters such as the English Pre-Raphaelites and the Swiss Arnold Böcklin.
Throughout his career, from relatively early works like ‘Terje Vigen’ and Peer Gynt to modern plays like The Wild Duck, The Lady from the Sea, Hedda Gabler, John Gabriel Borkman and When We Dead Awaken, Ibsen included traditional painterly tableaux in his works. But modernism swept away the idea of ‘sister arts’. Although Ibsen never abandoned his traditional understanding of painting, this chapter shows that in his contemporary plays his traditional visual aesthetics emerges as a seamless part of a new, radically modern vision.
Ibsen, more than any other playwright, established realism as a vital mode in the theatre. The nature of Ibsen’s realism, however, warrants careful description. Realism for Ibsen is simultaneously a theatrical technique and a philosophical stance. We find realism at work in Ibsen’s dialogue, scenery and characterization, as well as in the plays’ relentless critique of bourgeois ideals. Ibsen was not the first realist dramatist, but he remains its most influential practitioner. This legacy is somewhat ironic, given the disturbing surreality that leeches through the realist surface of his plays. And yet, the spark of recognition the plays continue to ignite bears witness to realism’s effectiveness, as audiences continue to find themselves represented, in all their faults, in his towering dramas.
The chapter outlines four major currents in academic Ibsen criticism, all of which have their roots in how Ibsen’s plays were received as early as the 1860s. The modernist Ibsen stems from his well-known inscrutability, and reached its peak in the criticism of the mid-twentieth century. Critics focusing on the realist Ibsen typically highlight his power as a social critic, in the tradition of George Bernard Shaw’s The Quintessence of Ibsenism from 1890. The image of an idealist Ibsen emerges from the seemingly indefatigable existence of lofty ideals in his work, ideals that remain in sight whether or not they prove tragically unfulfilled. Finally, there is a romantic-demonic Ibsen, particularly analysed by G. Wilson Knight and Harold Bloom, which emphasizes the playwright’s tendency to first and foremost delight in his own aestheticized transgressions of ordinary morality.
Situating Cassirer in a historical perspective, Daniel D. Dahlstrom's chapter casts light on prominent lines of convergence and divergence between Husserl’s phenomenological analyses and Cassirer’s philosophical studies. The general topic of the first line of convergence is logical theory, as Husserl and Cassirer both argue for the autonomy of logic, the promise of set theory, and the intensionality of concepts. Other lines of agreement include their common rejection of empiricist accounts of abstraction and universals, their embrace of a Kantian philosophical legacy, and their respective commitments to the primacy of meaning and self-described versions of idealism. Nevertheless, the philosophies of Husserl and Cassirer diverge from one another in significant ways, primarily in view of the thematic range of their investigations and their respective insistence upon intuition and the sign or symbol as the basis of human consciousness and cognition. Dahlstrom focuses on differences in Husserl and Cassirer's analyses of intuitions and perceptions that Cassirer himself also pronounced.
We can find in the passages that set out the Master Argument a precursor to the paradox of knowability. That paradox shows that if all truths are knowable, all truths are known. Similarly, Berkeley might be read as proposing that if all sensible objects are (distinctly) conceivable, then all sensible objects are conceived.
Ernst Mach’s works have often been interpreted as presenting some version of idealism, such as phenomenalism. However, Erik C. Banks’ recent case for the rival neutral monist reading seems persuasive. But it still leaves a problem: how to explain why so many intelligent and thoughtful readers, some of them sympathetic to Mach, thought of him instead as some kind of idealist. I set out the major factors which tempt people into reading Mach thus and assess the strengths and weaknesses of these two readings.
This chapter examines selected materialist frameworks that have guided research in environmental sociology over the last four decades. In doing so, we elaborate on approaches that have brought questions about the relationship between political-economic and ecological processes to the fore. We consider the significance of adopting a materialist orientation when conducting sociological research in relation to other more social constructionist-oriented approaches. The chapter provides a brief overview of some well-known theories in environmental sociology that fall broadly within a materialist framework and are strongly influenced by the Marxist tradition: treadmill of production, second contradiction of capitalism, social metabolism, critical human ecology, and tragedy of the commodity. These approaches have theorized on the ways in which capitalism, or the capital system, has played a major role in shaping particular kinds of socio-ecological processes.
Chapter 1: This chapter starts by tracing the development of objectivity in both science and theatre through classical and early modern theatre, in which it was a fairly unimportant epistemic virtue, into the late eighteenth century where objectivity begins to emerge through the idealizations of ‘Truth-to-Nature’ in biology and in literary and theatrical Romanticism. Although some conceptions of scientific objectivity and observation treat these as virtuous by the extent to which they rise above personal or historical bias, the practice and theory of both objectivity and observation have changed through history. Drawing on the work of Lorraine Daston and others, the chapter goes on to show that the emergence of modern (‘mechanical’) objectivity, and a new relationship with observation, mark both nineteenth-century science and Naturalist theatre. Making the comparison explains some of the antitheatrical claims of Naturalist authors and the contradictions of Naturalist practice. As nineteenth-century ‘objectivity’ is superseded, so the theatrical figuration of science gravitates towards areas of ambiguity, chaos, and indeterminacy.
Mahler in Context explores the institutions, artists, thinkers, cultural movements, socio-political conditions, and personal relationships that shaped Mahler's creative output. Focusing on the contexts surrounding the artist, the collection provides a sense of the complex crosscurrents against which Mahler was reacting as conductor, composer, and human being. Topics explored include his youth and training, performing career, creative activity, spiritual and philosophical influences, and his reception after his death. Together, this collection of specially commissioned essays offers a wide-ranging investigation of the ecology surrounding Mahler as a composer and a fuller appreciation of the topics that occupied his mind as he conceived his works. Readers will benefit from engagement with lesser known dimensions of Mahler's life. Through this broader contextual approach, this book will serve as a valuable and unique resource for students, scholars, and a general readership.