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1. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 2
Emmanuel Chaput Madness, Habit and the Genius: On Hegel’s Theory of Embodiment
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In this paper, I explore Hegel’s concept of freedom as self-liberation. I consider the struggle between the soul and the body within Hegel’s Anthropology as an example of how conflict can act as a condition for asserting one’s freedom through self-improvement or Bildung. In this regard, there are reminiscent aspects of the famous ‘Lordship and Bondage’ dialectic within Hegel’s treatment of the body-soul relation. If the initial dominion of nature over the soul can be described as madness for Hegel, habit constitutes the mean through which spirit acquires its freedom.
2. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 2
Seyed Masoud Hosseini Fichte’s Contribution to German Aesthetics
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In aesthetics/philosophy of art, Fichte did not produce works as great as Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment or Hegel’s Lectures on Aesthetics. As a result, it was long believed that he had no role to play in the aesthetics of German idealism. Nevertheless, there are a few works in which we can identify the materials for developing an innovative philosophy of art. In this article, it is argued that Fichte takes two fundamental steps in aesthetics: 1) by transferring the weight of the discussion of aesthetics to the philosophy of artistic creation, he makes, as it were, a Copernican revolution in aesthetics and thus transforms the aesthetics of taste into a philosophy of art based on the creative spirit; 2) he raises the status of aesthetics (in fact, the aesthetic sense) to the level of “a (or the) condition for the possibility of philosophy.”
3. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 2
Norman Schultz The Fear of Relativism: Dilthey’s Theory of Worldviews between Historicism and Ahistoricity
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The central thesis of this article posits that Dilthey’s theory of worldviews initially leans towards historical relativism but ultimately reverts to an unsuccessful ahistorical solution involving the classification of universal types of worldviews. To substantiate this thesis, I will elucidate how Dilthey’s position emerged amidst the intellectual conflicts of materialism, Neo-Kantianism, and its relationship to historicism. Focusing on Dilthey’s seminal work, ‘The Types of Worldview’ (1911), I will explore how, in response to the constraints of his era and a prevailing fear of relativism, Dilthey ultimately adopts an ahistoricist approach, as exemplified in his brief exchange with Husserl. In conclusion, this article contends that Dilthey’s hermeneutics represents a partial foray into a genuinely historicist philosophy but falls short of fully justifying historical, objective knowledge.
4. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 2
Ligeng Zhang Does Truth Have Degrees? Bradley’s Doctrine of Degrees of Truth
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What is the nature of truth? This question has been answered by philosophers in quite different ways, while F. H. Bradley asserts that truths have degrees and that no proposition can be stated to be simply true or false. In this paper, I briefly illustrate what he calls the doctrine of degrees of truth and try to address the problems it entails. I first explain what he means by truth and error/falsehood (he does not make a clear distinction between the two terms); then, I concentrate on his criticisms of three theories of truth, followed by a discussion of his own identity theory of truth. I will be focusing on his doctrine of the degrees of truth and highlight its difficulties. I show that his theory faces some insurmountable difficulties, and it should be motivated by a particular form of monism that he insisted on, saying existence monism.
5. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 1
Joshua M. Hall Schiller’s Dancing Vanguard: From Grace and Dignity to Utopian Freedom
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Against caricatures of the poet-philosopher Friedrich Schiller as an unoriginal popularizer of Kant, or a forerunner of totalitarianism, Frederick Beiser reinterprets him as an innovative, classical republican, broadening his analysis to include Schiller’s poetry, plays, and essays not widely available in English translation, such as the remarkable essay, “On Grace and Dignity.” In that spirit, the present article argues that the latter text, misperceived by Anglophone critics as self-contradictory, is better understood as centering on gender and dance. In brief, grace is a virtuous power of beautiful gestures associated with women, while dignity is a power of sublime gestures associated with men, and the improvised combination thereof is a divinely androgynous power of gesture that I term “stateliness,” in a three-step choreography of aesthetic education.
6. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 1
Peter Luba Rancière’s American Heritage: Transitory Concepts and Gestural Pragmatism
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The main aim of the article is to elucidate and trace Jacques Rancière’s American pragmatic heritage. This is exemplified by several (anti)conceptual methods of thinking that the French theorist shares with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, and William James. The article examines their shared notions of the symbolic order, transitoriness of concepts, and subjectivization as a way of democratic empowerment of an individual. These three key ideas are then illustrated in the interpreta-tive praxis with Cy Twombly’s anti-conceptual style of painting and the fluid poetry of Frank O’Hara. The conclusion leads to a synthesis of all of these neo-pragmatic approaches into an innovative way of perceiving art and life—through the minute gestures and movements of thought, which are considered by all these thinkers to be more substantial than the substantive concepts themselves.
7. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 1
Dylan Shaul Plato and Descartes in Levinas’s Totality and Infinity: Teaching the Good and the Infinite
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This article investigates Levinas’s readings of Plato and Descartes in Totality and Infinity, in relation to the question of teaching. Levinas identifies Plato’s Form of the Good and Descartes’s idea of the infinite as two models for his own conception of the Other. Yet while Levinas lauds Descartes’s theory of teaching, he is highly critical of Plato’s. Plato’s theory of teaching as recollection or maieutics is judged by Levinas to display merely the circular return of the Same to its own interiority. In contrast, the Cartesian God supplies the idea of the infinite to a subject incapable of generating it for itself, offering an account of teaching that respects the Other’s transcendent exteriority. I nonetheless argue for the possibility of a rapprochement between Levinas and Plato with regard to teaching. Ultimately, this serves to bolster Levinas’s own theory of teaching, for which both Plato and Descartes can rightly serve as fitting predecessors.
8. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 1
Amir Yaretzky Schelling and the Priority of Philosophy to Art
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In his early writings up unto his so-called “middle period” Schelling treats art as having a crucial role with respect to philosophy. Yet there is no consensus in the secondary literature as to the nature of this role, and the extent to which Schelling changed his mind on the subject. The paper will defend the claim that Schelling holds consistently, from his early texts to the Philosophy of Art, that philosophy is in some sense prior to art while essentially dependent on it. The paper will explore the development of this position from various perspectives. This will shed light on Schelling’s view on both art and philosophy and his view that in the future the two will merge.
book review
9. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 53 > Issue: 1
Khafiz Kerimov The Shadow of God: Kant, Hegel, and the Passage from Heaven to History, by Michael Rosen
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10. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 3
Tal Meir Giladi Hegel on International Recognition
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Scholars have recently argued that Hegel posited international recognition as a necessary feature of international relations. My main effort in this article is to disprove this point. Specifically, I show that since Hegel rejected the notion of an international legal system, he must hold that international recognition depends on the arbitrary will of individual states. To pinpoint Hegel’s position, I offer a close reading of Hegel’s intricate formulations from the final paragraphs of the Philosophy of Right—formulations that are easy to quote out of context just as they are transparent when considered in due context.
11. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 3
Bennett Gilbert Two and One-Half Arguments for Idealism
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John Foster, an Oxford analytical philosopher, and Borden Parker Bowne, the founder of “Boston Personalism” at the turn of the twentieth century both presented unique arguments for idealism that are deeply different from one another. Because neither is now well known, this paper lays out their reasoning as carefully and as clearly as possible, finding Bowne’s case for personalist idealism to be the stronger of the two in terms of ontology. But the inquiry is framed on the problems of the moral affordances of ontology and of the need of moral philosophy for grounding in ontology. Although this is a very large area, a partial conclusion—the “half argument” of the title—is drawn for further development.
12. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 3
Georg Oswald Kant, Schelling, and Hegel on How to Conceive Matter from a Metaphysical Point of View
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Kant, Schelling, and Hegel research has frequently highlighted differences when considering their three respective concepts of philoso-phy. Especially with regard to natural philosophy, there seems to be little common ground between them. In my paper, however, I want to revise this perspective, picking up on what brings them together. Taking the concept of matter as my primary example, I will argue that neither Kant nor Schelling nor Hegel are interested in conceiving of nature from the viewpoint of empirical observation and as independent of the subject. Rather, their respective philosophical inquiries into nature’s first prin-ciples hinge on critical examinations of reason, providing all three with the conceptual resources to address nature from a metaphysical point of view that is ultimately bound up with rational beings.
13. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 3
Alexander Sattar Positive Aesthetic Pleasure in Early Schopenhauer: Two Kantian Accounts
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Schopenhauer is widely held to accommodate no positive aesthetic pleasure. While this may be the case in his mature oeuvre overall, where he insists on the negative character of all gratification, I reconstruct two early accounts of such pleasure in his manuscripts, both of which are a direct result of Schopenhauer’s engagement with Kant’s first and third Critiques. To do so, I analyze his so-called metaphysics of the ‘better consciousness’ and his transition from it to the metaphysics of will (roughly 1811–14). The first account turns out to be an almost literal adoption of Kant’s theory of aesthetic experience as revealing the supersensible character of nature and the cognizing subject. Likewise, Schopenhauer’s second account is a version of the CJ theory of the free interplay of cognitive faculties. These accounts have been underappreciated in Schopenhauer scholarship, but recognizing their importance for the development of his philosophy is essential for gaining a fuller picture of his aesthetics.
book reviews
14. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 3
Juan Rivera Castro Bernardo Kastrup: Decoding Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics: The Key to Understanding How It Solves the Hard Problem of Consciousness and the Paradoxes of Quantum Mechanics
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15. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 3
Robb Dunphy Stephen Houlgate. Hegel on Being Volume One: Quality and the Birth of Quantity in Hegel’s ‘Science of Logic’ and Hegel on Being Volume Two: Quantity and Measure in Hegel’s ‘Science of Logic’
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16. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Joshua M. Hall Pregnant Materialist Natural Law: Bloch and Spartacus’s Priestess of Dionysus
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In this article, I explore two neglected works by the twentieth-century Jewish German Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Left and Natural Law and Human Dignity. Drawing on previous analyses of leftist Aristotelians and natural law, I blend Bloch’s two texts’ concepts of pregnant matter and maternal law into “pregnant materialist natural law.” More precisely, Aristotelian Left articulates a concept of matter as a dynamic, impersonal agential force, ever pregnant with possible forms delivered by artist-midwives, building Bloch’s messianic utopia. And Natural Law resurrects the Stoics’ concept of natural law as drawing on a prehistoric matriarchal utopia, later channeled by earth goddess cults misconstrued by the nineteenth-century German anthropologist Johann Jakob Bachofen as political matriarchy. I then conclude by linking this pregnant materialist natural law to Dionysus as son of the Great Mother Goddess. Though stigmatized throughout homophobic Western history for his queerness and maternal dependence, Dionysus is also the patron god of Bloch’s hero, the slave revolutionary Spartacus, paramour of a priestess of Dionysus who prophesied his divine mission of liberation.
17. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Karl Kraatz Martin Heidegger's Transcendental Ontology: The Necessity of a Factical Transcendental Subject
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Heidegger’s criticism of the transcendental philosophy of Kant and Husserl is primarily leveled at its underlying understanding of the transcendental subject. Heidegger argues that in order to give an adequate account of the intelligibility of the world, the transcendental subject must be factical. By discussing central aspects of Heidegger’s criticism, this paper shows that his notion of a factical transcendental subject is a necessary step out of aporias of transcendental philosophy. I argue that Heidegger’s emphasis on the facticity of the human being must be understood not as an abandonment of the transcendental standpoint, but as a radicalization of its central ideas. Heidegger is thereby transforming transcendental philosophy into a transcendental ontology. I demonstrate that this allows Heidegger to reconceptualize the constitution of the world as social and historical without having to jettison the role of the transcendental subject.
18. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Yady Oren Fichte's Turn from Absolute I to Absolute Knowledge
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Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre of 1801/2 is considered to be the beginning of his late phase. In this phase he supposedly alters his earlier thinking and, instead of the transcendental unity of the I, conceptualizes a higher transcendent and simple unity; a unity that has been claimed to correspond to Neoplatonism. I refute these two arguments here. First, through a comparison between the Wissenschaftslehre of 1801/2 and that of 1794/5, I show that both versions contain a similar analysis of the supreme unity. Second, I show that in 1801/2 Fichte explicitly dissociates the supreme unity from transcendence and simplicity. His conception of the supreme unity in fact levels a critique upon such concept of unity. Instead of the transcendent One, which is hierarchically prior to multiplicity, Fichte formulates in both 1794/5 and 1801/2 a complicated concept of the supreme unity. On Fichte’s account, this unity “hovers” between multiplicity and unity as simplicity.
19. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Juan José Rodríguez A Dark Nature: Schelling on the World and Freedom in the Years 1806–1810
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The main aim of this work is to indirectly display, through an analysis of the concepts of world, God, and human freedom, the shift from a harmonious concept of nature to another chaotic, darker, and pre-rational. It is important to relate this transformation, which takes place around 1807, to (I) the change in Schelling’s ideas about the relationship between God and the world to weaken a previous Spinozist monistic standpoint. These changes in turn affect Schelling’s view of the concept of unity. He now modifies the notions of immanence and pantheism in favour of a (II) dualistic doctrine of particular and finite existence that we could relate to Kierkegaard and later existentialists. Finally, (III) we introduce Schelling’s theory of love. Love is a mode of union through free will and personal choice that neutralizes the totalizing metaphysics of identity associated to the systematic construction of idealism from Spinoza to Hegel, and that Schelling criticizes, in his middle and late philosophy, as a resource to a self-transparent and overdetermining Absolute.
book review
20. Idealistic Studies: Volume > 52 > Issue: 2
Renxiang Liu George di Giovanni. Hegel and the Challenge of Spinoza: A Study in German Idealism, 1801–1831
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