Dialectic of Love: Platonism in Schiller's Aesthetics by David Pugh

By David Pugh

Unravelling the contradictions and complexities of Friedrich Schiller's aesthetic idea, David Pugh illuminates the interior dynamics of those writings and locations them inside a much wider philosophical and cultural context. sleek discussions are likely to concentrate on Schiller's inspiration when it comes to the Enlightenment, yet Pugh argues that his principles have a better affinity with historic and Renaissance inspiration. this article analyzes the arguments of Schiller's significant writings on aesthetics and argues that his philosphical idea, theories, and ideas are attribute of the Platonic culture. Schiller's notion of good looks is visible as synthesis, the elegant as separation. Pugh connects those suggestions to Aristotle's critique of Plato's concept of principles, within which he issues out an aporia of chorismos (separation) and methexis (participation), and argues that good looks and the chic in Schiller's concept function basically as metaphysical kin of methexis and chorismos and simply secondarily as aesthetic techniques. whereas Schiller, Pugh finds, isn't compatible for the function of champion of the Enlightenment, he continues to be a very important determine within the transmission of the Platonic culture to trendy idealism and within the aesthetic software of that metaphysical background.

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The reader who can appreciate such later masterpieces as "Der Spaziergang" or Maria Stuart must also acknowledge that Schiller's philosophical phase had served a useful purpose. Like so many others, Windelband links Schiller to Kant, for the reason that Kant was the philosopher Schiller studied most intensively. "44 The impression conveyed here, namely, that Kant confirmed Schiller's own convictions rather than provided him with new ones, is borne out by the finely balanced formulation of Wilhelm von Humboldt, one of the most sympathetic contemporary observers of Schiller's personality and work: "He did not take anything from him [Kant]; the seeds of the ideas developed in Uber Anmut und Wiirde and the Asthetische Briefe lie in what he wrote before becoming acquainted with the Kantian philosophy, and they represent merely the inner and original disposition of his mind.

It is the contention of this study that the Platonic character of Schiller's thought is manifested not merely in certain easily recognizable concepts 18 Dialectic of Love or metaphors and not merely in its striving for transcendence, which we have termed its pathos, but also in the strained logic of the system he attempted to erect. Schiller's logic, I shall argue, reflects his struggle with the Platonic metaphysical heritage and its inherent dilemmas. Although this heritage reached him by indirect paths and although he was consequently unaware of its ultimate sources, there is still merit in placing him in the context of this older and wider tradition.

Panofsky reprints the Italian text of Bellori's speech, which was published in 1672 as introduction to his Le vite de' pittori, scultori et architetti moderni, as second appendix on pp. 154-77. A German version exists under the title Die Idee des Kunstlers. For Bellori's influence on Winckelmann, see Panofsky, Idea, p. 242, n. 22. 59. Quoted from Marsile Ficin [Marsilio Ficino], Theologieplatonicienne, vol. 2, pp. 16667. Unless otherwise stated, further quotations from this work are taken from the Marcel edition with my own English translation.

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