Hence, perfection can only be achieved by the species that Kant considers to be eternal. In fact, it might even be that the individual has to suffer a loss of contentment in the interest of promoting collective happiness. Because he surely abuses his liberty in respect to others. The means that nature uses to further historical development are primarily those of antagonism, struggle, revolution, and war. In this respect, Kant agrees with the Greek developmental theory that was based on the agon as the means for both individual and societal advancement.
In this developmental scheme, the individual epochs within the history of the West as well as the non-Western cultures cannot claim any inherent value apart from their contribution to the ultimate aim of progress. Herder developed exactly the opposite vision of history. He agrees with Kant that history is the continuation of natural evolution. But for him, cosmopolitanism is only one side of the historical coin. Certainly, the awareness of planetary cultural developments is a worthy and necessary project, yet it must not lead to the construction of an overarching process of cosmopolitan maturation that ultimately negates the right of existence of individual cultures.
History, Herder argues, always brings forth new and unique forms of social life that cannot be reduced to a universal, generic form. Rather, these individual expressions of human communality resist all efforts to construct a totalizing view of history. Weil eine Gestalt der Menschheit und ein Erdstrich es nicht fassen konnte, wards verteilt in tausend Gestalten, wandelt — ein ewiger Proteus! Because one form of humanity and one region could not contain it, it was split up into a thousand expressions, and wanders about — an eternal Proteus! For Herder, world history is a process of palingenesis, an eternal rebirth that is nevertheless not circular, but adheres to an upward movement.
This developmental scheme breaks with the principle of identity and emphasizes the insubsumable difference of all cultures. To the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, this intellectual position seems strikingly familiar. Anti-Rationalist Tendencies To equate the eighteenth century with the age of reason would be an unwarranted simplification and, hence, a falsification. One of the staunchest forces to oppose reason was that movement within Protestantism called Pietism. Pietism reached the apex of its development in the first half of the eighteenth century under the influence of August Hermann Francke — , the founder of an orphanage and educational institutions in Halle, and Count Zinzendorf — , the founder of the Herrnhut in Saxony, other Pietist colonies, and of the Church of Brethren.
Rather than right teaching orthodoxy , Pietism emphasized the practical moment of faith, the praxis pietatis. This practical faith placed substantial emphasis on humility, defended the necessity of a spiritual crisis that precedes conversion, advocated withdrawal from the world and the subsequent integration into a community of believers following the severing of previous social bonds, and elevated religious sentiment over all cognitive aspects of faith.
One of the strongest links between the religious movement of Pietism and the philosophical and literary circles of eighteenth century Germany was 37 Johann Georg Hamann — , who was raised as a Pietist. Hamann argued that reason cannot prove the existence of our selves and our reality, but these must be believed before they can be examined.
It follows that faith, too, is not a matter of reason, and can neither be logically demonstrated nor refuted, as faith does not rest on reason. Not the language of scientific inquiry or of rational exegesis provides us with ultimate insights, but poetry and love. Much like Hamann, Jacobi was also influenced by Pietist religiosity.
In his two novels, Aus Eduard Allwills Papieren —76 and Woldemar , he aimed to demonstrate the superiority of immediate sensations over abstract rationality. But this procedure necessarily leads to an infinite regress that moves from argument to argument without ever arriving at something absolutely certain. Hence, this mode of thinking is doomed to proceed without reaching a knowledge that is no longer contingent upon other facts. It is like a chain that is not anchored, it dangles within nothingness.
Therefore, Jacobi charged that rationalism led to nihilism a term that Jacobi introduces into the philosophical debate , the advocacy of nothingness. What man is looking for, however, namely the certainty of the absolute, will only reveal itself to him in religious sentiment. Yet in order to arrive at faith, a person must first free himself from the limitations of the rational method that blocks the access to the absolute. With these ideas, Jacobi influenced especially the early Romantics Novalis — , Schleiermacher — , and Schelling — , among others.
Novalis for example argued in his critique of Enlightenment that the hostility against organized religion eventually had to turn into hatred of all imagination and art. None of these artistic articulations found more genuine support by Enlightenment philosophy than any other. In fact, while some Enlightenment philosophers were also the authors of works of fiction — Diderot, Voltaire, Lessing, and Wieland readily come to mind — others were suspicious of the poetic imagination in general.
They argued that the fancy of the writers of fiction stems from the same source as the religious imagination, and both are equally prone to muddying the clear waters of reason. Hence, critical philosophy 42 must keep poetry from contaminating Enlightenment thought. By and large, however, Enlightenment thinkers supported freedom of artistic expression and did not seem to concern themselves with the stylistic form this expression took.
Shengren – Chapter – The Shengren or ‘Oriental Sage’ | The East-West dichotomy
One aspect of eighteenth-century thought, however, was meant to have a large impact on the intellectual history of the following time, and that is the emergence of philosophical aesthetics. Naturally, artists and thinkers have always reflected on the nature of art and beauty, but these two topics were not necessarily seen as interrelated. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten — introduced aesthetics as a separate philosophical discipline with the intention to strengthen the rationalist metaphysics of Leibniz and Wolff by emphasizing the epistemological relevance of sensual perception.
He argues that sensuality is not merely a hindrance or a truncated form of rational cognition, but rather its precondition. Furthermore, aesthetics has its own truth claim that retains the richness and multifacetedness of sensual material, an immediacy that gets lost in rational cognition. Baumgarten defines beauty as the perfection of sensual cognition, and hence art as the manifestation of the beautiful aims to represent the purposeful unity and harmony of the world. True art, however, depends on the correct application of rules which aesthetics as the science of art and beauty is to develop.
With this proposition, Baumgarten exerted some influence on the Regelpoetiken normative poetics of the eighteenth century that continued the baroque tradition of Opitz and others. While Baumgarten strove to gain acceptance for the cognitive relevance of the sensual and of art, Mendelssohn emphasized the pleasurable sensation induced by the perfection of art and beauty. His aesthetics constitute the link between the rationalism of Leibniz and Wolff and the aesthetics of the classicists Goethe, Schiller, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and others.
A judgment of taste, Kant argues, does not refer to any qualities of the object, but merely to the feeling of pleasure or displeasure experienced by the subject. It has no connection to our rational judgments, and hence beauty as the object of the judgment of taste does not relate to insight and cognition. Beauty grants us pleasure because the richness of the aesthetic material can never be subsumed under a concept. Art for Kant is the product of a genius, who is able to make a manmade product look as if it were created by nature.
Rather, the beautiful in art and nature functions as a symbol of the good. Yet for him, a stronger historical and anthropological grounding was necessary in order to convincingly establish aesthetics. Rather, the only way to create a republic of free and equal members is by detour through an aesthetic education that mediates between the natural state of man and the utopian vision of humanity.
Before philosophical aesthetics united systematic analysis with historical interpretations of art, especially in the works of Schelling and Hegel, two thinkers of the eighteenth century already combined detailed analyses of artworks with theoretical speculation: Johann Joachim Winckelmann and Lessing. To be successful, even to be original — as paradoxical as that may sound — mimesis was not to take nature as its origin, but rather the works of antiquity.
Although Winckelmann later insisted more strongly on the uniqueness of classical art and hence on the impossibility of repeating this period, he continued to uphold ancient art as normative instances for all artistic beauty. Such insistence on the sensual nature of beauty further strengthened the antirationalist tendencies of philosophical aesthetics as developed by Baumgarten.
While painting is spatial, poetry is temporal. From this difference Lessing concludes that literature is the superior art, for it has a wider variety of materials at its disposal, because unlike painting, it never arrests an image in a moment of time, but can always overcome even the most gruesome and disturbing moment by another more benign representation.
Painting and sculpture are unable to do so, their representations remain fixed, and are thus limited to more acceptable material. Lessing ultimately argues against the Horacian doctrine of ut pictura poesis, the theory that views literature as a form of painting. Philosophical aesthetics would soon advance from its marginal position in Enlightenment discourse to the center of philosophical debates. This form of reason was to be replaced by an aesthetic Symphilosophie, a use of thought aimed at the unification of its separate moments. However, the thinkers of the romantic generation no longer saw the highest unity, that is, the unity of the absolute, in operations of analytic reason, but rather in the experience of art.
Within one hundred years, the hierarchy of sensuality and reason, aesthetic perception and abstraction had been reversed. Situated between Leibniz and Schelling, the Enlightenment can from one perspective seem more a farewell to an old world than the dawn of a new age. In Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache Deutschlands, ed. Horst Brunner et al.
Stuttgart: Klett, , 1: — Reference on p. For a contemporary document, see e. Koelln and J. Pettegrove Boston: Beacon Press, , 8. Jochen Schmidt Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, , — Hans Heinz Holz Frankfurt a. Ehrhard Bahr Stuttgart: Reclam, , 3—8. Many other contributions to the Enlightenment debate of the s are readily accessible in this volume.
Wilhelm Weischedel, 9th ed. Frankfurt a. According to philosophical citation standards and in order to facilitate the verification of quotes for users of English language editions, I will not give the page numbers of the German edition, but rather the internationally used pagination of the original A and B editions. The above quote can be located on A Act III, Scene 7. Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, A , A The Enlightenment note 3 , 1: 32— Challenges to rationalism have never abated, but in order to remain valid in the new philosophy of the s and s, religious and classical authorities could no longer be taken on faith, they had to be proven to be correct.
German rhetoric was rigorously subjected to the rules of logic. Literary genres, poetic imagery, and figurative speech had to adhere to principles of morality and verisimilitude. A new breed of literary critics would soon analyze literary texts as aesthetic objects. By the late-eighteenth century, literature had become self-reflexive.
The inexorable victory of reason was rendered possible by literacy in the vernacular. German linguistic reformers sought to persuade large segments of academia and the aristocracy to use the vernacular instead of Latin and French and forcefully developed rules to unify German spelling, grammar, and syntax across regional dialects. Print media became the tool to popularize the new philosophy of reason, and the audience for literary and journalistic texts expanded from the local to the national, from specialists and the elite to generalists and a wider urban audience.
Oral culture — including sermons, tales, extemporaneous dramatic productions — lost currency as more readers turned to books. Similarly, visual culture grew relatively less important as affordable texts — without expensive illustrations — were mass produced. As book culture evolved, text increasingly dominated imaginations. Obviously, such massive changes evolved only gradually over many decades, but in the first half of the eighteenth century no one worked harder for literary reforms in Germany than Johann Christoph Gottsched — He had predecessors, aides and critics, but he was the single most effective mobilizing force for a modern German literature.
He was rather a synthesizer, promoter, and popularizer, arguably the greatest in German cultural history. In these roles his energy, comprehensive vision, and organizational skills have rarely been matched. He published several journals — both for professional and more general readers — to advance the cause of modern German culture. In addition to his own tireless activity, Gottsched possessed the ability to motivate others. He maintained an active correspondence with scholars and pedagogues throughout Europe and Germany.
Leipzig as Cultural Center When Gottsched arrived in Leipzig in as a student, the Saxon city of around 24, inhabitants was one of several culturally significant cities in Germany. European traders brought their wares to Leipzig twice yearly, and local manufacturers prospered from the fairs. Among the important objects produced or traded in the city were books. Leipzig also boasted a major university. This combination of trade fairs, book manufacture, and a major university made Leipzig an important intellectual center in Germany. Even other culturally vital cities — shipping centers like Hamburg or the other major publishing center Frankfurt am Main — did not have this unique combination of commerce and learning.
Still, cultural changes came slowly. In , for instance, the progressive philosophy professor Christian Thomasius — was attacked when he argued forcefully against the persecution of people accused of witchcraft in De Crimine Magiae Orthodox Lutheranism dominated the municipality, scholasticism the university.
As elsewhere in Germany that university culture was dominated linguistically by Latin. These were by no means all gallant. Occasional poetry was widely written in Germany. Professional men — lawyers, professors, and doctors — and some women wrote poetry for private celebrations, amusements, and ceremonies. They memorialized marriages, promotions, graduations, birthdays, and funerals in verse. They wrote each other letters in verse. Public occasions were commemorated by those seeking attention and rewards for their efforts. Men 5 and women also engaged in writing religious poetry.
Mencke had long been training himself in a simpler, more modern style by translating the early Greek lyric poet Anacreon and writing his own gallant poetry under the pseudonym Philander von der Linde. One of his themes became the plight of poets who could not earn a livelihood from their craft. While some readers admired his talent, many contemporary critics focused on what they perceived to be immoral behavior, considering the expression of amorous sentiments to have improper, all too personal origins.
Allegations to this effect followed him even after he became a practicing physician. In the effort to overcome the cumbersome baroque style, German gallant poets foundered on the conflict between the frivolity of the Anacreontic tradition favored by the aristocracy and the earnest moral standards of the learned, religious, middle-class, non-aristocratic audience. The wealthy and relatively independent patrician, Christiane Mariane von Ziegler — , wrote both religious and gallant poetry. The widowed daughter of a former Leipzig mayor, Ziegler hosted a salon in the s and early s.
Writing verse was a popular form of entertainment for leisure hours. Poetry provided amusement or promoted sociability, sometimes it became a parlor game. Very popular were games in verse. Rhymes for poetic lines were given and each guest wrote a poem using words that rhymed with those of the model. He soon began tutoring her in prosody and, in time, supported her publicly as a writer and a poet.
On his recommendation she was invited to become a member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft , admitted and crowned imperial poet laureate Gottsched aimed to rival this gallant French achievement in Germany and recognized the hitherto neglected presence and ability of women poets and readers from the upper middle class and educated aristocracy in Germany. Gottsched would strive to involve women, especially as readers, in his literary activities. Ziegler also advocated expanding the public roles of literary women.
Sachen reichen. Under the influence of Mencke and Gottsched, Ziegler developed a clearer style. Her social status as a patrician was not sufficient to insulate her from such diatribes. Eventually Gottsched tired of defending her and, especially after his marriage in , distanced himself from her.
Language and Style from the Baroque to Neoclassicism The dominant discourses in the early seventeenth century were mainly religious or social — gallant pleasantries, reportage, and celebrations of local events or of wine, women and song. The German language itself was an obstacle to those who promoted these ideas, as academicians trained in Latin and aristocrats trained in French were ill-equipped to use German with intellectual subtlety. When Gottsched embarked on his reforms, there was no standard grammar, nor a standard orthography.
Differences in regional dialects appeared in poetry, affecting not only rhyme and scansion, but also grammar and even basic coherence. Vernacular stylistic and rhetorical models were, in terms of the classical triad grand, middle, low , either too high or too low for general and rational discourses on intellectual matters.
The former was the style used at the courts in Vienna or Dresden — lengthy, convoluted sentences, replete with foreign loan words and expressions of servile obeisance. The so-called Second Silesian School, literature of the late baroque, had favored elaborate Italian Marinism, found in the poetry of Silesian Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau — and erudite Spanish allusion from the dramas of his compatriot, Daniel Caspar von Lohenstein — These two styles — the chancery style and the Second 19 Silesian School — shared certain traits. They were rich, even opulent in extravagant and profuse imagery, epithets, synonyms, repetitions, had a vocabulary of foreign usually French or Latin extraction, and convoluted syntax with heavy emphasis on periphrasis and subordinate clauses.
This was a literature whose primary purpose was sociability — manners and affections; it cultivated a refined, sometimes artificial and affected style of expression. Long desired and discussed, the task of setting the standard was daunting due to regional rivalries and the absence of linguistic standards. This gave Gottsched a position from which to engage in his linguistic activities. Gottsched had hoped the Society would compile a dictionary and a grammar. In the end the dictionary never appeared, but Gottsched produced a grammar.
As the work gathered momentum and took on canonical authority, it standardized German spelling, grammar, word formation, and syntax and was adopted in many schools throughout the German states.
The State as Utopia
His guiding principles, he claimed, had been the practices of the best authors and nature itself objectivity. In reality his standard appeared biased as it was based on the Meissen dialect in Saxony. As he wrote in the preface to the first edition the Deutsche Sprachkunst was designed for youth, those who had not attended university, soldiers, scribes, and young ladies.
As early as in his Unterricht von der Teutschen Sprache und Poesie Lessons in German Language and Poetry Daniel Georg Morhof — had excoriated baroque Schwulst bombastic style , but this book had not brought about a radical departure from the late baroque high style. Here, too, Gottsched did more than anyone to establish a German style for the new fashion in literature.
The stylistic ideals of Gottsched and other Germans in the early eighteenth century replicated those asserted by the French neoclassicist academicians under Louis XIV: conciseness, restriction of imagery and participles, connexio realis connections based not on language [connexio verbalis], but on content. Of overriding importance in the consideration of style was the new criterion of reason. It should govern both content and mode of expression. Sentences should not only follow logically, they should also be constructed logically, unfolding in a natural, reasoned way.
Language should be appropriate to its content, not redundant, exaggerated, or overly servile. Whatever he translated or wrote appeared in clear, elegant sentences. In particular, when it was a matter of satirizing exaggerated or illogical style, her lively and humorous imagination was pressed into service. In alliance with the philosopher Wolff was no trivial matter. The year before, Wolff had been ordered by Friedrich Wilhelm I r. The opportunity to win such an intellect to the university in Leipzig was foiled by orthodox Lutherans and scholastic academicians. Used by students in classrooms, but also by readers outside the classroom — men and women alike — this text became the standard introduction to modern philosophy for many Germans for at least the next fifty years.
Through this work alone Gottsched might have earned a place in German cultural history. These are the German poets Gottsched frequently cited as models for his compatriots. While these authors had already paid tribute to Boileau, it was Gottsched who more forcefully articulated and successfully popularized neoclassical ideas, most notably in Critische Dichtkunst.
This position was clear already in his first Leipzig publication. Le Clerc was concerned with classical authors and with improving poetry in the French vernacular. Only if modern poets wrote in the vernacular, he asserted, could they acquire the stature of the ancients and free themselves of the slavery of imitation.
Classical authors might exhibit superior poetical skills, but for Le Clerc their themes, imagery, and philosophy had been rendered obsolete. Le Clerc revealed inconsistencies, illogicalities, and natural impossibilities in texts by Homer, Virgil, Horace, and others. He argued that those who recommended the classics for their moral lessons were in error, for these were often contradictory and did not hold up to Christian scrutiny. Equally important, the authors of these famed texts aimed foremost at seducing the reader with the beauty of their language.
They lulled reason to sleep with their pleasant cadences. Indeed, implicit in this modernist critique of the classics were the fundamental tenets of neoclassicism: verisimilitude 33 and morality. In accordance with Aristotle, Gottsched also argued that literature should accurately represent nature and reality.
The occasional and gallant literature that dominated German culture in the early eighteenth century sought to entertain, to please, and to be sociable.
Shengren – Chapter 1.2 – The Shengren or ‘Oriental Sage’
It could not fulfill the high moral purpose that Gottsched and his associates envisioned for it. Its stylistic norms did not and could not accurately represent emotional or natural reality. Whether a text was classical or not Gottsched applied the modern, that is Wolffian, standard of reason. In Critische Dichtkunst he replaced the rules of poetics with standards of verisimilitude and decency.
To imitate nature plausibly poets should not restrict themselves either to mere description or to mere imitation of speech, in drama or role poems. Rather, a poet should find a sequence of events, a 34 Fabel, that illustrates the invisible workings of reason. An event is then plausible wahrscheinlich , even if not historically accurate. Like Aesop in his fables, poets render the public a service by dressing dry precepts in attractive garments.
However, while no one seriously believes in talking animals, it is another matter where witches, ghosts, devils, and angels are concerned. These figures, popular in literature of the late baroque, should be avoided because they are not real. Gottsched faulted Milton and Shakespeare, in part, for having introduced such characters. Representing them in poetry transgresses the principles of imitation and encourages superstition.
That is irrational. Of the many genres for which Gottsched provided historical development and logical principles in Critische Dichtkunst, his treatment of tragedy and comedy have most interested literary critics and historians. Unlike Boileau, Gottsched addressed an audience that was primarily non-aristocratic and did not attend the theater. In Critische Dichtkunst he elucidated the rational principles on which a new, modern theater could be based. A play that disrupted the unity of time, place, or action could not be said to be a good example of the imitation of reality when the illusion of reality was expected.
Baroque opera with its elaborate machinery, fantastic events and characters, and intrusive musical accompaniment could not meet his neoclassical requirements for imitating nature. Reason also required characters of mixed morals, neither totally virtuous nor totally sinful. Because the same philosophical material could receive treatment in different genres, the nature of these determined the character of a text.
The style should also be elevated if it is to inspire awe. Since comedy evokes laughter, its characters should be of low origin and its style may be low. As early as he had begun to provide a German-language repertoire for theatrical groups to perform. Successive volumes contained increasing numbers of original plays in German as opposed to translations.
An enormously popular success at the time because of its stand against tyranny, literary historians — quite reasonably — have nonetheless found little to admire in this patchwork tragedy. An innocent clergyman was even arrested as the presumed author, for Luise Gottsched wisely published this satire anonymously. Literary historians have often judged these comedies to be somewhat schematic, but newer interpretations suggest there are subtleties that still need to be explored. German courts generally showed little interest in German plays but favored French drama or Italian opera.
Permanent theatrical structures were built only for courts and aristocrats. Churches offered religious plays, and Latin schools had a strong, flourishing tradition of student productions in German. There were wandering minstrels and traveling acting companies extemporizing in pubs, barns, attic spaces, tents, or temporary stages in the market square. Standing theaters for the bourgeois middle class were to develop gradually only in the second half of the eighteenth century. Actress and theater director Caroline Neuber — and her husband, theater manager Johann Neuber — , had been attempting to reform German theater for about five years when they entered into a practical association with Gottsched in They had performed French neoclassical plays in German translation at courts in Braunschweig, Weissenfels, and elsewhere.
Some of these had been written by a member of her company, some by Gottsched, his apprentices, or others. Caroline Neuber reformed theatrical practice to conform to rationalist principles of verisimilitude. At courts in Dresden, Braunschweig, and Hanover she had seen French companies and studied their diction, gestures, and staging. She began disciplining her troupe. To protect the reputation of actors in general, unmarried actresses lived with the Neubers. Insofar as her budget and contemporary morality permitted, costumes were historicized.
She discarded the crowns and stars made of tinsel and paper. Romans no longer dressed in hoop skirts. Improvisation yielded to memorization. Actors trained their voices to orate rhymed Alexandrines and their bodies to move in pre-determined gestures. The new emphasis on text and author enhanced the possibility of directing a consistent moral to the audience.
When, for financial reasons, the Neubers were obliged to perform older favorite plays, Caroline revised them by omitting the scenes most offensive to new tastes. In these she usually presented allegorical figures who spoke on behalf of theatrical reform.
The Hanswurst was a stock comic, often obscene, character of the slapstick variety that could not well be integrated into the high moral role now proposed for the theater. Together the Neubers, Gottsched, and his associates succeeded in drawing the attention of the educated elite to the cultural possibilities of the theater. By the s neoclassical plays had been performed for non-aristocratic audiences in cities like Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Leipzig.
As others began reaping the rewards of her innovations, she encountered difficulties obtaining licenses and a suitable stage in Leipzig. When Empress Anna of Russia invited her troupe to Russia, she saw it as a way to salvage her company. But the empress died and Neuber had ruptured her relationship with Gottsched. In Leipzig in September she performed in the prologue Der allerkostbarste Schatz The Most Precious Treasure , a satire about a learned pedant presumed by many to have represented Gottsched.
This performance precipitated the irrevocable break with Gottsched and provided fuel for his detractors. The Gottsched Era: An Assessment Gottsched made a signal contribution to the development of modern literature in German. He labored successfully for the introduction of rationalist principles in philosophy, language, and literature. His introduction to the fundamentals of philosophy; his grammar, rhetoric, and literary handbooks Weltweisheit, Sprachkunst, Redekunst, and Critische Dichtkunst became staples in German schools virtually until the end of the eighteenth century.
His efforts to reform the German stage were pathbreaking. But his influence on the development of book culture, also fostered by his numerous journals, was enormous and has yet to be adequately appreciated even today. His efforts on behalf of the theater are often given passing mention only to be followed by the harshest criticism of his literary reforms, characterized most often as pedantic and unimaginative. Arguably this assessment is correct. However these opinions have often colored his reception by literary historians to the neglect of his other achievements and particularly of his critical role in the development of modernity in Germany.
Beginning in the late s and intensifying dramatically around both Gottscheds faced harsh criticism from critics in Switzerland, Hamburg, and Dresden in particular. International and national developments in literature quickly overcame his position. His literary reforms laid the foundations for German modernity.
Munich: K. Saur, , Between and philosopher Christian Wolff wrote works in German, but returned thereafter to Latin to reach a larger audience among European intellectuals. One could consult an aerarium Schatzkammer, treasury for poetic words or phrases, but many collected their own. Gottlieb Siegmund Corvinus, Frauenzimmerlexicon ; rpt. Among the new literary models in Leipzig were also light French odes; indeed in France, England, and Italy the elegant poetry of Anacreon had been translated at least a century earlier.
Anne Dacier translated his poetry into prose in , but a third edition with verse translations added appeared in Most agreed that the Greek poet was not very profound. Jahrhundert Stuttgart: Metzler, , 57— Publishers usually paid a fixed rate on a per page basis. How much more offensive was one who permitted her gallant poetry to be published and received public honors for it.
See also Goodman, Amazons and Apprentices, 94— The complex periods of Cicero as opposed to the more concise Seneca remained influential in Germany longer than in France, where they lost most of their exemplary stature in the seventeenth century. See Eric A. Membership was restricted to 40 and had to be approved by the king.
Its charter stated that it owed respect to its protector. The academy was explicitly charged with the production of a dictionary, grammar, and handbooks for rhetoric and poetics. Gottsched responded that he — and the Leipzig Deutsche Gesellschaft — would produce them. He had planned to have contributors for the dictionary from all over Germany, but this enterprise never materialized. He was more successful with the grammar.
After the rights expired in , further editions appeared. In all there were fifteen by Indeed it was still in print at the beginning of the nineteenth century. See the essay by Helga Brandes in this volume. The most controversial, however, did not: Die Pietisterey im Fischbeinrocke and Die Horatier appeared anonymously. Le Clerc was a protestant theologian born in Geneva and editor of three journals published in the Netherlands. Gottsched reissued the translation fifteen years later, in , toward the beginning of his dispute with the Swiss Bodmer and Breitinger.
Mitchell Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, , This group amused itself producing translations. In the end he translated the first three and a half acts from Deschamps and the last one and a half from Addison. Roughly lines are original. Kord suggests a radical difference of literary judgment between Johann Christoph and Luise Gottsched. For more on the relationship between the Gottscheds, see Katherine R. Her comedies appeared anonymously, but her tragedy appeared under her name. The journal, the periodical literature of the eighteenth century, provided the key medium for bourgeois society; this chapter focuses on the journal as a new medium in the era of Enlightenment.
The Literary Marketplace In the eighteenth century the literary market consisted of, above all, authors, the book trade, journals, literary critics, and the reading public. Major changes occurred in a rapid expansion of the market as reflected in the catalogues of the Leipzig and the Frankfurt book fairs. In , the number of new titles listed in these catalogues had risen since by ; during the next forty years from to the rate of new titles grew tenfold 2, more books appeared in than in Around about new titles entered the market annually; during the s and s there were about 5, each year.
Between and , new journals were founded; between and , and 2, between and Publishing in France similarly progressed at a rapid pace, especially under the influence of the Revolution. In one could choose among ten or so Paris and provincial journals; in there were about titles, and that number had doubled by the following year: the revolution had unleashed a paper flood. First, the nature of publications had changed: the dominance of Latin gradually gave way to German publications.
At the beginning of the century 60 percent of all books were still written in Latin; by this picture had changed, as 75 percent of all books were then in German. Along with the process of secularization came a steep decline in theological and religious books. In they still comprised 40 percent, in only a mere 6 percent of total reported book production, while the proportion of scientific and philosophical books rose steadily to 40 6 percent; belles lettres from 3 percent in to 27 percent in The novel in particular flourished.
The interest in reading increased with new subject matters, and learned books as well as devotional ones were gradually replaced by entertaining, popular texts. The ideas of the Enlightenment lent themselves to a popularization of its goals. This popularization was made possible by the rapid increase in reading ability among large sectors of the bourgeoisie. If around a literate woman from the middle classes was something of an exception, by the end of the century there were warnings by educators and journalists against a reading mania Lesewut.
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Around only 5 percent of the German population or approximately 80, to 85, people are estimated to have been literate, but by we count between , and , potential readers or an increase of about 25 percent. The number of poets and writers, both male and female, also increased. In the s there were about 2, to 3, authors, in the s about 7,, and in about 12,; many women authors were obliged to remain anonymous to protect their social standing.
The professionalization of the book trade brought with it a change from the antiquated exchange system to a cash trade which facilitated book production and marketing. The characteristics of a journal Zeitschrift in the eighteenth century were: periodicity regular appearance — weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly , public accessibility, topicality specializing in certain themes, for example, education, fashion , variety in type, form, and presentation in order to engage and entertain the reader.
The average print run of to was small; the eighteenth-century journal was not yet the mass medium it became during the nineteenth century, especially with the Zeitung newspaper that appears in much shorter intervals, usually daily. The Zeitung is the faster medium, striving for actuality, dissemination of political news and facts, and favoring information, news reports, editorials, and commentary. The eighteenth century distinguished between a general audience journal and the special subject one, such as the scientific and scholarly journals for a learned public of professionals that still dominated the market in the seventeenth century.
The number of German-language journals rose from around 70 titles before to roughly to in , to over 1, during the s; in 13 more than 7, titles were in circulation. The following discussion includes the most important categories of journals. These journals became the most important medium for the Enlightenment, propagating a new thinking without old prejudice. Their criticism of prejudice was based on the concept of natural law, that all human beings were fundamentally equal, and that reason, morality, and virtue were essential. Because it was considered irrational, superstition was singled out for mockery.
The moral weeklies propagated an understanding of the world, of mankind, and of all things through reason. They prepared the way for the idea of tolerance in the era of Lessing. The moral weeklies were intended to reach a broad segment of the bourgeois reading public, as anybody could purchase them without being a member of a certain club, as was the case with for instance with the Masonic journal. These publications appeared regularly, on a weekly basis, and initially editors and contributors usually remained unnamed, or assumed fictitious names.
Following the same external format, each article typically consisted of eight pages one-half sheet dedicated to a single topic. They had one goal — to promote virtue — and they thus often seem repetitive. Religious issues gradually gave way to worldly, everyday questions; the process of secularization in the eighteenth century was also manifested in the medium of the journal.
Political and ephemeral matters were excluded because the editors and authors wished to convey lasting values in a general framework; the lack of interest in contemporary issues was a symptom of their aspiration for timelessness. Without losing their relevance, the weeklies could then later appear a second time bound together in yearly volumes with an index, some even in several reprints, features they shared with the book. The moral weeklies eschewed costly illustrations copperplate engravings that would have raised the modest price of 6 Pfennige per issue; some used decorative signets.
This simplicity in appearance fit the rather monotonous and repetitive content. But a colorful array of text forms compensated for the lackluster content: letters, dreams, poems, fables, songs, epigrams, dialogues, exemplary stories, parables. The fictive authorship offered the opportunity to write in a subjective, lively style, hiding behind the mask of anonymity.
Instead of a didactic style, the more successful moral weeklies developed an increasingly conversational tone in an effort to distinguish them from the contemporary book though the booklike character of the early moral weeklies was still clearly evident ; this tone was intended to establish a close relationship with the readership. The request for letters to the editor belongs to those journalistic features that have endured until the present day. Thus, while they furthered the development of a public sphere, they never went so far as to advocate social change. Rather, they accepted the existing feudal order and emphasized the social barriers separating the bourgeoisie from the lower classes as well from the aristocracy.
Accordingly, the courtly, gallant lifestyle was mocked in its tendency toward superficiality and mere etiquette; typical vices of the feudal lords such as vanity, luxury, indulgence, and idleness were derided. This was the class to which the readership of the weeklies predominantly belonged: ministers, scholars, physicians, refined merchants, professors, judges, and — for the first time in the history of the journal — bourgeois women.
The latter were addressed directly as readers. The enlightened individual was characterized by prudence, equanimity, discretion, and self-possession. Friendship was valued above all other virtues. In a similar vein, the moral weeklies presented nature not as a wild, elemental force, but as a tamed, domesticated expression of a rational order. An enlightened readership saw its ideal of nature realized in the highly structured English landscape garden. The canon of values of the early Enlightenment included the expression of a high degree of self-confidence and self-assurance.
The moral weeklies thus were able to criticize a wide range of social abuses. The enlightened woman, not really the learned woman, was the ideal in the early moral weeklies, only later to be superseded by the fair woman under the influence of Rousseau. Literary criticism and questions of language played an important role in the moral weeklies, as it was the order of the day to educate the readership in good taste.
Hence, while these women had already been entering the literary market as authors in appreciable numbers, their new roles as journal editors or contributors would enhance their influence: they entered into a more intensive communication with their readers than had existed before and increased their audience considerably.
They could develop new skills and prove their ability as literary managers, organizers, and businesswomen negotiating with publishers, printers, and booksellers, and, as journal editors, soliciting contributions and subscribers to their journals. Her new journal appeared from January to December The reception of her impressive oeuvre and especially that of her journalistic activities was overshadowed for a long time by the condescending attitude of prominent 22 contemporary male authors. Pomona will tell you what I as a woman think about it.
La Roche did not need to legitimize her editorship, as Marianne Ehrmann did more than a decade later. With her program of combining the useful with the entertaining, La Roche stated literary and educational goals for her journal, a project that was to be neither a learned nor an ephemeral one. She also set her journal apart from the moral weeklies whose popularity was then waning. While the moral weeklies presented to their readers each week a different theme from a number of areas in the well-chosen, easy to read format of eight pages, the monthly Pomona, with its roughly one-hundred pages per issue, did not always make optimal use of the medium, but presented several lengthy essays and stories some of thirty pages and more , showing in comparison to the standards of the journal form pronouncedly epic characteristics.
La Roche demonstrated her journalistic skills, integrating different text forms in her journal, such as travel accounts, letters, moral tales, and poems. The journal regularly acquainted its readers with a literary genre or form, such as the novel, tragedy, comedy, allegory, fable and so on, and made reading recommendations now and then, but no longer published entire lists, as the moral weeklies had done with the FrauenzimmerBibliotheken. The originally emancipatory impetus of Pomona gave way to gender-specific female socialization. Yet this detracted from a more encyclopedic oriented presentation of knowledge as was offered in the moral weeklies.
The more exclusive concentration on women was thus coupled with a diminishing emancipatory potential. Marianne Ehrmann supported herself and for several years also her husband with the publication of these journals. She was thus one of the first professional female journalists in Germany, where the profession of author-journalist was slowly gaining acceptance. Compared with Pomona, Amaliens Erholungsstunden employed journalistic strategies more effectively: the articles are shorter, more precise, and more rhetorical.
The format of the periodical is attractive: a colorful variety of copper engravings, music, poems, letters, dialogues, and moral stories enliven the magazine. The editor was fond of dialogues and dramatizations, perhaps recalling her earlier work on the stage. Here we find definite beginnings of a modern journalistic style in the communicative structure, the dialogues with female readers, and the resonance from the readership. The image of woman is more conservative, at times more controversial and ambivalent than in the early moral weeklies. Marianne Ehrmann used her journals as a means to integrate various discourses.
The journal became a forum for women to exchange opinions and experiences. Amaliens Erholungsstunden assumed more journalistic quality by presenting more real-life situations and stories. The editor — like La Roche before her — mentioned details of her own biography or personal experience, leaving aside the moral weeklies game of fictitiousness.
Such fictionalizing tendencies were replaced by direct references to reality. This new form approached the modern form of the editorial. While the moral weeklies still eschewed reference to contemporary events, Amaliens Erholungsstunden referred directly or indirectly to timely issues including occasionally political ones. Thus, the strictly conservative journal rejected the French Revolution; religion, the authorities, and the class structure were not questioned, and the journal was not in any 33 way politicized. The medium for education has turned into a medium for entertainment and ideology.
Woman and the public sphere have now been separated more than earlier in the century. La Roche still considered her editorship a normal activity, while Marianne Ehrmann made excuses for her public appearance as transgressing the norm; her writing was, she insisted, only a pursuit during her leisure hours. Amaliens Erholungsstunden no longer displayed the carefree attitude and immediacy that Pomona could muster. When she did take exception to the traditional image of woman, she used subtle subversive strategies self-protection, accommoda34 tion, and circumlocution.
Thanks to these strategies, Marianne Ehrmann was able to publish for two years rather unencumbered; only in the third year did problems with the publisher Cotta arise. More and more editorial responsibility was taken away from her, and the share of male contributors increased, among them the famous naturalist and travel writer Georg Forster — , the director, actor, and dramatist August Wilhelm Iffland — , and the head of a military academy and writer Konrad Gottlieb Pfeffel — Toward the end of she disassociated herself from the publisher.
The enlightened, sensible woman of La Roche was transformed into a rather ambivalent, contradictory one in search of new understanding of gender roles personified by Marianne Ehrmann. Sophie La Roche and Marianne Ehrmann paved the way for women journalists in the nineteenth century.
This type of calendar was introduced in Germany by the reformer Paul Eber in The historical calendar can be traced back to the Gregorian calendar; with its cyclical structure into which the events could be entered, it served well the homogeneous view of history during the Renaissance. Strictly speaking, they did not belong to the new media of the eighteenth century. In the eighteenth century the popular calendar Volkskalender was a household staple that served as a kind of reference guide through the year. The added matter of rare, curious, and sensational stories as well as actual events made it the most popular reading material for the masses.
Also to be found are news about the fairs, markets, post days in the major cities, accounting, moneys, measurements, and other indispensable news, for instance how aerometric machines can best be constructed. And finally a much acclaimed table for laundry and kitchen inventory, with the different, very necessary information for ladies and lords of the house been added, as well as other pleasant instructions, all explained in clear drawings. In spite of its store of superstition such as astrology on the one hand, its real-life experience and current practices on the other made the calendar a medium for disseminating new and actual information throughout the population.
Cousin also assumes the older notion of pragmatische Geschichte advanced by Heumann and Brucker, which saw various philo- sophical movements brought to relative perfection before being transcend- ed by more original systems. All Cousin has done is apply this reasoning to his predecessors. Dieser Wendepunkt der Scholstik tritt schon mit Duns Scotus ein. Je genauer er zwischen Verstand und Willen unterschied, desto mehr trennte sich der Wille vom Verstand, und eben damit das Praktische vom Theoreti- schen, die Theologie von der Philosophie, der Glaube vom Wissen. He provides long representative quotations and valuable information on manuscripts available in Paris.
When he turns to Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus, how- ever, we see none of the detail of Tiedemann or Tennemann, nor even the bio- bibliographical detail of Brucker. He clearly wishes to set Scotus on the path to modernity, but he seems to be grasping at straws. Cousin springs back to life when he reaches the third age of Scholasticism, largely because it allows him to tout the scientific advances of Roger Bacon and the philosophical advances of William of Ockham, whom he sees as both a critic of Scotus and an antici- pation of Locke.
This genealogy, which will find its finest expression in Pierre Duhem , found an early champion in the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt Entwurf einer physichen Weltbeschreibung. Zweiter Band. Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy ment such as it is goes something like this: Individuation requires signate matter; Duns Scotus believes individuation is occasioned by an individual form; because forms are not matter, Scotus denies the existence of individu- als.
It may appear odd that Scotus, the prince of voluntarists, is here made a determinist, or that Scotus, the proto-empiricist, is here made to deny the existence of individuals. Pius IX followed by censuring rationalism in the encyclical Qui pluribus of 9 November Trent Pomplun Methodus, qua usi sunt divus Thomas, divus Bonaventura et alii post ipsos scholastici, non ad rationalismus ducit, neque causa fuit, cur apud scholas hodiernas philosophia in naturalismum et pantheismum impingeret Proinde non licet in crimem doctoribus et magistris illis vertere, quod methodum hanc, praesertim approbante vel saltem tacente Ecclesia, usurpaverint.
It marks, however, one very important fault line in our sto- ry; from henceforth, those who saw themselves as restorers of Catholic philosophy largely abandoned any attempt to reconcile medieval and mod- ern philosophy. These Catholic authors, whom we shall encounter present- ly, were avid readers of the German histories, and so we should return for a short time to that tradition in order to bring it into the s.
Heinrich Ritter produced two influential treatments of Duns Scotus, first in the fourth volume of his Geschichte der christlichen Philosophie and later in the first volume of his Die christliche Phi- losophie bis auf die neuesten Zeiten Seine Sprache ist schon ganz der Barbarei verfallen, in welche von jetzt an die Schulsprache sich mehr und mehr verwickelte. Indicis editae et a S. Pio Papa IX. Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy theologischen Richtung, welche das geistige Leben von den Banden der Natur frei zu machen suchte. Gotthard Oswald Marbach and Johann Eduard Erdmann place Scotus much more confidently on the way to nominalism.
IDEM, Ge- schichte 4, Trent Pomplun moral world. Da zeigt nun schon sein und der Dominicaner Aristotelismus den Unterschied, dass Duns, freilich nicht ohne den Vorar- beiten der Anderen viel zu danken, mit dem Aristotelis mehr vertraut ist, als sie. At every point, Scotus is contrasted with Thomas Aqui- nas, but without judgment. In fact, if Erdmann believes Scotus to lay the egg that Ockham hatches, then he does not exclude Thomas Aquinas from the process. Dass diese Wendung der Scholastik sich als ein siegrei- ches Hervortreten des Nominalismus gezeigt hat, darf nicht befremden.
In his preface to the second edition, Erdmann remarks with evident sarcasm Sein Zweifeln thut dem Glauben keinen Ein- trag, er sagt nec fides exeludit omnem dubitationem, sed dubitationem vin- centem. The suggestion that Scotus would question the natural capacities of reason to prove the exist- ence of God seems strange in light of De primo principio.
He also remained a Lutheran. In this respect, the dangers of voluntarism for Ueberweg were still much the same as they were for Johann Jakob Brucker. It is to them that we owe the first at- tempts to place Scotus at the beginning of the end of medieval philosophy. Scholars usually attribute similar views to the first neo-Thomists who fol- lowed them. Their story, however, is slightly more complex, for the censure of Bonnetty prevented them from attributing the decay of Scholasticism to Scotus himself, who had to that point almost universally been treated with Thomas Aquinas in the standard histories of philosophy.
As John Inglis has shown, Kleutgen had hoped to restore traditional Scho- lasticism before , but the revolutions infused his mission with extra urgency. See especially J. Trent Pomplun and reason, with the epistemological realism of Thomas Aquinas placed as the centerpiece of the Scholastic synthesis that he proposed. Kleutgen ar- ranges the text of Die Philosophie der Vorzeit by subject matter, so he does not no much write a history as imply one.
Although Kleutgen eagerly exposes the damage done by nominalism and formalism throughout his volume, he usually maintains a respectful reserve about Scotus himself. Die ganze Schule des h. Thomas and Duns Scotus, rather than the masters themselves. Soll nun aber ferner durch diese Lehre die J. From Thomas Aquinas, the summit of medieval thought, the twin evils of Scotist formalism and Ockhamist nominalism progress along two paths: formalism leads to Spinozan pantheism and onwards to German idealism; nominalism leads to the skepticism of Montaigne and Descartes and onwards to Hume and Kant.
Thomas d. Er sieht vielmehr den Formalismus als eine Modification an, die der Realismus durch Scotus bekommen habe, und redet daher von den Formalisten, wie von den Realisten jener Zeit. Trent Pomplun nas at the summit of the Scholastic synthesis, largely because he felt the epis- temological realism of Thomism afforded safe haven from modern skepti- cism. Dieses System wurde dann von der Franziscanerschule als das ihrige adoptirt, und dem thomistischen entgengesetzt. Periode der Herrschaft der Scholastik 2, Mainz , Gewiss, Duns Skotus war ein scharfsinniger Denker Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy Other Catholic authors attempted to meet secular historians on their own terms.
A somewhat independent approach was taken by Otto Will- mann , who wrote the history of philosophy as the history of idealism and its alternatives. For Willman, Augustine represents true Chris- tian idealism, and the great Scholastics, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, represent a realism that is yet compatible with Augustini- an idealism. The broad tendency of Erdmann and Willmann finds expression later in W. He certainly resembles Kant in his refusal to accept without criticism any theory, no matter how universally received or how strongly supported by the authority of great names.
The resemblance is accentuated by the fact that both Scotus and Kant are voluntarists, both maintaining that will is superior to intellect, and that human reason cannot demonstrate the truths which most vitally affect the destiny of man. But, remarkable as the resemblance is, no less striking is the contrast between the two philosophers.
Kant appeals to the moral consciousness to prove the truths which reason cannot demonstrate: Scotus, on the contrary, appeals to revelation. Trent Pomplun By this point, the use of the spurious De rerum principio to distinguish Scotus from Thomas was a common feature of academic treatments of the Subtle Doctor. For Kant there is no court of appeal superior to the moral consciousness; for Scotus the supreme tribunal before which all truth is judged is divine revelation.
The influence of St. Bonaventure, Albert, and St. Thomas seems to have silenced for a while the contentions which distracted earlier school- men. It is among these lesser lights that Scotus, subtle and penetrating as his mind was, must be classed. Writing in , Alfred Vacant lamented the state into which studies of Duns Scotus had fallen. This seems to be the way everyone began studies of Scotus; cf. Trent Pomplun sujet de la nature des Universaux. Pluzanski a bien vu que Scot et S. Thomas au volonta- risme de Scot.
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Its importance lies in its self-conscious move from larger histories of philosophy to emerging studies devoted to John Duns Scotus, of which several appeared in the three and a half decades between Aeterni Patris and Postquam sanctissimus Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy cerault led the charge to defend Duns Scotus from the accusa- tions found in both secular histories of philosophy and neo-Thomist manu- als.
Minges was tireless, devoting a series of articles to each of the labels commonly affixed to Scotus during the nineteenth century, which culmi- nated in his two-volume Ioannis Duns Scoti doctrina philosophica et theo- logica. BGPhMA 5. What was once a relatively simple simile among neo-Thomists grew into the suggestion that Scotus denies the ability of natural reason to prove the existence of God. The Archbishop saw no contradic- tion between Scholasticism and scientific discovery. Other Thomists followed with new accusations.
Doctor Sutil y Mariano Fr. Cardenal, Arzobispo de Sevilla Fr. Trent Pomplun Huic Angelici Praeceptoris nobilissimae doctrinae, quae versatur circa ipsa Metaphysicae fundamenta, quaeque consequenter longius serpit, totamque Philosophiam late pervadit, e regione opponuntur placita philosophiae Sco- tisticae. Quaenam autem ex istis oppositis Sancti Thomae et Scoti doctrinis veritati melius ac secu- rius consulat, cordatus quisque iudicare per se potuerit; praesertim si consi- derat christianae et peripatetico-scholasticae Philosophiae subversores haud raro usos esse doctrinis a Scoto traditis de univocitate entis, de potentia et actu, et de rerum distinctione; cum contra, a principiis philosophandi ab Aquinate traditis semper abhorruerint.
Probe enim intelligebant errores ab ipsis in vulgus disseminatos ex firmissimis Sancti Thomae principiis non confirmari, sed potius subverti opprimique; ideoque in aliis officinis sua arma paraverunt et cum aliis propria iunxerunt castra. Summae, praefat. Gonzalez [Histor. Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy Voluntas est superior intellectu.
According to this view, the philosophical tradition makes genuine progress, until it culminates in Thomas Aquinas, when the victo- ries gained for freedom are overthrown by a revolution led by John Duns Scotus, from whom springs Descartes, Kant and all the ills of modernity. All else is despotism masked as liberty. Other Thomists advanced similar criticism with a far more charged rhetoric. For Tiedemann and Ritter, as for most modern historians, Luther announced the freedom of the Christian against the despotism of both the papacy and Islam, thereby freeing philosophy and making it an autonomous discipline.
For an early account of neo-Thomism, especially in France, see A. The articles and small monographs that went back-and-forth between Thomists and Scotists during this time take us beyond the scope of this study, as they mark the more general tendency to turn away from general histories of philosophy to new, critical studies of Scotus, not least those studies that called for a new critical edition of his writings. In the Histoire we see much that is falimiar, not least of which is a fairly standard periodization of the Middle Ages. Tennemann, Ritter, Erdmann and Ueberweg were men of various philosophical persuasions who wrestled honestly with the texts of a master they did not fully understand, often without the benefit of secondary litera- ture.
The attempt at Cousinian wit that ends his analysis of Scotus falls flat: M. Scot ne prend pas seu- lement position contre S. DE M. Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy Th. Historians from Caspar Peucer and Lambert Daneau to Johann Jakob Brucker generally contrasted the freedom of modern philosophy to the subservience of medieval philosophers to the papacy, generally accus- ing the latter of confusing philosophy and theology.
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They advanced a peri- odization of medieval philosophy into early, middle and late periods in such a way that all medieval Scholastics were dependent upon Arabic Aris- totelianism, and Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus were seen together, with Scotus cast as the critic of Thomas Aquinas, but with both Thomas and Scotus representing realism against the nominalists of the third age.
Largely in the context of the pedagogical statutes of Lutheran universities, these same historians disagreed on the relative merits of Scholastic philos- ophy and eclecticism, with the authority of Aristotle celebrated or ques- tioned until the advent of the Enlightenment. These themes and debates continued in the histories of the nineteenth century and were transformed according to the various philosophical prejudices of their authors. During the first half of the century, historians were inclined to see the Middle Ages less as a period with no philosophy to speak of and more as a necessary precursor, however crude, to the modern age.
They retained the older peri- odization of the Middle Ages but streamlined it, generally treating fewer figures, though in greater depth. Trent Pomplun and saw Scotus as the beginning of the decay of philosophy; the other, ad- vanced rather in terms of the progress of science, elevated Scotus as the precursor to Francis Bacon and modern empiricism. Roman Catholic historians adopted much of this rhetoric, but they transformed it anew with their own aims in mind.
The Church rejected those who argued that medieval philosophy gave rise to modern philosophy as its necessary ground or reason, and neo-Thomists readily adopted the distinction made between Thomas and Scotus in secular sources to advance a counter-genealogy of modernity. They heartily accepted a decline of me- dieval philosophy, but they were broadly circumspect about Duns Scotus, at least until Aeterni Patris, choosing to assign the sins that secular histori- ans attributed to Scotus to his followers.
Instead, Catholic writers largely dismissed eclecticism in favor of an ill-defined Thomism. Even so, the Catholic genealogies of the late nineteenth-century took their inspiration almost wholly from the secular and liberal Protestant historians that pre- ceded them; if they attacked Descartes, Locke and Kant—with Duns Scotus or Scotists occasionally caught in the crossfire—they happily borrowed the elevation of Thomas and the vilification of Scotus from the very modern philosophers they opposed.
This is but one of the ironies attending the treatment of Duns Scotus in the history of philosophy. This attribution is not without reason. In truth, Gilson tried out several geneal- ogies over the course of his career, often expressing dissatisfaction with one or the other in his letters, changing them between books, or returning to pre- vious models and modifying them according to his present fancy. He also failed to reconcile several tensions between the two traditions and perpetuated some of their shared illusions.
Montreal- London , In fact, van Steeneberghen had thought along these lines for some time; see F. The philosophers who first inspired Gilson were decidedly not Scholastics, and the greatest thinkers among his first professors were sociologists and anthropologists.
Gilson was not unaware of the neo-Scholastic revival. As a layman, in fact, Gilson was something of an outsider among Catholic medievalists even when Canon Van Steenberghen praised him in In this respect, at least, he was afforded the very freedom of study that the old Lutheran Scholastics demanded. If Gilson was a free-roaming Thomist from the beginning, he only de- veloped his views about John Duns Scotus in fits and starts. Trent Pomplun perhaps cannot—do so on philosophical grounds. It is difficult to tell what to make of this obvious nod to neo-Thomism.
It hardly has enough depth to allow one much purchase: either one accepts a Thomistic understanding of the conversio ad phantas- mata or one allows for the progress of atheism. The model is thus progres- sive after the model of Cousin, but with the inversion typical of French neo-Thomists.
Philosophy progresses to Thomas Aquinas and regresses afterward, and any movement away from Thomas Aquinas, whatever might be said for it, cannot be true progress. In books and articles of the s, Gilson treats Scotus as an Au- gustinian in all things, except illumination.
Gilson does not make as much of this distinction as he would in the s, to be sure, but at this point in his career, he resists any easy geneal- ogy of modernity, so that he might issue an apologia for the study of medi- eval philosophy as a whole. William of Ockham, by contrast, makes only a single appearance in the body of the text, where Gilson criticizes him for his theologism.
Alt- hough Gilson never made the execrable mistake of conflating Scotism and nominalism, in the s he flirted with the idea that Duns Scotus might be guilty of theologism. In the previous decade, he had resisted the ascription of a full-blown Augustinianism to Scotus even if he consistently saw Sco- tus broadly as an Augustinian , because he felt the identification required one to accept the authenticity of De rerum principio. By the middle of the s, however, he was prepared to distinguish Scotus sharply from Thom- as based upon an acceptance of the first sixteen Theoremata.
As we have already seen, Gilson was happy to imply that any number of Thomists were at least implicitly guilty of such sins, even of atheism. Here the problem is not in- nate ideas, but the dialectical instability of any attempt to ground epistemo- logical certainty on revelation rather than on natural reason. The assump- tion is that the denial of the natural capacities of reason, even pro statu isto, appears to lead to skepticism about the natural capacities in general.
On such a reading, fideism necessarily turns into skepticism not only as a mat- ter of psychological fact but of historical necessity. On the one hand, he adduces Scotus to support Thomas Aquinas against earlier proponents of the doctrine of illu- mination such as Bonaventure, Roger Marston and Matthew of Aquasparta, whom he interprets as proponents of theologism in the exact degree to which they do not accept a broadly Thomistic-Aristotelian epistemology. Gilson could get quite testy, however, with Scotists who questioned the status of the Doctor communis. When C. At Harvard, as before at Aberdeen, William of Ockham is the man responsible for bringing about the skepticism we associate with modernity.
In this account, Scotus simultaneously slips backwards into the Platonism of Franciscans and Muslims before Thomas Aquinas, and forwards into the skepticism of William of Ockham and the modern age, which itself is but the result of a revived Platonism. Trent Pomplun terms. It is the philosophy of the future.
Thomism—which, by the way, is an existen- tialism: I myself have rediscovered the importance of existence in St. Thomas—starts from the notion of the human person. See the responses in C. Je vous en ferai envoyer un et vous y verrez dans quelle direction je cherche ma voie. In fact, he continued to defend Scotus against various neo- Thomist attacks. Writing to Anton Pegis — at about the same time, he remarked: I am now reading the consultation of the Roman congregation on the pos- sible canonization of Duns Scotus.
It is theological libel, just garbage. Per- sonally I wholly disagree with Duns Scotus. His is a climate of thought in which I cannot live. But I cannot understand what there is against him from the point of view of faith. Not even of ethics. The trouble is that sco- tists are, in their controversies, no more honest than the thomists. For background on the attempt to canonize the Subtle Doctor, see B. Trent Pomplun Duns Scotus.
Corres- pondance , Paris , See also A. The published record makes the exchange between Gilson and Van Steenberghen look less dramatic than it was. We need not press this point now, except to note that Gilson now bolstered his genealogy with the Heideggerian rhetoric of oblivion.
Trent Pomplun ing achievement. In it, he wrestled with those who supported Scotus, with those who vilified him, and with his own past readings of the Subtle Doctor. One may argue for such a genealogy based on the works of the late s or early s, but in Jean Duns Scot, Gilson largely abandons the genealogy for which he is fa- mous.
What is more, he systematically criticizes each of the charges against Scotus that had been repeated in the nineteenth-century histories. Otherwise, Gilson vigorously refutes tradition- al charges against Scotus one-by-one. Unlike the Thomists of the nineteenth century, he could not turn to De rerum principio to distinguish Scotus from Thomas on this point, nor does he discuss the relevant texts with the same precision with which he treats other positions of Scotus. Gilson alludes to Ordinatio I d. Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy genealogy of modernity, the one thing that remained in his treatment of Scotus from the long tradition he inherited was his insistence that Scotus be treated alongside Thomas Aquinas at every turn.
Tous le font. Ce sont, eux aussi, et non moins que certains thomistes, des fanatiques. Il veulent prouver, non seulement que Scot a raison, mais que Thomas a tort. Now that suffering scotism has been succeeded by triumphing scotism, I have no more interest. I want scotists to be free within the church: I have been disgusted by the calum- nies against them and him.
Now all this is in the past. Scotism now is simply a doctrinal position in opposition to the true metaphysics of being of St. Since I have to choose between ens without esse and ens habens esse, I choose the latter. I now foresee a Scotus era that is philo- sophically and theologically anti-Thomas, so I prefer to abstain. Gilson did not name any Scotist fanatics. I assume he had in mind C. Gilson self- consciously removes Duns Scotus from his historical setting in order to create a deliberate illusion of perspective, an abstract philosophical dia- logue between Thomas Aquinas and John Duns Scotus, which he himself admits has no historical reality.
See J. Enfin on y voit clair! It becomes quite tiresome to those who read the literature; and yet the myth lives on. Apparently the truths of Minges will never catch up to the falsehoods of Baur. Following Aristotle, Scotus defined the object of metaphysics— philosophy par excellence—as being qua being, but he insisted that the object of metaphysics was not the being of actual existence but the being of essence or quidditative being; in short, possible being.
Actual existence was but a property or determination of the being that was the focal point of metaphysics. Under these circumstances, even though actual existence was not disregarded, philosophy could not be fully existential. Trent Pomplun are more explicitly Heideggarian. Conclusion: John Duns Scotus and the Historia philosophiae philosophica If we have traced a single line in the history of the histories of philoso- phy—a development if you will from an early period Daneau to Brucker through a middle period Tiedemann to de Wulf to a late period Gilson and his heirs —it bears noting that this is but one possible line among many.
The histories of philosophy we have surveyed were written for a variety of reasons: some confessional, some sectarian, some nationalistic, some even philosophical. Many more could be analyzed, both major and minor. Their sheer variety should give us pause. What all these histories share is a pivot around which the history of philosophy turns, be it a person or a principle. What is more important, they all justify this approach philo- This already vast literature is growing.
For starters, see J. Duns Scotus in the History of Philosophy sophically. Gilson is no differ- ent in this respect than any other writer, save perhaps in his forthrightness. The earliest historians of philosophy were robustly Protestant. They read the history of philosophy, and especially the history of medieval phi- losophy, in an obviously polemical manner. Some advanced specific philo- sophical perspectives in addition to these larger confessional commitments, especially in the context of various curricular requirements in metaphysics, Aristotelian, eclectic, Wolffian, or otherwise.
If we find fewer explicit con- fessional markers in the great works of the first half of the nineteenth centu- ry, we find a greater emphasis on their philosophical views. In this respect, both eclectics after Cousin and Catholics after Kleutgen shared a common enemy in the German historians. Both rejected their conceptions of the history of philosophy as idealistic.
Catholic interpreters wished to recover the philosophy of the Middle Ages that had been relegated to a mere propaedeutic in Kantian and Hegelian histories. Of course, it escaped neither rationalists nor Catholics that the very historians who decried the baleful influence of sectarianism in the histo- ry of Scholasticism were the fiercest of partisans themselves. The chief of- fender was Tennemann, who saw the whole history of philosophy through Kantian lenses. But Tiedemann, the ablest opponent of Kant, remained a Wolffian with a splash of Locke, and Buhle was a Kantian who cast glances at Jacobi.
Catholics adopted this sectarianism as the Germans abandoned it. If Tho- mists assumed Thomas to be an historiographical master key—much as Lu- therans had seen Luther and the various German historiographical sects had seen their favourite philosophers—they could not agree upon the philosophi- cal principle or principles around which the history of philosophy might pivot, be it the conversio ad phantasmata, the twenty-four Thomist theses, the real distinction, the analogia entis, or some other philosopheme. Trent Pomplun son; indeed, it might well have reached its culmination.
Like his predecessors, Gilson was happy to think in terms of types dialectically related to a center, even if that center the conversion ad phan- tasmata, the real distinction between essence and existence, analogy and univocity shifts from genealogy to genealogy. The oldest Germans opposed the modern to the medieval; the Enlighteners allowed that the medieval might give rise to the modern; the neo-Thomists opposed the medieval to the modern after the fashion of Romantics everywhere.
If we may speak of a gene- alogy in the late Gilson in this respect, it cannot be a genealogy of moderni- ty. It must be far more radical, and far more Nietzschean in scope.