The Progressive Eesthetic in the Early Writings of Friedrich Schlegel
The romantic thinker Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) introduced game changing ideas on art criticism, wrote scathing critiques of the sexual morality of his time, questioned the foundationalist philosophy of his contemporaries and pioneered comparative linguistics by writing the first German work on Sanskrit. He developed his idiosyncratic use of language and concepts in the circle of friends now called ’Jena romanticism,’ with whom he advanced an aesthetic of exposure, formation and participation. To revive the lasting relevance of this aesthetic and revise its most common readings this article asks what theoretical tools Schlegel developed in his earliest writings (1793-1800) to further the hoped for aesthetic transformation of society. It explicitly examines the triad of cultivation [Bildung] and irony as means to make room for genuine reflection, fostering a willingness to learn and experiment in search for individuality, communality and truth.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen