In this text, the aesthetic state, which is also capable of establishing an aesthetic culture, is, for Schiller, the precondition of freedom — Schiller differentiates between three different moments or stages in human development, in both the individual and the species.
In his physical condition the individual endures the forces of nature; in the aesthetic condition he rids himself of these forces; and in the moral condition he governs nature This psychic triad correlates with the political one: in the dynamic state of rights, one man encounters the other as a force, which restrains his abilities; and in the ethical state of obligations he is opposed by the majesty of the law, which enchains his will.
Whereas in the dynamic state nature is tamed by nature and in the ethical state the individual will is subjugated to the general will, only in the aesthetic state is the will of the whole accomplished through the nature of the individual. The basic anthropological conditions or forces of human existence characterize — again triadically — political institutions and societies, depending on which of the basic conditions or forces is dominant.
At this point in the text, Schiller indicates, interestingly, the necessity of an intermediary force that is successful in changing the rolling wheel of state at the moment of its reversal. In his last, most important text, the question changes but not the basic anthropological conception. Not by chance is the idyll understood as a synthesizing concept, in which the opposition of reality and ideal, satire and elegy, appears to be suspended Nevertheless, in both parts of the argument, the triadic cognitive model that will become characteristic of the dialectics of idealistic philosophy is still directly and indirectly perceptible.
Characteristically, in a footnote, Schiller introduces a three-stage model Dreischritt in the context of poetic genres and types of sensation, in which the ideal is raised up as the sought-after concept of synthesis. In der zweiten stehen wir. In his three major philosophical texts, Schiller works with opposing concepts that are ultimately united into a synthesis. What makes his writings especially interesting documents of the time is that they never attempt to cover up their ruptures or resolve their contradictions.
At the end of each of his three major texts, Schiller emphasizes not only the experimental character of his reflections but also draws attention to the discrepancies between theory and practice, idea and reality. From this point of view, it comes as no surprise that with each new writing he should, to some extent, start anew methodologically and thematically. This does not mean, however, that he altered his anthropological concept of the human being, which runs as a red thread throughout all his theoretical statements.
If we visualize in overview the smaller as well as the more comprehensive contributions to the philosophical discourse of the time, it is strikingly clear that from the pamphlets of his youth to the well-known essays of the last decade of the eighteenth century, Schiller formulates a set of fundamental principles concerning the psychosomatic conditions of human existence. Art, in this case theater, turns out to be the aesthetic demonstration of the divine atomic nucleus in the human being, a view that can, moreover, be found in Wieland as well as in Herder, and whose intellectual origins are in Christian stoicism10 and the tradition of baroque drama.
Here Schiller captures the dichotomies of his dissertation more precisely as person and condition, being and time, which human beings experience in different ways. The schema of self-diminution and self-expansion that the essay Theosophie des Julius connects with the positive and negative characteristics of egoism and love supplies the framework for the comparison of the statecraft of Lycurgus and Solon.
His unquestionably high opinion of the human being — in no way a rare view among eighteenthcentury intellectuals — must also be reflected in political institutions and society. In this way, the historian would indeed become an author of pathetic representation, whose business it would be to report the triumphs of the person over the surrounding circumstances.
Whereas the first thesis in Latin was rejected again, the second was accepted. Both were written in ; the last one was also published in the same year.
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To be more correct, one could speak here of transcendental aesthetic concepts that early romanticism took over and continued. Reprint of the second edition of , edited by Leonard Forster. Works Cited Abel, Jacob Friedrich. Wolfgang Riedel. Friedrich Schiller: Leben — Werk — Zeit. Friedrich Schiller: Poesie, Reflexion und gesellschaftliche Selbstdeutung. Munich: Fink, Dewhurst, Kenneth, and Nigel Reeves. Friedrich Schiller: Medicine, Psychology and Literature. Oxford: Sanford, Forster, Leonard, ed. Heidegger, Martin.
Sein und Zeit, 11th ed. Wilhelm Dobbek. Berlin: Aufbau, Hinderer, Walter. Gerhard Neumann, 25— Hinderer, Walter, and Daniel O.
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Dahlstrom, eds. Friedrich Schiller: Essays. New York: Continuum, Kant, Immanuel. Wilhelm Weischedel. Marquard, Odo. Abschied vom Prinzipiellen. Transzendentaler Idealismus: Romantische Naturphilosophie: Psychoanalyse. Platner, Ernst. Leipzig: Dyckische Buchhandlung, Die Anthropologie des jungen Schiller. Koopmann, — Schiller, Friedrich. Siegfried Seidel. Schillers Briefe.
Fritz Jonas. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, — Der ganze Mensch: Anthropologie und Literatur im Szondi, Peter. Wackenroder, Wilhelm Heinrich. Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder: Werke und Briefe. Gerda Heinrich. Weinrich, Harald.
Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, Wentzlaff-Eggebert, Friedrich-Wilhelm. Hans Steffen.
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Wieland, Christoph Martin. Fritz Martini and Hans Werner Seiffert. Since various forms of classicism had been prevalent in European letters for around three centuries, at first sight we might view German classicism as a mere footnote. Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem; To copy Nature is to copy them. The adoption of the ancient authors as literary models would mean a restoration of simplicity, moderation, and good sense.
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Rather, the corruption that surrounds him is merely a symbol for the work of temporality in general, and the pure form displayed by Greek art is to be seen less as the product of a free society than as an achieved conquest of time. Whereas Schiller might seem to be outbidding Pope merely in adding a new strand of political polemic to the traditional advocacy of a classical aesthetic, he is in fact heightening the neoclassical argument by rephrasing it as a metaphysical one, for he is attributing to a classically inspired art a power not just of liberation but of redemption.
It is not possible to point to one overpowering new idea that Winckelmann contributed to the discussion. As Hatfield argues, his thought is an eclectic synthesis. Altogether, his work denotes a multiple shift in the approach to antiquity: from a Roman to a Greek paradigm, from a dependence on French mediation to a new German autonomy, from an emphasis on politics and the state to one on the arts and, within the arts, from a focus on literature to one on sculpture.
Last but not least, we can observe the shift from the idea of antiquity as the source of rational norms to one of Greece as a lost paradise and the object of insatiable yearning. The protracted composition of this tragedy had left Schiller dissatisfied with his achievements to date and with his working method, and the study of the ancients was intended to enhance his skills. It is notable that Schiller had to use the available translations of Euripides into Latin, French, and German, for unlike Goethe and Wilhelm von Humboldt, he never had the opportunity to study the Greek language thoroughly.
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Thanks to the progress of moral culture and the comparatively milder spirit Geist of the times, the modern author enjoys an inherent advantage over the ancients. With the third phase, we see Schiller returning to a more speculative preoccupation with antiquity. In the early part of each treatise, an eloquent passage praising Greek culture for its harmony with nature is encountered, while the possibility is also held out that, with our higher level of rationality and morality, the moderns can actually surpass the Greeks. Schiller had earlier planned a drama, Die Malteser, that was intended to conform to the pattern of ancient tragedy.
Though he resumed work on it in these years, it was left unfinished at his death. The most classical of the completed plays of this period is Die Braut von Messina The Bride of Messina, , in which Schiller attempted a synthesis of ancient and modern techniques and motifs, including a chorus, the use of which he justified in his Foreword by philosophical arguments. But Wallenstein also contains in Gordon a figure whose role is based on that of the ancient chorus, and even the romantic tragedy Die Jungfrau von Orleans The Maid of Orleans, has a scene act 2, scenes 6—7 derived from an episode from the Iliad and written in iambic trimeters, the Greek tragic meter.
A letter of July 26, , shows that he had not abandoned the conclusions of the foregoing speculative phase.
The drive towards unification, of which humanity is the goal, goes beyond the immediate human sphere. Schiller seems to be hovering between a Christian affirmation of the immortality of the soul and a more mysterious suggestion as to a future deification of humankind. Schiller is intensifying the conventional concept of perfection, Vollkommenheit, to the point where the difference between humanity and God is suspended. The theme of the poem is the birth of Venus, which brings about a softening and rejuvenation in the natural world, and which for humankind signals the arrival of civilization after a somewhat Hobbesian prehistory.
In its full complexity, it states that in antiquity human beings were more human than they are now, in the sense of being more natural and less corrupted by culture. In particular the Greeks did not try to approach divinity as Christians do, that is, by misguidedly suppressing their humanity through an ascetic morality, and they also did not suffer from the division of labor that distorts and fragments the modern personality. However, and only here do we see the full paradox, the Greeks came closer than we do to divinity precisely by disclaiming any desire to be more than human.
But the nature that is enshrined in Greek culture is not the nature of Alexander Pope. Pope understands nature as a codification of the rules of good sense, whereas Schiller to compress the impressions left by the poem into a single phrase presents it as a perpetual springtime of youth, dance, and free love. The common thread running through the Greek panorama, with its numerous mythological vignettes, is the unity of nature and spirit or of human and divine.
With remarkable dialectical skill, Schiller portrays modernity in this poem as groaning under both an ascetic Christianity and an abstract, mechanistic science, each of which is presented as a result of the same original estrangement. He adheres to the same intellectual model in his essays of the next decade. The course of history is characterized here as a fall from a state of nature into one of culture, with the latter being understood as the fragmentation wrought by the destructive faculty of the understanding.
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