<<

. 11
( 12)



>>

object as Schelling had claimed, and thus there could be no “intellectual
intuition” of the absolute that would establish such a unity. Schelling™s
(and Hegel™s) attempts at providing an account of agency and nature that
presented a “uni¬ed” conception were, so Schopenhauer said, nothing
but “atrocious, and what is more extremely wearisome humbug.”
The conditions under which any experience of nature is possible thus
include “the inseparable and reciprocal dependence of subject and ob-
ject, together with the antithesis between them which cannot be elimi-
nated” and therefore if we are to seek the “inner ground” of the world,
the supersensible substrate of appearance, we must look to something
other than the structure of representation itself. Schopenhauer drew the
conclusion that one cannot get behind the opposition of subject and ob-
ject to ¬nd something deeper that unites them; one must abandon the
standpoint of representation that requires that fundamental opposition
of subject and object in the ¬rst place.
Our most fundamental knowledge of ourselves is through our grasp
of our embodied presence in the world. That grasp has two facets: ¬rst,
there is the representation of the body as yet another material substance
interacting with other substances in the material world according to
causal laws; but, second, there is also the awareness of the body as the
expression of one™s will.µ The latter grasp of one™s own body is much
 Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation (trans. E. J. F. Payne) (New York: Dover,
±), ©, p. ; §·.
 Ibid., ©, p. ±; §·.
 In this respect, Schopenhauer seemed to be following Reinhold, while rejecting Reinhold™s own
conclusions: “Now our method of procedure is toto genere different from these two opposite miscon-
ceptions, since we start neither from the object nor from the subject, but from the representation,
as the ¬rst fact of consciousness . . . [This] suggests to us, as we have said, that we look for the inner
nature of the world in quite another aspect of it which is entirely different from the representation,”
ibid., ©, p. ; §·.
µ Ibid., ©, p. ±°°; §±: “The action of the body is nothing but the will objecti¬ed, i.e., translated into
perception.”
·
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
different from the former, and Schopenhauer appeals to our experiential
sense of this to make his point, namely, that our “felt” understanding
of our own embodiment is totally different from our grasp of any other
material object. Other objects are inert, but we grasp ourselves as moving
ourselves around in the world (instead of “being moved” around in the
world). In grasping one™s body in this way as the expression of one™s will, one
is thereby grasping what one really is as a thing-in-itself, as a “will” that
is not a member of the causal order even though it is capable of initiating
its own string of causal connections (from action to consequence).
On the basis of that, Schopenhauer proposed that we understand the
nature of things-in-themselves as therefore being that of “will” (or at least
analogous to the will). That is, our only grasp of things-in-itself is (as he
takes Kant to have at least suggested) given through our own practical
sense of our being able to move ourselves about in the world, relatively in-
dependently of control by other things in the world; and, even though we
cannot know the nature of things-in-themselves by appealing to reason
(which, as Kant had shown, only lands us in insoluble contradictions “
antinomies “ when we apply requirements of pure reason to things-in-
themselves), we can by analogy posit that, whatever things-in-themselves
are, they have the structure of the “will.” Using our immediate experience
of our own willing, we can analogically determine that the world-in-itself
is a case of “will,” of groundless striving that has various different em-
pirical manifestations. Kant™s great mistake in asserting that we could
know nothing at all about the nature of things-in-themselves had to
do with his overlooking the way in which our re¬‚ective understanding
can detach itself from its dependence on what is given in experience
and grasp through the use of analogical concepts what is the “ground”
of that experience. (Schopenhauer freely admitted that his route to the
nature of the thing-in-itself was different from Kant™s and, so he thought,
superior.· )
Since the will is a thing-in-itself, it cannot be explained by appeal to
the principle of suf¬cient reason, which means, as Schopenhauer saw,
that there can in principle be no explanation of why we willed one thing
rather than another, even though from the theoretical perspective (that
of appearance), we must assume that every action is strictly determined.
The body simply is the empirical appearance of the will, and the kinds
 See ibid., ©, pp. ±±°“±±±, §: “We have to observe, however, that here of course we use only a
denominatio a potiori, by which the concept of will therefore receives a greater extension than it has
hitherto had.”
· See ibid., ©, p. ±·°; §±.
 Part IV The revolution in question
of accounts proper to explaining bodies in motion (whether through
Newtonian means or by appeals to motives) work well when applied to
the body as appearance but fail abruptly when applied to what the body
expresses, the will. As empirical appearances “ as ¬‚esh-and-blood human
beings living in the natural world (the world of “representation”) “ we
are completely determined; as will, we are independent of the natural
causal order.
The dif¬culty, as Schopenhauer clearly saw, was saying that “we” or
“I” is in-itself the “will,” since, as a thing-in-itself, the will “lies outside
time and space, and accordingly knows no plurality, and consequently is
one.” Behind the realm of appearance “ which Schopenhauer interprets
as more like a dream, illusion, the veil of Maya “ stands the reality of the
thing-in-itself as a restless, non-purposive striving “one,” the “will” that
strives without a goal at which it aims. This is the true “supersensible
substrate” of nature, the “one” that underlies the “all.” Like some other
post-Kantians (whom he despised), Schopenhauer in effect argued that
Kantianism had to culminate in some kind of quasi-Spinozism in order
to avoid making the relation between freedom and nature fully unin-
telligible, a conclusion that had seemed to threaten Kantianism since
the “Third Antinomy” of the ¬rst Critique. As Schopenhauer phrased his
conclusion: “The will reveals itself just as completely and just as much
in one oak as in millions . . . The inner being itself is present whole and
undivided in everything in nature, in every living being.” Curiously
enough, like Schelling (whom he hated), he also invoked Plato to explain
this, and, like Schelling, he drew conclusions about how, for example,
organic life cannot be explained mechanically: the objecti¬cations of the
will in appearance (the way the will as the single thing-in-itself appears
to minded agents as they represent it) are, he said, equivalent to Plato™s
Ideas; since each basic type of “objecti¬cation” is a different Idea, a fun-
damentally different way in which the will appears (objecti¬es itself), it
is fruitless to explain “higher” levels of appearance in terms appropriate
to explaining lower ones; and the different “levels” are to be taken as
different ways in which the “will” seeks an adequate expression for itself,
a mode of coming to self-consciousness about itself.±°
  Ibid., ©, pp. ±“±; §µ.
Ibid., ©, p. ±; §µ.
±° He even gives Schelling some credit in this regard; see ibid., ©, p. ±; §·. Schopenhauer says of
the level of “representation” “ of minds grasping the world by mental representations of it “ that
“the will, which hitherto followed its tendency in the dark with extreme certainty and infallibility,
has at this stage kindled a light for itself. This was a means that became necessary for getting
rid of the disadvantage which would result from the throng and the complicated nature of its
phenomena, and would accrue precisely to the most perfect of them,” ibid., ©, p. ±µ°; §·.

Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
The problem with the will™s “objectifying” itself in the form of
self-conscious representational knowledge of the world is that such
“objecti¬cation” introduces a gap between the knowing agent and the
deeper reality of that world, indeed, introduces the possibility and even a
motivation for an agent™s completely mistaking what is ultimately at stake
for him in such purposeless striving. A special talent and a special disci-
pline is thereby required for such self-conscious agents to recognize the
“will” that is the basis of their own willing “ that is, to recognize that their
own individual plans, projects, and strivings are no more than an empir-
ical, phenomenal re¬‚ection (or “objecti¬cation”) of the non-purposive
striving that is the nature of the world in-itself. The talent for seeing this
is found most clearly in the “genius,” which “consists in the ability to
know, independently of the principle of suf¬cient reason, not individual
things which have their existence only in the relation, but the Ideas of
such things, and in the ability to be, in face of these, the correlative of
the Idea, and hence no longer individual but pure subject of knowing.”±±
This was quite obviously different from the conclusions Kant had
drawn, particularly in Kant™s account of the experience of the beauti-
ful; Kant characterizes it as an experience of “purposiveness without
purpose,” a sense that things ¬t together according to a purpose that
we cannot state but which nonetheless prompts us to take an interest
in it, and which thereby reveals to us the binding quality of our moral
vocation. For Schopenhauer, on the other hand, understanding that the
world is “will” puts us in the position of being able to grasp the futility
of our own strivings, since the “will” has no purpose toward which it is
working (and thus it cannot in principle be satis¬ed). In that light, the
only true goal we can have (if it can be called a goal at all) is to escape
the pursuit of goals in general, to renounce the illusion of individual-
ity that is necessary to our experience of the world as “representation”
(since, as Kant showed, the objectivity of the natural world requires the
conception of such a subjective, individual point of view on that world),
and to become instead a “sel¬‚ess” knower, a point of view equivalent to
no point of view.
Not unsurprisingly, this distinction of himself and Kant surfaces in
Schopenhauer™s characterization of the experience of the sublime. In
the third Critique, Kant had distinguished between the “mathematical”
and “dynamical” sublime. The former involves elements of immeasur-
able greatness (or smallness), such that we cannot even imaginatively

±± Ibid., ©, p. ±; §·.
° Part IV The revolution in question
present them to our re¬‚ection in a sensuous way (the in¬nitely large
cannot be given, for example, a sensuous embodiment). The latter (the
dynamical sublime) presents us with something large and overpowering
(a hurricane, a huge boulder) that could easily crush us, and, in grasping
our physical inadequacy to resist such things, we also grasp our capabil-
ity, our will, to morally resist them “ to recognize our own in¬nite dignity
in the face of our ¬nite, physical incapacity to resist such forces. For
Schopenhauer, on the other hand, the experience of the dynamical sub-
lime liberates us from our will: “That state of pure knowing is obtained
¬rst of all by a conscious and violent tearing away from the relations to
the same object to the will . . . beyond the will and the knowledge related
to it.”± Likewise, for Kant, receptivity to the naturally beautiful (as op-
posed to art, the arti¬cially beautiful) is evidence of a “beautiful soul,”
of an agent attuned to nature™s “purposiveness without purpose,” its be-
ing structured as if it had been made to be commensurate to our own
cognitive faculties and our own moral hopes, and which gives us a non-
conceptual point of orientation for our moral lives; for Schopenhauer,
this non-cognitive orientation is only more evidence of the way in which
we rise above the will, “since the beauty of the object . . . has removed
from consciousness, without resistance and hence imperceptibly, the will
and knowledge of relations that slavishly serve this will. What is then left
is the pure subject of knowing and not even a recollection of the will
remains.”±
Like the early Romantics whom he despised, Schopenhauer argued for
the superiority of aesthetic experience over all other forms of experience.
Art, he says, gives us insight into the Ideas, the “objecti¬cations” of the
will in the empirical world (in the world of “representation”), and the
higher arts deal with the higher Ideas. In short: aesthetic experience
does not serve to reveal to us our moral vocation (as Kant claims) but is
instead the vehicle for escaping from the conditions of “the will” in the
¬rst place. Art leads us to “perfect resignation, which is the innermost
spirit of Christianity as of Indian wisdom, the giving up of all willing,
turning back, abolition of the will and with it of the whole inner being
of this world, and hence salvation.”± (For Schopenhauer, the opposite
of the sublime is the charming, since it induces an ultimately false sense of
satisfaction and ful¬llment in us, luring us into the illusion that satisfaction
in human life is ultimately possible.) Not for nothing was Schopenhauer™s
thought called the philosophy of pessimism and resignation.

± ± ±
Ibid., ©, p. °; §. Ibid., ©, p. ; §.
Ibid.
±
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
Schopenhauer went further and elevated music to the ¬rst rank in
the arts themselves, thus putting himself in line with the times (and
with Romanticism). In aesthetics prior to the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, secular music had always been rated somewhat lower than
the other ¬ne arts on the grounds that it only served to gratify or call
up indistinct emotions. (This was argued in spite of the acknowledged
power of music found in Homeric myths about the sirens and even in
Plato™s suspicions about the force of music.) Secular music was, for the
most part, relegated to entertainment, to serving as a pleasing back-
ground for socializing. (Twentieth- and early twenty-¬rst-century audi-
ences would be shocked at the level of conversational and other noise
found in eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century opera houses.)
The early Romantics changed all that, or at least changed the theory of
all that, and, by the middle of the nineteenth century, symphony halls
were being constructed as Greek and Roman temples, and the appro-
priate attitude for audiences became those of reverence and silence, with
applause and perhaps a few cries of “bravo” (the appropriate emotional
release for the audience) coming only at the end. What had earlier seemed
music™s basic weakness “ its close link to a purely emotional pull “ had
in the hands of the early Romantics been transformed into its greatest
advantage.±µ Only music, it was now felt, could adequately express the
sense of “subjective inwardness” (Innerlichkeit) that was most characteris-
tic of modern agency; and Schopenhauer came to be seen as one of the
great exponents of this view.
Since music, as Schopenhauer put it, “passes over the Ideas, it is also
quite independent of the phenomenal world, positively ignores it, and, to
a certain extent, could still exist even if there were no world at all, which
cannot be said of the other arts . . . [Music] is as immediate an objecti¬ca-
tion and copy of the whole will as the world itself is. Therefore music is
by no means like the other arts, namely a copy of the Ideas, but is a copy
of the will itself . . . For this reason the effect of music is so very much more
powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others
speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence.”± No early Romantic
could have put it better, and generations of writers and composers were
to take Schopenhauer™s words to heart as the articulation of what was
at stake in their endeavors. Wagner was one of Schopenhauer™s most
enthusiastic readers.
±µ See Peter Gay™s excellent treatment of this theme in Peter Gay, The Naked Heart, pp. ±±“µ
(“Bourgeois Experiences ©: The Art of Listening”).
± The World as Will and Representation, ©, p. µ·; §µ.
 Part IV The revolution in question
Schopenhauer meant what he said quite literally. Music was the sound
of the noumenal world; the “lowest grades of the objecti¬cation of the
will” (such as found in matter in motion) are “the bass notes” of the world,
as he says over and over again, in The World as Will and Representation. As
he also put it, “we could just as well call the world embodied music as
embodied will.”±· The elevation of music to the highest rank among the
arts was accompanied by an elevation of the notion of the “genius” to
virtually superhuman powers. Kant had already in the Critique of Judgment
extolled the inborn powers of the “genius” (a concept that was to be-
come a preoccupation for the critics of the nineteenth century); since
judgments of taste are made without “rules” (concepts) to guide them,
the genius is the person who gives the rule to art. The genius creates
original art (which if successful founds a school based on it, for which
rules can then be given), but neither the genius“artist nor anybody else
can state in advance what the rule is to be for that which has no rules. (In
creating something novel, the genius creates something exemplary for
other art; the genius creates the exemplar which the school later follows
and imitates.) The “genius” is one of Kant™s solutions to the “Kantian
paradox” (or perhaps yet another statement of the paradox itself), of
our being bound only by laws of which we can regard ourselves as the
authors.
Schopenhauer did not seem to be interested in the “Kantian paradox,”
but he took Kant™s notion of genius and exalted it even further. The
paradigm of the Schopenhauerian genius is the composer, someone like
Beethoven, who creates new things (the Eroica symphony, for example)
that are exemplary for what a work of art (the symphony in general)
ought to be. Thus, “the composer reveals the innermost nature of the
world.”± The composer (and the genius in general) does this without
understanding exactly what it is that he is doing; to understand would be
to bring it under concepts (to “represent” it), and nobody can bring art,
music least of all, under concepts. The genius“composer thus creates his
works from “the immediate knowledge of the inner nature of the world
unknown to his faculty of reason” and, because of that, must suffer himself
more than ordinary people, indeed, “he himself is the will objectifying
itself and remaining in constant suffering.”±
If this is the lesson to be learned from philosophy, then, so Schopen-
hauer correctly surmised, we will have to change our conception of the
appropriate goals of modern life and depart from Kant™s own more

±· ± ±
Ibid., ©, p. ; §µ. Ibid., ©, p. °; §µ. Ibid., ©, pp. , ·; §µ.

Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
optimistic version of those goals. There can be no approximation to an
ideal outcome in which the kingdom of ends is realized (however imper-
fectly), since there is a tragic ¬‚aw, as it were, at the metaphysical heart
of the world itself. Satisfaction would consist in attaining one™s goals,
but, since “there is no ultimate aim of striving . . . there is no measure
or end of suffering” and thus no satisfaction.° The revolutionary hopes
of Kantian-inspired philosophy for a world of rational faith, of mutual
respect, and of the realization of freedom were, in Schopenhauer™s ver-
sion of post-Kantian philosophy, simply naive. The most that could be
attained was a kind of resignation and detachment from things (even
from ourselves) so that we could escape the necessary suffering that self-
conscious life brings with itself. It is only when we understand that, from
the standpoint of the “will” (of the ceaseless, pointless striving that is the
basic nature of reality), individual birth and death is meaningless “ that
all that counts is the preservation of the species, not the individual, and,
from the larger standpoint, even that does not count “ that we are in a
position to be free, that is, to renounce the illusory nature of individuality
(our attachment to which makes death fearful in the ¬rst place). Any other
form of freedom than freedom-as-detachment and freedom-as-escape-
from-selfhood is only illusory, particularly those forms of freedom that
seem to be matters of “choice” since, in choosing one thing over another,
we are only expressing which motive was weightier and therefore nec-
essarily determined the will to move one way as opposed to another.±
Freedom, the watchword of all Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy,
was, for Schopenhauer, the freedom to rid ourselves of the illusions of
agency in the ¬rst place, which is possible only for the most cultured and
rare¬ed of people. For ordinary people, there is no kingdom of ends, only
the illusions of free choice and the pointless, suffering striving for a goal
that does not exist.
As Schopenhauer therefore concludes, when any sane man surveys
human life, “perhaps at the end of his life, no man, if he be sincere and
at the same time in possession of his faculties, will ever wish to go through
it again.” One might think that this would have led Schopenhauer to
the nihilism against which Jacobi had warned, but instead Schopenhauer
drew some (decidedly non-Kantian) ethical conclusions from such a view.

° Ibid., ©, pp. , °; §µ.
± In a characteristic statement, Schopenhauer notes: “By reason of all this, the genitals are the real
focus of the will, and are therefore the opposite pole to the brain, the representative of knowledge,
i.e., to the other side of the world, the world as representation,” ibid., ©, p. °; §°.
 Ibid., ©, p. ; §µ.
 Part IV The revolution in question
Each individual as the subject of representation is naturally led to ego-
ism, since the world (and therefore other agents) exists for him “only”
as representation. One is, however, led away from egoism and toward
forming a conscience in sensing, however vaguely, that the other agent is
part of the world of “will” as much as oneself “ and therefore in sensing,
however vaguely, that there is no real distinction between oneself and
the other, that both are mere appearances, even in a deep sense illusory
manifestations, of the same underlying “will.” That new awareness gives
one the sense, again perhaps only vaguely, that, in harming the other, one
is actually harming oneself since, at the deeper level, both are identical.
As Schopenhauer puts it, for the “just man the principium individuationis
is no longer an absolute partition as it is for the bad; that he does not,
like the bad man, af¬rm merely his own phenomenon of will and deny
all others; that others are not for him mere masks, whose inner nature is
quite different from his.” It is the recognition of the illusion of agency,
not recognition of its inherent dignity, that promotes justice and ethics.
However, just as no preference for oneself over others (since there is no
metaphysical difference that could possibly ground such a preference)
can be justi¬ed, no preference for others over oneself (that is, no form of
altruism) can be justi¬ed as well, since there is equally “no reason . . . for
preferring another™s individuality to one™s own.”
Schopenhauer thus explicitly rejects the Kantian injunction to treat
everyone as an end and never merely as a means, saying of Kant™s notion
that it is “extremely vague, inde¬nite” and “taken generally, it is inade-
quate, says little, and moreover is problematical”; of course, Schopenhauer
asserts, one is entitled to use a convicted murderer merely as a means
since the murderer has forfeited whatever rights he had in the ¬rst place.µ
Moreover, the Kantian notion of the “highest good” is also an absurdity,
since it would demand some kind of ¬nal and ultimate satisfaction, and
there simply can be no such thing. (If anything, as Schopenhauer ruefully
notes, deserves to be called the highest good, it would be the complete
negation of all striving for goods in general.)
Of course, from the political point of view, such insight and forbear-
ance cannot be counted on, and thus the state (preferably a hereditary
monarchy) must do what is necessary for it to maintain order. (It is,
however, a crucial error, Schopenhauer argued, to think that the state
ever could, and therefore ever should, promote morality.) At the end of
it all, Schopenhauer™s pessimistic, metaphysical post-Kantianism simply

  µ
Ibid., ©, p. ·°; §. Ibid., ©, p. ·µ; §·. Ibid., ©, p. ; §.
µ
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
abandoned Kantian moral and political hopes altogether. Schopenhauer,
ahead of his time, was the perfect philosopher for the resigned and dis-
couraged ±µ°s.

«©«§¤: °-¬¬©®§©® §¬©®©
One of those who went enthusiastically to Schelling™s lectures, who was
inspired by their beginning, and who, along with so many others, be-
came so disappointed by their progression so that he ceased going to
them, was the young Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard (±±“
±µµ). Kierkegaard had come to Berlin “ it was in fact to be the only
place outside of his native Copenhagen to which he would ever travel
“ to take in the Hegelian and post-Hegelian atmosphere and thought.
Although terribly disappointed by Schelling™s performance, he took away
with him some key Schellingian ideas and fashioned them into a highly
original philosophy that drew heavily on the themes of post-Kantian
thought that Schelling was rejecting.
Although Kierkegaard was not himself German, he can still be
considered to be a post-Hegelian philosopher in the German tradition.
Some caveats, though, are in order: even calling Kierkegaard a philoso-
pher is already both to break with his own self-understanding and to
classify him in a way that is not only controversial, but, so many would ar-
gue, downright misleading. Kierkegaard is more of a literary ¬gure than
what is recognizable nowadays as an academic philosopher (a character-
ization that would not bother him in the slightest). Although many of his
pieces resemble philosophy books or essays, they are more often (or often
include) parodies of the type of “systematic treatise” so favored by the
post-Kantians; unlike more common literary ¬gures, who would oper-
ate with the novel, the poem, or the theater-piece, Kierkegaard seemed
to have chosen the form of the philosophical treatise as the vehicle of
his literary ambitions. Moreover, Kierkegaard wrote almost entirely in
pseudonyms, which allowed him to assume various masks in working out
his ideas; not unsurprisingly, it has been a matter of heated interpretation
as to just which or how many or to what extent any of these masks actually
represent Kierkegaard™s own thought. (Kierkegaard™s masks even went
so far as to his public personae in Copenhagen, where he often carried
on as a type of detached dandy, the kind of person who could not possibly
be the same fellow writing those deep treatises.) He can also be classi¬ed
as a psychologist (in the manner in which Nietzsche later used to refer
to himself occasionally as a “psychologist”); he is also an ironist, and
 Part IV The revolution in question
many of his pieces would have ¬t well into the ensemble of ironist essays
popular in Jena at the turn of the nineteenth century. He is certainly a
Christian thinker, and some of his work might even be called theology.
Whatever is the case, almost anything one says about Kierkegaard is
bound to be hotly disputed by other Kierkegaardians.
Whatever else he is, however, he is a modernist in the idealist sense.
More than many others, and certainly more than Schopenhauer, he
picked up on the Kantian and post-Kantian emphasis on self-direction, on
the notion that what had come to matter to “us moderns” not just in
part but “absolutely” and “in¬nitely” was the necessity to lead one™s own
life. Belonging to the post-Hegelian generation who only found great
disappointment with the shape and texture of emerging industrial com-
mercial society, Kierkegaard radicalized the idea of freedom in light of
his disappointment with, if not antipathy toward, the modern world that
he encountered around himself. Some, of course “ most spectacularly,
Marx and Engels “ transformed their disappointment into revolutionary
zeal and hope for an entirely different future that would make good on
modernity™s failed promise. Kierkegaard, much like the Parisian dandies
who were to come later, transformed his disappointment into a literary
calling and a way of life; for him, the modern world had promised free-
dom but, instead, had delivered a deadening conformity, and, even worse,
a kind of puffed-up rhetoric about itself that seemed far removed from
its tawdry reality. The modern world, which was supposed to be about
self-direction, seemed not only dully conformist, it seemed to confuse
words with life, as if describing itself in grandiose terminology would ac-
tually make it grand. Indeed, it was the connection (or lack of it) between
“life” and “theory” that drove much of Kierkegaard™s writing and which
earned him the posthumous title of “existentialist.”
As any reader of Kierkegaard quickly notes, the target of his most
vituperative attacks is a ¬gure named “Hegel,” who puts thought and
words above reality and believes that thinking it so makes it so, who claims
in¬‚ated status, even reality, for what is really just an intellectual game.
Kierkegaard™s animus to “Hegel” can be summed up in a quip made
in his journal, which could just as well have been said by Schelling: “If
Hegel had written the whole of his logic and then said, in the preface, that
it was merely an experiment in thought in which he had even begged the
question in many places, then he would certainly have been the greatest
thinker who had ever lived. As it is he is merely comic.” Schelling™s

 Kierkegaard™s Journals (trans., selected, and with an introduction by Alexander Dru) (New York:
Harper and Row, ±µ), Remark ·. In Concluding Unscienti¬c Postscript, he notes: “But as it now
·
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
objection to all the forms of “negative” philosophy (Schelling™s phrase)
as essentially only games of thought with itself that ignore the crucial
break between “what we must think” and “the way things must be” “
between “thought” and “actuality,” as Schelling put it “ was taken over
by Kierkegaard and transformed into something much more radical.
It is, of course, not at all clear that “Hegel,” the object of Kierkegaard™s
attacks, is the same ¬gure as Hegel, the nineteenth-century idealist. But,
whoever the “Hegel” under attack is, it is fairly clear that it is the Hegel
that Schelling presented in his ±±“± lectures, a thinker who offered
up the “system” and mistakenly identi¬ed it with the world. Kierkegaard
obviously took to heart Schelling™s striking claim in his ¬rst Berlin lecture
where, in response to the contemporary idea that “something new must
take the place of Christianity,” Schelling rhetorically responded that this
proposal failed to take into account the serious alternative of whether
anybody had actually ever understood Christianity up until that point.·
Could it be that all the Christians had misunderstood what it took to be
a Christian?
Although Kierkegaard was at ¬rst inspired by some of Schelling™s
notions “ he wrote in his journal that: “I am so happy to have heard
Schelling™s second lecture “ indescribable . . . as he cited the word,
“actuality,” and the relationship of philosophy to actuality, there the
fruit of thought in me leapt for joy as in Elizabeth” “ he quickly came
to the view that Schelling was all hot air, as absurdly pretentious as
the people he was excoriating; Kierkegaard even noted sarcastically to
a friend that Schelling™s “whole doctrine of potency (Potenz) testi¬es to
the highest impotence.” Disappointed, he took up Schelling™s diatribe
against Hegel and turned it against Schelling himself.
Kierkegaard had fully absorbed the modernist and therefore Kantian
stress on autonomy. For Kierkegaard, the Kantian lesson “ that in both
experience and practice the meaning of things for us could not simply be
given but had to be supplied by our own activity, our own self-direction “
seemed almost self-evidently true, and the shock was how much it seemed
by the ±°s to have been forgotten. That we are called to be self-
directing, to lead our own lives, to be subject only to a law we impose
is, the Logic with its collection of notes makes as droll an impression on the mind as if a man were
to show a letter purporting to have come from heaven, but having a blotter enclosed which only
too clearly reveals its mundane origin,” Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscienti¬c Postscript (trans.
David F. Swenson) (Princeton University Press, ±±), p. ·.
· Philosophie der Offenbarung, p. ·.
 See the appendix to Philosophie der Offenbarung, p. µ° (from Kierkegaard™s Journal, November ,
±±).
 See ibid., p. µ (from Kierkegaard™s letter to Emil Boesen, February ·, ±).
 Part IV The revolution in question
on ourselves, is, as Kant originally saw, quasi-paradoxical.° If nothing
else, it means that we are called (or determined, to capture the dual
connotations of the German term, Bestimmung) to choose what we are to
make of ourselves, and, curiously, this calling to radical choice is both
not itself something that is subject to choice, and involves the paradox
of demanding reasons for choice while ruling them out. We can be sub-
ject only to those laws that we author for ourselves; but, as authors, we
must have reasons for the laws we author, since otherwise they cannot
be “laws” (reasons) but only contingent events; and, as even Kant had
seen, that seemed to be paradoxical.
Oddly enough, Kierkegaard™s conception of subjectivity is strikingly
close to Hegel™s (although not to “Hegel,” the object of his ongoing jibes).
To be a subject, an agent, is not to be something ¬xed, like a rock or a
dog; it is to be the kind of entity that undertakes commitments, assumes
responsibilities and holds himself to them. To be an “existing subject” is
to be a work in progress. A person™s life is therefore more like an ongoing
project, and what matters most to anybody is that their life be their own
life, that their actions and beliefs issue from themselves. People are not
simply born subjects; they become subjects by virtue of what they take
themselves to be committed to.
To be a subject is thus an existential matter, to use the language
Kierkegaard invented for his purpose. For a person to make it through
life as a “subject,” they must assume certain responsibilities and hold
themselves to it. Since subjects are such normative creatures, the issue
for each subject has to be which normative commitments he or she can
hold themselves to and which they should hold themselves to. The fault
of all systems of philosophy (of which Hegel™s is the “completion,” as he
learned from Schelling and no doubt also heard from Hegel™s epigones
in Berlin) is that they think that this existential issue “ what does and
ought to ultimately matter to me and what should I do about it? “ can be
answered in any kind of systematic or criterial way. It is even misleading
to call what counts as leading one™s own life a matter of “choice,” since
° Kierkegaard even speaks of his own “paradox” in Kantian terms. For example, he has one of
his pseudonyms, Johannes Climacus, declare: “But the highest pitch of every passion is always
to will its own downfall; and so it is also the supreme passion of Reason to seek a collision,
though this collision must in one way or another prove its undoing. The supreme paradox of all
thought is the attempt to discover something that thought cannot think,” Søren Kierkegaard,
Philosophical Fragments or a Fragment of Philosophy (trans. David F. Swenson) (Princeton University
Press, ±), p. . This is reminiscent of Kant™s own introductory statement in the Critique of Pure
Reason: “Human reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened
by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but
which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer” (p. vii).

Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
what ultimately matters to an individual cannot simply be something
that he has chosen (as if one really could confer ¬nal and ultimate value
on something, like making circles in the air with one™s hands, simply by
an act of choice). The strange paradox is that what counts is leading
one™s own life and therefore choosing and acknowledging that the value
of that which one chooses cannot always be the result of one™s choosing it,
while at the same time holding fast to the idea that it can bind you only
if you choose it.
In making the “choice,” or “decision” about what one is to commit
oneself to, it is absolutely crucial that it be made on grounds that are one™s
own reasons, not simply the “objective” reasons of one™s culture, one™s
background, even one™s personal dispositions, since all those are subject
to deception, manipulation, and blind steering by forces outside of one™s
own direction. Yet, as Kant and the post-Kantians had come to see, that
requires that there be a reason that one did not choose, yet which nonethe-
less can be seen as one™s own reason. This “paradox” (in Kierkegaard™s
transformation of it) simply is the paradox of all human life: we must
lead our own lives, yet the very basis of what might count as our own life
does not seem as if it could be our own.
Kierkegaard™s ¬rst great book, Either/Or, laid out this paradox in a lit-
erary manner that self-consciously aped the Hegelian dialectic (at least
as he had absorbed it in his rather passing study of Hegel). However, in
Kierkegaard™s hands, the “dialectic” breaks down without producing its
successor out of itself (as he thought Hegel™s dialectic did), even though
a successor was to be found that was “called for” by that determinate
failure. The “successor” follows from what precedes it not by any kind
of internal logic but instead by a new beginning, an act of radical choice
that is ultimately a commitment to Christianity. The book is typically
Kierkegaardian: it consists of a set of essays and letters, partly philo-
sophical, partly literary, written by pseudonymous authors (A and B),
which are then edited and commented upon by a third party, also a
Kierkegaardian pseudonym (Victor Eremita). The editor cannot choose
between them, and the true author, Kierkegaard, never steps in to tell
the reader who is right and who is wrong.
The ¬rst author, A, presents the case for leading an “aesthetic” life;
in the aesthetic mode, the life that is chosen is, oddly, a life that militates
against choice (or at least against hard choices or fundamental choices).
The aesthete attempts to live life in the present, to focus on the imme-
diacy of his experience “ although the aesthete is not a hedonist, since
even painful experiences can provide a focus for him “ which, so it turns
µ° Part IV The revolution in question
out, amounts to an attempt to escape or repress one™s own agency. The
aesthete focuses on giving himself over to the momentaneous in his ex-
perience; in effect, the aesthete seeks a distraction from himself and from
assuming any responsibility for his life as a whole, paradoxically taking
himself to be leading his own life by not leading it, by fragmenting himself
and losing himself in the submersion in his own passions. (Kierkegaard
took one of the paradigms of the aesthetic way of life to be the Don
Juan style of seducer, who is so caught up in his own fragmented, ¬‚eeting
romantic passions that he avoids seeing how he is avoiding any sense of
selfhood.) The aesthetic way of life breaks down on its own terms, since
the aesthete is, in Kantian terms, electing maxims that he denies he is
electing “ or, in Kierkegaard™s terms, choosing himself as not choosing
himself. If it dawns on him that he is caught in this paradox, his only
response can be that of despair, the feeling of the impossibility of leading
one™s life in the only way that it matters to you. What matters the most
to the aesthete is leading his own life, which he confuses with not leading
it, and the self-consciousness of the impossibility of doing that precisely
is despair.
From the standpoint of B, it is obvious that there is a natural impetus
for the aesthete to begin to lead instead an “ethical” way of life. (Or, in
terms of the “dialectic,” one “passes over” into the other.) In that way of
life, the agent assumes responsibility for himself and elects to hold himself
to his self-chosen responsibilities. In B™s telling, the paradigm for this is
marriage, which involves taking on responsibilities and, in the existential
sense, committing oneself to holding to those commitments over a whole
life. Kierkegaard™s ethical life roughly corresponds to Hegel™s notion of
ethical life, Sittlichkeit, of agents™ appropriating for themselves socially
established duties that are nonetheless realizations of freedom as self-
legislation (such as marriage and the family). The satisfactory life, so B
argues, consists in understanding that true freedom consists in choosing
oneself, not knowing oneself, and that consists in recognizing one™s duties
and holding oneself to them.
The ethical life, however, comes up ¬‚atly against the Kantian paradox
of self-legislation: for the ethical life to be one™s own life, it must be that
one is subject only to laws one legislates for oneself, and, as Kierkegaard™s
pseudonym, B, states it: “Here the objective for his activity is himself,
but nevertheless not arbitrarily determined for he possesses himself as a
task that has been assigned him, even though it became his by his own
choosing.” It becomes apparent that, although B recognizes A™s despair
(even while A might be unaware of it), B is too smug about his own, hidden
µ±
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
despair, all of which ultimately catches up with B. B discovers (or at least
acquires the intimation) that the paradox of self-legislation cannot be
avoided by talk of duty, or ethical community. We cannot simply choose
ourselves; such efforts are useless; we are always the creatures of our own
histories, social surroundings, and personal idiosyncrasies, and these we
do not and cannot choose. The only appropriate reaction to this de¬ant
attempt at self-determination “ in Fichte™s language of the “I™s positing
itself ” “ is to acknowledge (as Fichte could not) that we are dependent
on an “other,” a “Not-I” that cannot be reappropriated or reconceived
as the “posit” of the “I.” We cannot, that is, through our own powers
completely choose ourselves.
The intended result of Either/Or is to leave the reader in the situa-
tion where he is to realize that, in the choice between either leading the
aesthetic life or leading the ethical life, there can be only despair over
the impossibility of leading one™s own life in general.± That is, one seems
to be forced to choose between two ways of life (an “either/or”), both
of which are fated to fail in the most important way. Despair is the con-
dition of realizing the impossibility of achieving what matters the most
to an agent while at the same time being unable to give up striving for
it; it is the condition, that is, of realizing that one™s life is necessarily a
failure. (Kierkegaard thus distinguishes this form of despair with more
“¬nite” forms, as when one has made it one™s life™s ambition to be the
best something-or-another “ such as being the researcher who ¬rst dis-
covers something “ and failed to do so.) To use the language of Hegelian
idealism that Kierkegaard so carefully exploited, the in¬nite value of self-
determination is both impossible to achieve and impossible to abandon,
and that impossibility of achieving “in¬nite” self-determination lies in
the inherent ¬nitude of agency itself: the various ways in which we are
dependent on all kinds of contingent factors apparently make the idea
of self-determination (and therefore of leading one™s own life) a chimera.
Simply accepting one™s ¬nitude, moreover, is no answer, since acceptance
± Alasdair MacIntyre™s very insightful treatment of Kierkegaard in his in¬‚uential book, After Virtue,
seems to me to get this point about Kierkegaard wrong. He argues that the result of Either/Or is
to show that there is no rational choice to be made between the two poles, and that Kierkegaard
therefore presents the choice as a matter of pure decision, and, moreover, that Kierkegaard™s
sharp separation of reason and authority is itself a very contingent product of the modern
breakdown of the idea of a rational culture. However, Kierkegaard™s notion does not make
things a matter of decision; he is far more concerned with how both conceptions lead to despair,
not a general thesis about rationality; both MacIntyre and myself see Kierkegaard™s notions
as rooted in Kantian moral theory but in much different areas of that theory. See Alasdair
MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (South Bend: Notre Dame University Press, ±±),
pp. “.
µ Part IV The revolution in question
only highlights the impossibility of achieving what matters not relatively
but “absolutely,” “in¬nitely.” Absolute despair is the realization that it is
futile to put absolute value on anything (¬nite) in the world.
The only way out of this existential dilemma is to accept the paradox
for what it is: a paradox whose solution cannot come through reason
and which requires therefore something beyond reason to resolve it. It
requires, to use Fichte™s language again, one™s holding oneself to the
notion that the “I” must freely “posit” itself and must posit the “Not-I”
as determining it, and seeing that there is no way out of the paradox.
There can thus be no dialectical way out of despair (no way of resolving
the paradox), and hence no intellectual solution to the problem “ which
rules out philosophical solutions to the problem of what it means to be
an existing individual. There is also no straightforwardly practical way
out of despair: no act of will (or strength of will or “resolve”) can wrench
one from the existential despair over the necessary failure of one™s life,
since all acts of will are ¬nite and cannot themselves establish something
of “in¬nite” importance (or, to put it another way, for Kierkegaard, no
act of will can overcome the metaphysical paradox inherent in the idea
of freedom as self-determination). This condition of absolute despair
is, as Kierkegaard metaphorically calls it, a “sickness unto death,” a
metaphysical malaise attendant on the self-conscious realization of the
impossibility of actualizing the only thing that really matters, a sickness
that cannot on its own call for its own cure.
In fact, the only way out of such despair must therefore be something
else that is not itself a new mode of conceiving of one™s life (as if one
could make the “Hegelian” mistake of thinking one™s way out of the
paradox). Kierkegaard (famously) calls this the “leap of faith.” We
must simply acknowledge that we are dependent on a power outside of
ourselves, and that power must be itself capable of giving us the “reasons”
for directing our life that are not subject to the worries about contingency
and ¬nitude that color all other affairs in our lives, even if we cannot fully
conceptualize how that is to take place. That leap must be to that which
is capable of providing us with that resolution, and that can only be the
 This leads to one of Kierkegaard™s more striking conclusions about his own Christianity, which
also concerns his own discussion of guilt (which will have to go undiscussed here): “But it is too
often overlooked that the opposite of sin is not virtue, not by any manner of means. This is in
part a pagan view which is content with a merely human measure and properly does not know
what sin is, that all sin is before God. No, the opposite of sin is faith, as is af¬rmed in Rom. ±:,
˜whatsoever is not of faith is sin,™ ” Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto
Death (trans. Walter Lowrie) (New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, ±µ), p. ± (cited from The
Sickness Unto Death).
µ
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
Christian God. Moreover, one cannot simply decide to take the “leap.”
One cannot, for example, take the “leap” by an act of will: the problem
that spurs one into the position of understanding the necessity for such
a “leap” is that recognizing one™s ¬nitude means recognizing that it is
not within one™s power to confer such a value on anything or to resolve
the paradox on one™s own. One cannot simply will the impossible, will
to resolve the paradox of leading one™s own life by acknowledging that
one™s own freedom is dependent on God™s power to empower you to
freedom (which is, of course, itself paradoxical). One must, instead, give
oneself over to God and accept that only by submitting one™s life to God™s
judgment can one then have a life of one™s own. The “Kantian paradox”
is “overcome” only by acknowledging the Christian paradox that one
must ¬rst give up one™s life in order to have one™s life. ( Jacobi™s great
mistake in his own conception of the salto mortale was to think that one
could be argued into it, or that one could argue somebody else into it. )
To take the “leap of faith” is thus to enter into faith. Why, though,
would one take such a “leap”? The motivation to take the leap can
only come about through acknowledging the hopelessness of rising to
the challenge to choose oneself. The condition under which one can
become a faithful Christian is to acknowledge and live with the despair
of someone who sees that there can be no prior motivation for the leap,
nor can there be any intellectual justi¬cation for the leap, nor can the
leap actually conceptually resolve the paradox; paradoxically, the only
person who can therefore become a Christian is somebody who grasps
how impossible it is to become a Christian. To be a believer in the religious
sense is not in fact to overcome this despair but to be in the constant process
of coping with despair, of living out one™s despair. ( This is analogous to
Kant™s own conclusion that, strictly speaking, there can be no interest in
becoming moral, that the bindingness of the moral law on us is just a
“fact of reason.” )
The appropriate response to this despair, however, is not to fall into de-
pression or “pessimism,” as Kierkegaard notes over and over again. (The
contrast with Schopenhauer is obvious.) In fact, the more appropriate
 See Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscienti¬c Postscript, pp. “µ.
 Kierkegaard, of course, rejected Hegel™s own attempt to generalize Kant™s paradox of self-
legislation into a point about normative authority in general, since, under the in¬‚uence of
Schelling, he took Hegel to have attempted to solve this in a purely intellectual, logical sense
that left the existing world and the existing individual out of consideration. Thus, Kierkegaard
says, “The questionableness of the ˜Method™ becomes apparent already in Hegel™s relation to
Kant . . . To answer Kant with the fantastic shadow-play of pure thought is precisely not to
answer him,” ibid., p. .
µ Part IV The revolution in question
immediate reaction is comical. For Kierkegaard (as, again oddly enough,
also for Hegel, although not perhaps for Kierkegaard™s “Hegel”), the
truly comical has to do with the gap between what we take ourselves
to be doing (when we take ourselves to be doing something important)
and what we are really doing. Thus, all life is comical, since in all life we
are trying to do something we cannot do, seeking to choose ourselves
while necessarily failing to do so.µ However, such a comical approach
can only be justi¬ed about the state of despair if it is combined with a
tragic sense of what is at stake in despair. The comical spirit reconciles
itself to the pain experienced in living through such a contradiction (in
understanding, for example, that what one thought was so important
and to which one devoted so much time and energy was in fact some-
thing else entirely); but the basic contradiction in human life, for which
the appropriate response is despair, understands that the comical view
of itself is only partial. Ultimately, the religious attitude (faith, coping
with the unavoidable metaphysical despair of life instead of repressing
it or futilely seeking to overcome it) is not itself truly comical, since it
is a “contradiction,” but one for which the categories of “pretense and
reality” are not appropriate. The religious stance is one of subjective
inwardness “ there are no behavioral criteria for whether one is coping
with such despair, and there is no direct way to respond to another who
claims to be in such an ongoing self-relation. As coping with the contra-
diction, the inwardness of the religious stance is thus “above” the comic;
it realizes what is comical about itself (that it strives for that which it has
no ordinary hope of achieving), but its “in¬nite” seriousness about itself
makes it more similar to the tragic stance.
For Kierkegaard, the reaction to the post-Kantian tradition seemed
straightforward. He seems to have taken Kant to have pointed out the
problem, and Kant™s successors to have shown how not to deal with it. Af-
ter Kant, there could be no God™s-eye metaphysics that would resolve the
problems of what it means to be human, since Kant had pinpointed both
the answer and the problem: to be human is to be “spontaneous” and
“free,” and that, so Kierkegaard argued, was not a theoretically resolvable
problem. Kant had claimed a “practical” resolution, but Kierkegaard
µ See ibid., p. µ: “The comical is present in every stage of life . . . for wherever there is contra-
diction, the comical is also present. The tragic and the comic are the same, insofar as both are
based on contradiction; but the tragic is the suffering contradiction, the comical the painless contradiction.”
 See ibid., p. : “Existence itself, the act of existing, is a striving, and is both pathetic and comic
in the same degree. It is pathetic because the striving is in¬nite; that is, it is directed toward the
in¬nite, being an actualization of in¬nitude, a transformation which involves the highest pathos.
It is comic, because such a striving involves a self-contradiction.”
µµ
Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard
had taken this in his own “existential” direction. The post-Kantian at-
tempt to come to terms with it, especially the Hegelian attempt to think
through what it would mean to be modern and to live and think without
reliance on the “givens” of the past, was judged by Kierkegaard to be
an utter failure. He rejected all of Hegel™s historicism, seeing nothing
particularly “modern” about the problem of autonomy, but he kept all
the terms “ except that, for Kierkegaard, the Hegelian hope of a rec-
onciling politics, art, and philosophy had to be abandoned. There is no
hope for any political reconciliation of modern life; all that is left, he
seemed to be saying, is a set of radically individual callings “ of each
individual, confronting the necessary but impossible task of leading his
own life, acknowledging the despair that necessarily follows from that
acknowledgment. On Kierkegaard™s view, the fate of the modern world
was not the establishment of reconciliation in Sittlichkeit and free poli-
tics, but a social world of puffed-up conformism populated by despairing
individuals engaged in efforts to deny and repress their despair.
What modernity had done, in Kierkegaard™s view, was make it clear
that what people made of their lives was entirely up to them, although,
in a strangely paradoxical way, not up to them at all. Modernity itself,
so it seemed to Kierkegaard, had simply failed.
Conclusion: the legacy of idealism




By the ±°s, Schelling™s early comment that “[t]he beginning and end
of all philosophy is freedom!” had lost the rhetorical force it had earlier
in the century; even if people uttered it, it had become a clich´ , even
e
a shorthand for something else not being said and which was not itself
about freedom. In terms of the more general intellectual culture, phi-
losophy, which from Kant to Hegel had been at the leading edge of the
way educated Germans tried to come to grips with what things meant to
them, had been replaced by the natural sciences “ at ¬rst by chemistry
and physiology, then later in the century by physics and biology. For many
people, the Industrial Revolution and the shattering disappointments of
±“± seemed to have shown that the entire movement from Kant to
Hegel was overblown, something with far too much metaphysics and far
too little practicality. For those people, progress was from now on to be
marked by materialism and industry, not by invocations of the develop-
ment of spirit. Names like Helmholz and Virchow became the heroes of
the new generation of intellectuals who shifted their faith to the authority
of the natural sciences (and therefore of “reason” itself, interpreted dif-
ferently than Kant and Hegel had thought) to contribute to the progress
of humankind. If anything, the generation following the ±µ°s tended to
see the generations that had embraced idealism as ancient relics, a part
of the pre-industrial past, incapable of giving any guidance to the future.
In one obvious sense, placing faith in the normative authority of nat-
ural (and later, social) science did not disappoint the architects and
participants of that mid-century shift in allegiance. The advances in
physics, chemistry, and biology during the latter half of the nineteenth
century, particularly in Germany, were spectacular, and the concurrent
rise of industrialization in Germany was just as dramatic. Moreover, the
rationalism of the sciences and the rigor of their methods seemed quite
obviously linked with the highly visible successes of the new technologies
of steel and coal; they both quite naturally appeared as the appropriate
µ
µ·
Conclusion
paradigms for progressive thought and to have completely replaced ide-
alism once and for all. Schelling™s Naturphilosophie, which ¬fty years before
had seemed so impressive, now came to represent all that was seemingly
backward and mystical about post-Kantian philosophy, so completely
out of touch with the realities of scienti¬c practice and an industrializing
world. The nail in the cof¬n seemed to come with Darwin™s theory of
evolution, which appeared in English in ±µ and was quickly accepted
in Germany, having found a talented popularizer in Ernst Haeckel, who
did more to introduce Darwinian ideas to a wider German public than
anybody else (even though Haeckel™s own interpretations of Darwinian
theory were anything but orthodox, and Haeckel himself was anything
but a normal character). The image of philosophers as priests of the truth
(as Fichte™s famous phrase put it) was replaced by that of natural scien-
tists as the secular authorities of the truth, and Berlin university, with its
slogan of the unity of teaching and research combined into one institu-
tion, ceased to have philosophy as its central unifying faculty, becoming
instead a leading international center of scienti¬c research. Thus, the
notion that the proper goal of inquiry was the pursuit of causal explana-
tions, and the proper model of explanatory theory was whatever it was
that the natural sciences were doing, rapidly became the leading edge of
academic philosophy in the last half of the nineteenth century. Idealism
was rapidly replaced by naturalism.
Not everything, though, was a movement upwards. Alongside the
voices of imperial triumphalism in Germany after the very non-liberal
uni¬cation of ±·±, and the smug assertions of superiority by the increas-
ingly wealthy industrial bourgeoisie, ran also the increasingly nervous
expressions of spiritual emptiness, and the now familiar refrains about
the blankness of our shoddy, new bourgeois world. In the arts and in
literature, other movements took root, and more and more the theme
of modernity, not as freedom actualized but as a form of spiritual ex-
haustion, began to become a regular feature of modern life. Among
those attracted to socialism, this was interpreted as the last gasp of a
dying order before its rebirth in a new and more glorious form in the
future; for others, it signi¬ed, as Nietzsche was later famously to call it,
the nihilistic rule of the “last men”; for yet others it seemed to call for
some new act of heroism, perhaps an “art of the future” that would lib-
erate humanity from the sti¬‚ing corner into which it had painted itself.
For all these people outside of the loud triumphalist celebrations, what
in ±°° had been the call for a new dynamism and energy, for mankind™s
¬nal “release from its self-incurred immaturity,” had become in hindsight
µ German philosophy ±·°“±°
only so much na¨vet´, enervation, perhaps, as Schopenhauer suggested,
±e
even some kind of deeply misguided illusion. One has only to look at
the literature emerging especially in France (one thinks of Stendhal) or
the impressionist revolt in the painting of modern life to see that the
feeling of exhaustion, of things being at the end of a line of development,
was being appropriated and rapidly becoming both the intellectual and
emotional background against which European hopes were set or dis-
carded. In both cases, idealism was understood to have been defeated,
to be over as an ongoing line of thought. Naturalism saw itself as having
decisively defeated idealism; and those who saw the present in terms of
spiritual exhaustion saw idealism as a symptom, if not the cause, of such
enervation.
However, to see idealism as exhausted or defeated or even overcome is
to miss the most important part of its legacy and how its central themes
continued to contest those emerging after its heyday, even by those who
most emphatically held it to have been decisively surmounted by what
followed it. After the Kantian revolution, it was no longer possible to
conceive of experience without also conceiving of the ways in which that
experience is “taken up” by us and the ways in which we interpret it, in
which the meaning of experience cannot be merely given but, in part at
least, spontaneously construed or constructed by us. How we achieve self-
consciousness about our place in the world is crucial to understanding all
our claims to knowledge, spiritual integrity, aesthetic truth, and political
rightness. If anything, the Kantian revolution left behind a view that
nature per se could no longer serve as the source of such meaning,
and that we therefore had to look to human spontaneity to supply it or
to ¬nd the conditions under which such claims could be meaningfully
made.
The Kantian legacy, by taking normative authority to be self-
legislated, to be a product of our spontaneity as it combines itself with our
receptivity in the theoretical sphere and to be a product of our autonomy
in the practical sphere, raised the issue as to whether that kind of norma-
tive authority could itself be secured against further challenge. Kantians
had their own answer: this normative authority, although spontaneously
generated and therefore self-imposed, is nonetheless that of a “universal
self-consciousness,” of the rules binding all rational agents, since without
such rules we could not be self-conscious at all; and certainly our own
“self-consciousness” about our own role in instituting those rules cannot
remove their binding quality. Post-Kantians, while at ¬rst attempting
to hold on to that notion of “universal self-consciousness” (especially in
µ
Conclusion
Reinhold™s version), moved to the idea (prominent in Fichte and even
more so in Hegel) that as self-legislated, such authority, since it involves
an inescapable self-consciousness about itself, is itself always subject to
challenge. That universal self-consciousness cannot therefore be itself a
matter of “certainty” but only of a certain kind of unavoidability, a capacity
to withstand such challenges and to emerge as being authoritative for all,
to become and sustain itself as a “universal self-consciousness,” as that
which we, as part of a developmental story we must tell about ourselves,
come to ¬nd that we practically cannot do without.
In Fichte™s, and then Hegel™s, hands, that conception of the ways in
which all such claims are open to challenge became transmuted into the
claim that, after Kant “ in modernity itself “ all such claims are necessar-
ily accompanied by a possible self-consciousness (that “it must be possible
for ˜I think™ to accompany all my” claims). That self-consciousness car-
ries within itself the realization that the capacity of those kinds of claims
to withstand such challenges rests on whether they can be shown to be
based on reasons that have proved to be universally good reasons by
virtue of the way they have shown themselves to be unavoidable for us “
in short, whether they historically and socially can come to be elements
of a “universal self-consciousness,” not whether they are the necessary
conditions for all such agents all the time in all places. In Hegel™s treat-
ment, reasons come to be conceived as part of the thickly historical and
social practice of giving and asking for reasons, and their universality was
thereby conceived as a fragile historical achievement, not as a transcenden-
tal feature of consciousness. As a historical and social achievement, it has
grown out of failures of previous attempts at establishing a “universal
self-consciousness,” failures which, in Hegel™s account, were to be ex-
plained by the way in which all such previous pre-Kantian attempts at
establishing universal reasons had turned out to be “one-sided,” had in
the process of establishing and sustaining themselves proved to be too
much the product of individual exercises of power or interest, or too
much the product of simply “given” social rules whose authority could
not be sustained. In Hegel™s story, this turns out to be the genesis of
“us moderns,” who are “destined” to understand normative authority
in light of our growing self-consciousness about our own role in estab-
lishing such normative authority and therefore about its fragility and
defeasibility.
That particular legacy of idealism “ our new self-consciousness of the
way in which all our norms are subject to challenge because of that very
modern self-consciousness about them “ played its own background
° German philosophy ±·°“±°
role in the contested philosophical, political, artistic, and even religious
debates of the ±µ°s and ±°s. The massive shift to the secular authority
of natural (and social) science to provide the contact with the world that
would either underpin the revolutionary capitalist industrial order or
(as in especially the case of Marx and his “scienti¬c socialism”) point
the successful, revolutionary way out of that order, can itself only be
understood against the background of the new understanding of the
emergence of freedom that the Kantians and post-Kantians had ¬rst
put forward. Only by freedom™s mattering so much could it seem so
imperative to ¬nd a better way of securing it, such that, if their world
(encompassingthepre-Revolutionary,pre-Napoleonic,andpre-industrial
orders) had not provided the answers, then something else had to. The
nervousness attendant at each stage to the air of triumphalism in that
period was a nervousness about the possibility of self-determination
itself: were we really self-legislating, could we become really self-legislating,
and, even more poignantly, did we really even “want” to be free in
that sense (or could we bear it even if we could be)? The emotional
force of the idea of “revolution” (whether a socialist revolution, a
revolution in the arts, or a revolution in spirituality) that hung around
roughly until ± was the basis of the inchoate hope that something
would come along to change things so that our freedom would now be
¬nally realized, that the anxieties accompanying it would ¬nally either
disappear or themselves be integrated into some workable whole.
There was likewise the anxiety provoked by all of the traditionalist
responses to the idealist way of setting our problems as those involved in
self-legislation (and as thus calling for Kantian “transcendental” or even
more far-reaching Hegelian “speculative” and “historical” solutions),
namely, that this way of comprehending what it means to be human as
living with the inescapable defeasibility of all normative authority itself
necessarily leads to “normlessness,” or, as Jacobi prophesied, “nihilism” “
an anxiety that, in turn, has continually provoked its own call for a
reassertion of the authority of reason, or nature, or tradition, which
would somehow survive the kind of self-consciousness that Kantians and
post-Kantians thought had come to be such an unavoidable norm about
our world. Such traditionalist moves inevitably transmuted themselves
into a kind of moralism about reason, a call to more strength of will
in reasserting reason™s authority, which, in turn, inevitably provoked the
same kind of response, a mocking about the pretensions of such moralism
(as is the case in our own times with so many strands of what has taken
to calling itself “postmodernism”).
±
Conclusion
Kierkegaard™s own existential reworking of the “Kantian paradox” is
emblematic for this period: what has come to matter to us absolutely
in modern life is that we lead our own lives, individually and collectively,
such that despair becomes our permanent condition of grasping (how-
ever inchoately) that this may be (or in fact is) an impossibility “ despair
about what ultimately matters to us not itself being achievable. The
idealist faith (Kantian and post-Kantian) lay rooted in the concept of
the achievability of self-determination, and, in Hegel™s version, in the
unavoidability of both self-determination™s claim on us and the social in-
stitutions and practices that embodied it. In the Kierkegaardian version,
however, despair over something so absolute itself demands something
extraordinary “ a leap of faith “ to ensure that it be achievable by us;
and, in demanding the extraordinary, Kierkegaard was only setting the
scene for the succeeding attempts at establishing the reality of freedom
that, in turn, reached for the extraordinary “ one thinks of the faith in
the logic of history to free us from our past dependencies, or of a new
redemption of the world to be brought about by an “art of the future,”
or even a kind of technocratic utopia in which each person, pursuing
only his or her interests, somehow produces a satisfactory social whole
capable of holding a collective allegiance to itself. None of the ideal-
ists were utopians in that sense (although some of the early Romantics
might have entertained such thoughts) even though there was, broadly
seen, a shared view among them that modernity, as the condition of
self-consciousness about normative authority in general and therefore
awareness of its defeasibility, was itself an extraordinary break in human
time, so extraordinary that people like Hegel began thinking of it as
“absolute,” an achievement of self-consciousness that could not itself be
further overcome or completed by a new “epoch” or achievement. As the
end of “epochs,” it promised neither any ¬nal resolution of any of these
problems nor a sense of “¬nality” or the “end” of things, but instead (to
appropriate a phrase from Robert Pippin) only “unending modernity,”
a sense of the way in which modernity itself cannot be completed in
human time.±
Idealism™s legacy as having to do with a new self-consciousness about
normative authority and a new nervousness about the sustainability
of such self-consciousness also drew on its own recent history. By the
third Critique, Kant himself had begun to formulate (as a response to the
“Kantian paradox”) a thesis about how our more explicit orientations
± See Robert Pippin, Modernism as a Philosophical Problem: On the Dissatisfactions of European High Culture
(Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, ±±).
 German philosophy ±·°“±°
to the world and to ourselves are themselves rooted in a non-explicit ori-
entation, one for which the “rule” cannot be stated; his early Romantic
successors worked this into some theses about our pre-re¬‚ective orien-
tation necessarily coming before even the division into subjective and
objective points of view, which, in turn, led Schelling to call such an ori-
entation that established the distinction between the subjective and the
objective (but is neither itself subjective nor objective) the “absolute.” In
Hegel™s treatment, that “absolute” became the “space of reasons,” which
itself requires articulation in terms of a “logic” that tries to make sense
of the way in which we can be the authors of the “law” to which we
are bound (in which our own thought is the “other of itself ”). Such a
“logic,” as embodied in the practice of giving and asking for reasons, ex-
presses that pre-re¬‚ective orientation (a kind of horizon of signi¬cance)
in terms of which, metaphorically speaking, we come already equipped
with a sense of what can be on our agenda and what cannot. (This idea
of a pre-re¬‚ective orientation should not be confused with notions of the
“Zeitgeist” or anything similar; if anything, a pre-re¬‚ective orientation is
more like a sense of where we should turn for direction in our claim-
making activities, not simply an expression of the Zeitgeist or of widely
held views at the time.) From the idealist perspective, the widespread con-
viction of idealism™s having “failed,” which was so prevalent in the ±µ°s
and afterwards, is to be explicated in terms of that pre-re¬‚ective sense of
what matters and even can matter to us; and it is, in part, in understand-
ing the ways in which the contingencies of social events played into a
sense of what could and could not count for us, that the sense of idealism™s
exhaustion is to be understood from the idealist standpoint itself.
To get a sense of not only what was at stake for the immediate suc-
cessors of the idealist legacy (the people of the last half of the nineteenth
century), but what remains at stake in the legacy of idealism, it is helpful
to look, although in a stylized way, at our responses to two different com-
posers of the period, Beethoven and Wagner. To get a grasp of how these
two composers might matter, and how our experience of their works and
our responses to them might help to tell us something important about
something very different from our experience of musical works per se “
namely, why some philosophical arguments just seem right to us at the
outset long before we have grasped all their implications “ we can look
at the ways in which two different critics have suggested that we think
about what is at stake in Beethoven™s and Wagner™s music.
Beethoven, of course, is part of the revolutionary generation, born in
±··°, the same year as Hegel and H¨ lderlin (and Wordsworth). Wagner,
o

Conclusion
on the other hand, was born in ±± and died in ±. In a recent in¬‚u-
ential study of Beethoven, Scott Burnham has argued that, in the case
of Beethoven™s so-called “heroic” music (such as the “Eroica” symphony,
and some of the well-known early piano sonatas, such as the
“Path´ tique”), our responses to it involve our own pre-re¬‚ective sense of
e
how and why it would matter to us that we are or become self-legislating
beings. As Burnham rather convincingly shows, throughout the history
of the reception of Beethoven™s “heroic” music, from the most program-
matic interpretations to the most formal analyses, there has been a rela-
tive constancy in the descriptions of it: it “expresses” (to use a relatively
neutral word) a sense of something not fully formed that is encountering
complexity, which then provokes a crisis (expressed again purely in musi-
cal terms), which, in turn, renews itself, then integrates the surrounding
complexity within itself, and ¬nally ends “triumphantly.” Burnham sug-
gests (in a manner reminiscent of Hegel™s own theory of music) that
this has to do with the “narrative” that we are hearing in Beethoven™s
heroic works, itself expressed not conceptually or propositionally but
musically. In that narrative, “telling and acting are merged; distance
from and identi¬cation with are made inseparable,” which is itself, as
Hegel (and other post-Kantians) realized, actually “the basic condition
of our self-consciousness.” We are drawn into Beethoven™s music to ex-
perience this struggle of self-af¬rmation as our own, and much of the
musical force of his work represents his remarkable ability to make his
“heroic” pieces be experienced by the listener as self-contained, to have
the purely musical elements constitute in our hearing “a self-generating
and self-consummating process,” as Burnham puts it. This particular
approach to the phenomenology of music (of attention to our experience
of music and why it matters to us) treats it as offering not an account of
self-determination, but a way (through our experience of the music) of
our experiencing what it would mean to be such a self-legislating being.
Wagner™s music, on the other hand, with its revolutionary decentering
of tonality and its powerful use of coloration in the orchestra, weaves a dif-
ferent musical experience that is constituted not merely in our absorption
 Scott Burnham, Beethoven Hero (Princeton University Press, ±µ). (Burnham restricts his thesis
only to the “heroic” music, not to the whole of Beethoven™s corpus.)
 Ibid., pp. “. Burnham™s full thesis has Beethoven combining elements of Goethe and Hegel
(as interpreted in some ways differently from the interpretation offered in this book): “Beethoven™s
heroic style merges the Goethean enactment of becoming with the Hegelian narration of con-
sciousness,” and, in Beethoven™s case, “the ultimate and abiding effect of this simultaneity of
enactment and distanced telling, of story and narrator, is one of irony,” pp. ±“±µ.
 Ibid., p. .
 German philosophy ±·°“±°
into the music, but in a kind of process of our losing selfhood as we are
swept up into Wagner™s own uni¬cation of music, mythic presence, and
psychological depth in his operatic dramas. In that way, our experience
of Wagner™s music matches more closely that of Schopenhauer™s philoso-
phy. (Wagner was a well-known enthusiastic Schopenhauerian, although
that is incidental to the point being made here; whether Wagner really
understood Schopenhauer, is consistent with Schopenhauer, or simply
took him to be expressing some conclusions that he, Wagner, had reached
independently, is not here at issue.) In the Ring of the Nibelung, Wagner
retells a mythic story with a level of psychological depth in musical terms
that draws the listener into the story, with the purpose of merging the
listener into “the bottomless sea of harmony and to be made anew.”µ
The Ring tells a story of the gods betting on their own future, intriguing
with each other, facing very human emotions and predicaments, culmi-
nating in a conclusion, G¨tterd¨ mmerung, that announces that the reign of
oa
the gods is over (and that perhaps of humanity at some time in the future
is fully to begin).
Yet, so Bernard Williams has recently argued, Wagner™s musical pre-
sentation of these themes, while extremely powerful, is also deeply dis-
turbing, not because of Wagner™s own proclivities for anti-Semitic, racist,
and viciously nationalistic attitudes and pronouncements “ even the most
ardent Wagnerians will nowadays admit that their man fell a few rungs
short of any recognizable ethical life “ but because of what the music
“says” to us and does with us. As Williams points out, the last parts of
the Ring with the funeral music for Siegfried, the “man of the future,”
as Wagner conceived him, involve us in the celebration of a hero whose
heroism is especially troubling, since Siegfried is the “least self-aware,
in every sense of the word the least knowing, of Wagner™s heroes”; and,
worse, the triumphal celebration of Siegfried as hero carries with it, in
Williams™s words, “the suggestion that perhaps there could be a world
in which a politics of pure heroic action might succeed, uncluttered by
Wotan™s ruses or the need to make bargains with giants, where Nibelungs
could be dealt with forever: a redemptive, transforming politics which
transcended the political.”
To the extent that this is, indeed, what is presented in Siegfried™s
funeral music and in our being taken up into Wagner™s vision by the
µ Cited in Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (University of Chicago Press,
±±), p. .
 Bernard Williams, “Wagner and Politics,” The New York Review of Books, November , °°°,
p. .
µ
Conclusion
power of his art, then a signi¬cant, and disturbing, shift occurs. What,
in Kant, were the claims to “compare our own judgment with human
reason in general . . . to put ourselves in the position of everyone else”
in a world of plural agents, and, in Hegel, the demand to understand
the inevitable contingency of our norms while holding fast to the need
and requirement that we justify them to each other, become instead
submerged into another quite different vision: that of a world in which
the messy and complicated process of giving and asking for reasons
might be avoided, in which a “heroic” act (or perhaps a “heroic art”)
might provide us with a new unity “higher than” or “deeper than” the
conditions of human plurality and self-consciousness. Although Williams
argues that we can indeed understand and experience Wagner™s Ring as a
“celebration of what it has presented [which] can symbolize for us ways
in which life even in its disasters can seem to have been worthwhile,” he
voices his misgivings about the central role Siegfried (the hero of pure
deed) plays and our own responses to the powerful funeral music for him
as having to do with the way that “the [Ring] cycle emphatically addresses
issues of power, and if at its end it suggests that the world in which they
arise is overcome, it is hard not to be left with the feeling that the questions
of power and its uses have not so much been banished as raised to a level
at which they demand some ˜higher™ kind of answer.”· The anti-political
move, the intimation that there might be a “politics of innocence,” as
Williams calls it, that is somehow “above” the unhappy compromises of
parliamentary political dealing, is one of the most dangerous legacies of
the nineteenth century.
This is, of course, not to say that Beethoven is good, and Wagner is
bad “ an overly simplistic judgment if ever there was one “ but merely
a suggestion that the issues that the idealists raised are still with us, and
that the claims embodied in the idealist systems are as much a part of the
fabric of modern life as anything else, something to which we respond
even in non-philosophical contexts. That we still listen to and respond
to Beethoven™s music, but no longer write such music, has to do with
the way we have become ambivalent about the possibilities of the kind
of self-legislation we experience as “our own” when we hear it, and,
although we can still ¬nd Beethoven™s “heroic” music seductive, we do
so even as, more deeply and existentially, we ¬nd ourselves skeptical that
· Ibid., p. .
 In Beethoven Hero, Burnham, for example, argues that we must learn to distinguish the “heroic” in
Beethoven™s music from “Beethoven hero,” that is, from the idea that Beethoven is some kind of
“demigod” who furnishes the paradigm of all music.
 German philosophy ±·°“±°
such a life of “heroic” self-determination is possible. Likewise, we can still
¬nd ourselves moved by Wagner™s music, which can well be because the
experience of submerging the self into a “bottomless sea of harmony”
can itself exercise an attraction on us, can also be an expression of at
least part of what “we” have become. In both cases, the notion of either a
“heroic” self-determination apart from the social conditions under which
such self-determination is even possible, or a kind of “innocent” heroism
of pure deeds that is “above” politics and which might serve to institute
a new, puri¬ed order free of the complexities of human plurality, has
become (and should remain) suspect.
We could, of course, extend the analogies: in the case of music, we
might think of Schubert™s hesitancies and nervousness in contrast with
Beethoven™s “heroism” (or compare Schubert™s nervousness instead to
Beethoven™s own late quartets). Or we might re¬‚ect on the competing
narratives found in the painting and literature of the nineteenth century;
or we might also think of the historicizing movement in architecture that
played such a dominant role in that century, fueled in part by a vague
feeling that living and working in buildings fashioned after a past and
therefore more “noble” style than the shoddy present would somehow
itself serve to ennoble our lives more than anything that the “modern”
could create (and perhaps we should re¬‚ect on the fact that, as early as
the mid-nineteenth century, there were already architects calling for the
creation of a “modern” architecture appropriate to modern times that
would eschew reliance on past forms). The number of things that might
be brought into such a story only grows, and there is, on the surface, no
overarching story that would encompass all of those movements “ except
for the story that what is at stake is an “absolute” form of freedom that
itself calls for an understanding of what is practically and socially bound
up in a total reliance on the practice of giving and asking for reasons to
actualize itself, to “give itself actuality,” as Hegel put it, and the various
problems and anxieties that this commitment to leading our own lives
brings with it.
Idealism was conceived as a link between reason and freedom which
held that modernity represents a fundamental break in human time. It
was accompanied by an understanding that a lawless will was no will at
all, and that “giving oneself the law” (as Kant put it) or the “concept™s
giving itself actuality” (as Hegel put it) involved one in the “Kantian
paradox” and in the deepest problems of the nature of subjectivity that
were attendant on that paradox. That this new self-consciousness impli-
cated itself in a practice of giving and asking for reasons that could rely
·
Conclusion
on nothing outside of itself to underwrite its own normative authority
raised issues about the self-contained, “absolute,” “in¬nite” nature of hu-
man existence as it achieves this form of self-consciousness, especially as
it plays itself off against its always inherited, ever defeasible pre-re¬‚ective
orientation to the world.
The upshot of idealism is an understanding that, as self-legislated,
our normative authority is always open to challenge, which means that
“we” are always open to challenge; and that the only challenges that can
count are contained within the “in¬nite” activity of giving and asking for
reasons. As a set of some of the deepest and more thorough re¬‚ections
of what it could mean for us to be free both individually and collectively
under the inescapable conditions of human plurality, and as an ongoing
suspicion about all those views that neglect these conditions, whether
they be philosophical or otherwise “ this is and remains the true legacy
of idealism.
Bibliography




Allison, Henry E., Kant™s Transcendental Idealism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale
University Press, ±).
Kant™s Theory of Freedom (Cambridge University Press, ±°).
Ameriks, Karl, “Kant, Fichte, and Short Arguments to Idealism,” Archiv f¨ r die u
Geschichte der Philosophie, · (±°), “µ.
Kant and the Fate of Autonomy: Problems in the Appropriation of the Critical Philosophy
(Cambridge University Press, °°°).
Ameriks, Karl (ed.), Cambridge Companion to German Idealism (Cambridge
University Press, °°°).
Barrow, J. N., The Crisis of Reason: European Thought ±“±± (New Haven,
Conn.: Yale University Press, °°°).
Barzun, Jacques, Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (University of
Chicago Press, ±±).
Beiser, Frederick C., Enlightenment, Revolution, and Romanticism: The Genesis of
German Political Thought ±·°“±°° (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Press, ±).
The Early Political Writings of the German Romantics (Cambridge University Press,
±).
The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, ±·).
Berlin, Isaiah, “Hume and the Sources of German Anti-Rationalism,” in Isaiah
Berlin, Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas (New York: Viking
Press, ±·), pp. ±“±·.
Blackbourn, David, The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany, ±·°“±±
(Oxford University Press, ±·).
Bonsiepen, Wolfgang, Die Begr¨ ndung einer Naturphilosophie bei Kant, Schelling, Fries
u
und Hegel: Mathematische versus spekulative Naturphilosophie (Frankfurt am Main:
Vittorio Klostermann, ±·).
Bowie, Andrew, Schelling and Modern European Philosophy: An Introduction (London:
Routledge, ±).
Brandom, Robert, “Holism and Idealism in Hegel™s Phenomenology,” in Robert
Brandom, Tales of the Mighty Dead: Historical Essays in the Metaphysics of Inten-
tionality (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, forthcoming).




Bibliography
“Some Pragmatist Themes in Hegel™s Idealism: Negotiation and Adminis-
tration in Hegel™s Account of the Structure and Content of Conceptual
Norms,” European Journal of Philosophy, ·() (August ±), ±“±.
Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment (Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, ±).
Breazeale, Daniel, “Between Kant and Fichte: Karl Leonhard Reinhold™s
˜Elementary Philosophy,™” Review of Metaphysics, µ ( June ±), ·µ“±.
“Fichte in Jena,” in Daniel Breazeale (ed. and trans.), Fichte: Early Philosophical
Writings (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, ±).
Breckman, Warren, Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory:
Dethroning the Self (Cambridge University Press, ±).
Bungay, Stephen, Beauty and Truth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, ±).
Burnham, Scott, Beethoven Hero (Princeton University Press, ±µ).
Butler, Judith, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection (Stanford University
Press, ±·).
Constantine, David, H¨lderlin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, ±).
o
Darnton, Robert, “History of Reading,” in Peter Burke (ed.), New Perspectives on
Historical Writing (University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, ±).
Dworkin, Ronald, A Matter of Principle (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
Press, ±µ).
Freedom™s Law: The Moral Reading of the American Constitution (Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, ±).
Eldridge, Richard, Leading a Human Life: Wittgenstein, Intentionality, and Romanticism
(University of Chicago Press, ±·).
On Moral Personhood: Philosophy, Literature, Criticism, and Self-Understanding
(University of Chicago Press, ±).
Falke, Gustav-H.H., Begriffne Geschichte: Das historische Substrat und die systematische
Anordnung der Bewußtseinsgestalten in Hegels Ph¨ nomenologie des Geistes. Interpreta-
a
tion und Kommentar (Berlin: Lukas, ±).
Fichte, J. G., “Review of Aenesidemus,” in Fichte: Early Philosophical Writings.
A Crystal Clear Report to the General Public Concerning the Actual Essence of the Newest
Philosophy: An Attempt to Force the Reader to Understand (trans. John Botterman
and William Rasch), in Ernst Behler (ed.), Philosophy of German Idealism (New
York: Continuum, ±·).
Das System der Sittenlehre nach den Prinzipien der Wissenschaftslehre, SW, ©.
Die Wissenschaftslehre in ihrem allgemeinen Umrisse, SW, ©©.
Fichte: Early Philosophical Writings (ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale) (Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, ±).
Foundations of Transcendental Philosophy: Wissenschaftslehre nova methodo (±·/)
(ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale) (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, ±).
Grundlage des Naturrechts nach Prinzipien der Wissenschaftslehre (±·), SW, ©©©.
Introductions to the Wissenschaftslehre and Other Writings (ed. and trans. Daniel
Breazeale) (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, ±).
S¨ mtliche Werke (ed. Immanuel Hermann Fichte) (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter,
a
±·±).
·° Bibliography
The Science of Knowledge (ed. and trans. Peter Heath and John Lachs)
(Cambridge University Press, ±).
Forster, Michael, Hegel™s Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit (University of Chicago
Press, ±).
Frank, Manfred, Eine Einf¨ hrung in Schellings Philosophie (Frankfurt am Main:
u
Suhrkamp, ±µ).
Einf uhrung in die fr¨ hromantische Asthetik (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, ±).
¨
¨ u
Selbstbewußtsein und Selbsterkenntnis (Stuttgart: Reklam, ±±).
Unendliche Ann¨ herung (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, ±·).
a
Fried, Charles, Contract as Promise: A Theory of Contractual Obligation (Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, ±±).
Friedman, Michael, Kant and the Exact Sciences (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard

<<

. 11
( 12)



>>