Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche

Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche

Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche

Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche

Synopsis

New, completely revised and re-written edition. Offers a detailed, but asccesible account of the vital German philosophical tradition of thinking about art and the self. Looks at recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities, following the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Ficthe and Holderlin, the early Romantis, Schelling, Hegel, Scleimacher, to Nietzsche. Develops the approaches to subjectivity, aesthetics, music and language in relation to new theoretical developments bridging the divide between the continental and analytical traditions of philosophy. The huge growth of interest in German philosophy as a resource for re-thinking both literary and cultural theory, and contemporary philosophy will make this an indispensible read

Excerpt

I began writing the original version of this book some fifteen years ago. This new version retains the basic structure of the first edition, but contains hardly a single sentence which is the same as in that edition. I have in fact totally rewritten the book, extending the scope and detail of the arguments, taking in issues which have become philosophically alive in the interim, and incorporating the results of more recent historical research. the main change of focus of the book is in relation to the development in America of sophisticated work in pragmatism and neo-Hegelianism, which draws both on the traditions investigated in this book and on resources from recent analytical philosophy. Though I obviously would say this, I do think any reader of the first edition would profit considerably from reading (and, preferably, buying!) the new edition. the previous edition was generally well received by the reviewers, but one or two rightly commented on its stylistic failings. Writing for an English-speaking audience about the German philosophical tradition is never going to be easy, and I do not claim to have produced a work of grace and elegance, but the new version will, I hope, find more favour for the way it is written than the old version. It will also hopefully find favour because it now says much more effectively what I was striving to say in the first edition.

The new presentation, clarification, and refinement of my ideas, and my revised accounts of the thinkers have greatly benefited from talking to: Alison Ainley, Karl Ameriks, Jay Bernstein, Arnfinn Bø-Rygg, Susan Bowles, Rüdiger Bubner, Tony Cascardi, Maíre Davies, Peter Dews, Manfred Frank, Roger Frie, Neil Gascoigne, Steve Giles, Kristin Gjesdal, Lydia Goehr, Stephen Hinton, Robert Holub, Stephen Houlgate, Nick Jardine, Peter Osborne, Robert Pippin, Richard Potter, Stephen Prickett, Jonathan Rée, Kiernan Ryan, Martin Swales, Robert Vilain, Nick Walker, among many others. Invitations to talk at many British universities, and at the universities of Berkeley, Copenhagen, Cornell, Drew, Oslo, Stanford, Stockholm, and Turku, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer School on German Romanticism at Colorado State, offered invaluable opportunities to try out my ideas on new audiences. An Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and British Academy research leave some time ago now still form the basis of much of my work. During the time of writing I have moved from the Philosophy Department at Anglia Polytechnic University in Cambridge, whose students persuaded me by their acuity and enthusiasm that it was possible and worthwhile to communicate this difficult tradition to them, to Royal Holloway, University of London, where I hope my attempts to spread the word about German philosophy in a welcoming and supportive German department will meet with success. There are signs that the long-term decline of German studies might be partly arrested if a Romantic combination of different literary, cultural, historical and philosophical . . .

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