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On The Romantic Absolute

Interview by Richard Marshall.

Dalia Nassar is a double shot of Glenmorangie on a wintry night as she goes to the depths of German Romanticism. She thinks all the time about the key idea of Kantian critical Idealism,thinks it’s best to think of Romanticism as connecting metaphysical and epistemic questions, about the Jena Romantics Novalis, Schlegel and Schelling, about the relationship between Romanticism and Idealism, about Romanticism and nature, about why she disagrees with Manfred Frank’s reading of the Romantics’ relationship with Idealism, about why she disagrees with Frederick Beiser on seeing Schelling as the culmination of Romanticism, about Romanticism and the claim it rejected systems and about why we should heed the philosophers. Those two guys in the dark, wolves howling, looking at the moon, they’d be fine if they were drinking in this …

3:AM: What made you become a philosopher?

Dalia Nassar: I grew up in a household with two intelligent adults arguing about the nature of reality, the difference between belief and knowledge, and the value of religion for morality. Both of my parents are biologists and although they agree on many things, they disagree fundamentally on religious matters: my mother is a believer and my father is not. One of my first recollections is of sitting in the backseat of a car on a long drive home after a weekend away, listening to my parents disagree on the nature of miracles. As you can imagine, I grew up wanting to understand what it means to know, and what is involved in determining the nature of reality. When I took a philosophy class as an elective during my first year at University, I quickly realized that the only way I was going to be able to explore these questions seriously was by studying philosophy.

3:AM: You’re working in the field of early German Romanticism and one of the questions you raise is how did we get from Kantian critical idealism to Hegelian absolute idealism. So if we were to just look at the main contours of these two positions what would we see, and how strikingly different would they be?

DN: The key idea in Kantian critical Idealism is that the task of philosophy is to determine the limits of reason, and to ensure that reason does not transgress these limits. Only in this way can philosophy provide secure grounds for metaphysics. Thus, although reason plays a significant role in the “Dialectic” section of the first Critique, its role is largely negative: reason comes to recognize its own limits, and rational ideas, while heuristically useful for philosophical investigation, are decidedly non-constitutive of knowledge. The more positive or affirmative roles are given to the understanding and sensibility (hence they “constitute” objects of experience; reason does not play a constitutive role in experience).

Still, one can discern in the “Dialectic” section the birth of the notion that reason is self-grounding and self-determining: it investigates itself, determines its limits, recognizes its errors and attempts to correct them. This capacity is unique to reason and it is what makes reason absolutely essential to experience. This becomes a key idea in Hegelian absolute idealism. For Hegel, the fact that reason is self-grounding and self-determining means that it can achieve a lot more than Kant had allowed. If reason is able to recognize its limitations and correct itself, then it is quite dynamic, capable of taking on different shapes. In other words, reason––precisely because it is able to investigate itself and recognize its errors––is able to critically recognize and move beyond its limitations within a specific context. In so doing, reason achieves a more sophisticated position and a correspondingly sophisticated shape. This shape is, in turn, not unrelated to experience. After all, if reason is dynamic and self-transforming, then its transformations must play a fundamental role in the structuration of experience: What appeared self-evident within one shape of reason appears to be absurd or at least deeply mistaken from the perspective of a different shape of reason. Reason is thus not solely heuristic, as it is for Kant; it grounds experience, and is as such inseparable from reality. The question then is: how did we get from the limited and largely negative conception of reason in Kant to an account of reason as the ground of reality.

3:AM: One of the disagreements you investigate is about what Romanticism is. Some say it’s about epistemology and self-consciousness. And on the other hand there are those who say it’s a metaphysical project about fundamental reality, the kind of thing we might find in Spinoza say. But you say that the best way of understanding what they’re up to is to understand that they thought of their project as both epistemological and metaphysical don’t you?

DN: Yes, that is my claim. I would add that for the romantics, the epistemological and the metaphysical questions were inherently connected, such that it was impossible (and absurd) to try to think about one without implying the other. Thus, the three questions which I outline as key questions of romanticism are: 1. What is the relation between mind and nature? 2. What is the relation between the one and the many (or unity and difference)? and 3. What is the relationship between the infinite and the finite? Each of these questions is both metaphysical and epistemological.

The first question clearly concerns the nature of reality, but it also concerns the way in which the mind grasps and portrays the natural world. The second question may appear to be entirely metaphysical, dealing with, for instance, the unity and diversity of natural organisms. It is, however, also epistemological in that the romantics were not satisfied with simply positing unity and assuming it as a necessary systematic starting point. In addition, they sought to perceive unity in and through difference as well as to offer a cogent articulation of this relation. The third question similarly appears to be entirely metaphysical in its concern with the infinite (or transcendent) and finite. However, once again it is also an epistemological question that concerns the relation between a first, unconditioned principle or ground of knowledge and the conditioned principles that are derived from it. In other words, it is a question about the very nature of systematicity and derivation.

3:AM: You’ve written about the Jena Romantics to support your approach. Novalis is the first one. Why is Novalis important to your approach which seeks to put together the epistemological and metaphysical questions?

DN: Novalis has received a lot of attention in recent philosophical discussions of romanticism, largely because of Manfred Frank’s claim that Novalis’ early notes on Fichte, the so-called “Fichte-Studien,” from 1795-96, offer “the most significant philosophical contribution to early German romanticism.” This is a fascinating and strange claim, given that these were notes and do not consist in a thought-through and complete work. So in part my interest in Novalis has to do with the significance that his early notes have been granted in the current scholarship.

But the larger interest in Novalis stems from what I regard as the first attempt to unite Fichte’s emphasis on moral activity with a more Spinozist conception of the relationship between self and nature. In other words, Novalis was one of the first to think about what it means for the human being both to have an intentional consciousness – exhibit creativity– and to be a member (part) of a larger nexus (nature). Thus Novalis aims to think through the human-nature relationship more critically than Spinoza had done, without discounting Spinoza’s insight that human beings are also part of the natural world. For, as Kant and Fichte had shown, we are producers of knowledge, such that our understanding of nature is a product of our cognitive capacities. How then should we understand our knowledge of nature in relation to nature itself? In turn, how should we think our place within nature, given our intentional cognitive relationship to nature? These were key questions for Novalis, and he offers compelling responses that accord equal significance to consciousness and nature (intentionality and naturality).

3:AM: Friedrich Schlegel is the second of the Jena Romantics. How does he help your thesis?

DN: What I find most fascinating about Schlegel is his emphasis on history and his claim that philosophy must know its own history. In his lectures on transcendental idealism, which he delivered in Jena in the winter semester of 1799-1800, Schlegel makes the striking claim that “philosophy must be thoroughly historical,” adding that “our philosophy is itself history.” This is a significant intervention in transcendental idealism, and precedes Hegel’s by seven years. Schlegel’s claim is that philosophy does not concern any one topic, nor does it amount to any one conception of truth or reality; rather, it is in a state of eternal conflict, such that it is only by grasping the various conflicts within philosophy––determining the ways they emerged, and were resolved or dissipated––that we can grasp what philosophy is about. Or as he puts it in the Cologne lectures from 1804-1806, the goal is to show “how a system links to another, how it arose from out of the other, and the whole unfolding of this successive development should be traced back, where possible, to its first source.” Schlegel similarly argues that literature must be understood through its history. In his lectures on the history of European literature he maintains that “the new cannot be understood without the old,” because “literature can only be understood as a whole.” In other words, in order to understand the nature of literature one must grasp the history of literature.

What is important about this intervention, as I’ve called it, is that by emphasizing history and context, Schlegel challenges the a priori character of transcendental philosophy and the idea of a first principle from which further principles are to be derived, without, however, succumbing to scepticism or relativism. Rather, Schlegel develops a hermeneutic idealism, where knowledge must always begin “in the middle” and must aim to understand its context. This has important consequences for his conception of the absolute. In the first instance, he is deeply critical of any account of the absolute as something that stands beyond or outside of historical (conditioned) knowledge, i.e., as an unconditioned first principle. As such, the absolute would not only be opposed to the conditioned––something which is antithetical to its being absolute––but would also be unknowable from within the system of knowledge. The unconditioned, after all, is not knowable by conditioned, finite knowledge. This results in a plethora of difficulties (one of which concerns the means by which we are to grasp the unconditioned).

In addition, Schlegel argues that the absolute cannot be something transcendent, existing beyond or outside of the world of historical, finite beings. Again, this would imply that it stands in opposition to finitude, which is impossible since the absolute must contain or involve all things. In fact, the absolute is not a thing at all. This means, Schlegel contends, that the absolute cannot be identified with being or stasis, but with becoming and history. This brings Schlegel’s account of philosophical knowledge very close to his conception of reality, and both are intimately connected to his conception of the absolute as becoming and mediation.

3:AM: The third is perhaps the best known – Schelling. Again, how do you interpret his project so that it supports your idea about the blending of the epistemological and the metaphysical.

DN: Schelling is interesting because, as you say, he is the best known among the three thinkers I consider in the book, at least among philosophers. However his philosophical legacy remains largely unknown, for at least two reasons. On the one hand, he has often been regarded as a disciple of Fichte and most of his early writings are considered to be reiterations of Fichtean ideas. There was, therefore, no reason to read Schelling. On the other hand, Schelling’s most distinctive contribution is his philosophy of nature, which he not only opposes to transcendental philosophy, but also comes to regard as more fundamental than transcendental philosophy. This is of course problematic if you are a Kantian or Fichtean: as Fichte wrote in a letter to Schelling, all we can know are the “immanent laws of intelligence” and not the laws of nature. Followers of Kant and Fichte are thus likely to dismiss Schelling.

One of the aims of my book was to show that Schelling was by no means a disciple of Fichte, even in his early writings. Although Schelling is clearly indebted to Fichte, from the very beginning he is charting his own path, a path that is distinct from Fichte’s and––I contend––one that leads directly to the philosophy of nature. In other words, there was no break between Schelling’s early “Fichtean” writings and his later philosophy of nature, as most scholars argue. Rather, the development is clear and consistent.

Furthermore, already in his first systematic writings Schelling regarded himself as completing the Kantian––rather than Fichtean––system. These works are clearly indebted to Kant, and seek, above all, to make the Kantian system cohere. The problem with Kant’s project, Schelling argues, is that Kant does not offer a way by which to unify the various aspects of his system: theoretical and practical. Though Kant aims to achieve this in the third Critique, by remaining agnostic with regard to the status of a unifying principle (what Kant calls a supersensible unity) and rejecting the possibility of knowing it (by rejecting intellectual intuition), Kant does not achieve this goal. Schelling’s project is, on the one hand, to show the necessity of this principle, and, on the other, to elaborate how it can be grasped. Precisely because this principle aims to reconcile the various dualisms in Kant’s system (supersensible and sensible, freedom and nature, teleology and mechanism), it is a principle that is both a principle of knowledge and a principle of reality, i.e., it is both epistemological and ontological or metaphysical. Or, to put it in Schelling’s terms, it must be both a principle of transcendental philosophy and of the philosophy of nature. This is what he means by the absolute, and this is why it concerns being and knowing.

3:AM: Is it because the Romantics posit something outside of themselves, outside the mind, despite emphasising the creative role of the mind, that the Romantics aren’t Idealists? Or are they a weird sort of Idealist nevertheless?

DN: The meaning of Idealism is not entirely straightforward. As Frederick Beiser notes in his German Idealism, there were at least two versions of idealism at this time: subjective and objective (or absolute) idealism. The subjective version, which he ascribes to Kant and Fichte, maintains that the self is the source of the form of experience––the world is, in other words, a product or construct of the creativity of the mind. The objective version, according to Beiser, recognizes an ideality in the world itself, i.e., the world is itself rational, develops and acts according to archetypes or principles, etc. The subjective (human) mind is thus not the producer of the lawfulness of the world, but is rather one of its products––its highest or most complex manifestation.

I tend to agree with Beiser’s reading here, but want to emphasize to a greater extent the Fichtean/Kantian element in the romantic conception of the self. That is to say, for the romantics, the human being was part of a larger nexus, but this did not preclude the idea that the self is also a creative, or intentional consciousness. In knowing the world, we are not simply mirroring it, but also participating in it and this participation is necessarily creative. The activity of knowledge, in other words, is transformative: in knowing something, I am transforming it. The paradox that the romantics had to deal with then is this: how can we be at once members of a larger unity (affected by our place within it), as well as creators of this unity (effecting it)?

This is certainly a kind of Idealism, but it is neither fully subjective nor fully objective, because it recognizes both elements: the self as creative and the world as an integrated unity, of which the self is a member. In light of this, it becomes clear why both being and knowing are integral aspects of the Romantic project, and, in turn, the Romantic conception of the absolute.

3:AM: Why do the romantics have a problem with nature and the relation of its whole to its parts, in particular, how can parts and the whole be both active and independent: and is the romantic Absolute a kind of pantheism?

DN: There is more than one question here. So to begin with, the Romantics do not have a problem with nature; rather, they valorise nature and regard it as worthy of emulation. This is evident both in their philosophical views of nature––Schelling argues that in order to understand nature we must regard nature as “independent and real” and seek to derive the mind from nature––and in their artistic works, which imitate natural forms and grant a voice to the natural world.

The problem, rather, has to do with the ways in which their predecessors and contemporaries regarded the natural world. In the first instance, nature was seen as an object that is separable from the knowing subject. This implied that nature was divested of meaning and value, in contrast to the human world of meaning and value. In the second instance, the Romantics were critical of the ways in which philosophers sought to grasp relations within nature: either natural differences were eclipsed for the sake of an overarching (but ultimately empty) unity, or differences were emphasized, and unity was regarded as merely artificial. These two difficulties converge into one when we consider the relation of the human being to the natural world more generally. After all, the human being is both a member of nature––and as such a part of the larger whole––and a distinctive being, exhibiting unique capacities that separate it from other natural beings. How are we to regard it as part of, yet different from, the natural world? This question is a variation on the old philosophical question regarding the relation of the one and the many, or unity and difference.

The Romantics argued that we need a specific kind of cognitive capacity––what they some times called “intellectual intuition”––in order to discern unity in and through difference, and, as such, discern continuity and similarity, without collapsing it into identity (or into meaningless difference).

Now, there is an important caveat here. As Schelling put it, the human being differs from other natural beings because in acts of knowledge, the human being brings nature to consciousness, and thus creates a “second nature”––what we call culture. Furthermore, in moral acts, the human being directly transforms the natural world. How are we to understand these transformations? Do they still belong to nature? Does this difference between the human being and other natural beings ultimately demand that we think of the human being as special or as somehow outside of nature? In turn, could we argue that on account of intentionality and consciousness, human beings bear certain responsibilities in relation to the natural world, including epistemological responsibilities that concern the very manner by which we approach nature? These are all questions which were central to the Romantic project.

3:AM: You disagree with some aspects of what Manfred Frank says Romanticism is. Is it because of the way that he wants to make the distinction between Idealism and Romanticism that you disagree with him?

DN: Yes, that is the crux of my disagreement. Frank wants to distinguish a distinctive or unique Romantic tradition that should not be identified with Idealism, and should in fact be read as opposed to or critical of idealism. His main claim is that romanticism is a form of scepticism––scepticism of first principles, of absolute knowledge––and thus should not be equated with either Fichte’s attempt to develop a science of knowledge on the basis of a first principle or Hegel’s view that knowledge of the absolute can be achieved.

Importantly, Frank alters his view with regard to the Romantics’ relation to Idealism, and with what he implies by Idealism. Nonetheless, in his most significant work on the topic, Unendliche Annäherung (1997), he identifies Idealism with foundationalism, i.e., the aim to derive a “science of knowledge” from an unconditioned principle, and contrast it to Romanticism, which regards “being” as something that cannot be known or conceptualized, but only felt or hinted at.

The first difficulty arises with Frank’s identification of Idealism with foundationalism; this is problematic on both historical and systematic grounds. After all, Idealism does not necessarily involve foundationalism; furthermore, one can be a foundationalist and not be an Idealist. From a historical perspective, the Romantics often identified themselves as Idealists, and although they were critical of what they regarded as one-sided and subjective in Kant and Fichte, they did not regard Kantian and Fichtean idealism as the only possible accounts of Idealism, nor were they entirely critical of either project.

Furthermore, they were deeply wedded to key claims which are fundamentally Idealist: a) the subject is an active knower whose role in the creation of knowledge should not be overlooked, b) reality is not something “out there,” but that which is realized in the act of thinking, c) reason is not subjective, i.e., it is not tied to a thinking subject, but, as Schelling puts it, “reason’s thought is foreign to everyone,” d) there is no fundamental distinction between the real and ideal, because the ideal (the archetype, the fundamental principle, the rational idea) manifests itself only in and through the real (the finite, the conditioned). (On the basis of this last point, I also disagree with Frank’s notion of being as something that is beyond knowing.)

While these views are mostly associated with Schelling and Hegel, Novalis and Schlegel also agreed with them, and, as I show, they made important contributions to understanding the complex relationships that each of these tenets implies.

3:AM: And Frederick Beiser is the other giant of contemporary writers about German Romanticism. He wants to save romanticism from the Hegelian legacy. Why do you find his reading of the relationship between Romanticism and Hegel problematic?

DN: Beiser has significantly shifted the way that Anglophone scholarship regards the period between Kant and Hegel. Until very recently, few philosophers were interested in reading Schelling or Schlegel, for instance, and Beiser has made these thinkers not only interesting but also extremely important. To understand 19th century philosophy, Beiser has shown, it is just as important to understand Schelling and Schlegel as it is to understand Hegel. One of the aims of his German Idealism is to challenge the Hegelian view of the history of philosophy, and the way in which we (contemporary scholars) have accepted this view, by illustrating that “there is not a single Hegelian theme that cannot be traced back to his predecessors in Jena, to many earlier thinkers whom Hegel and the Hegelian school either belittled or ignored. The fathers of absolute Idealism were Hölderlin, Schlegel and Schelling.” I agree with Beiser here, and would add the possibly stronger claim that it is in the works of Hölderlin, Schlegel and Schelling (and Novalis), that we begin to really understand the problems of that time, because it is in their works that these problems are presented with an immediacy and urgency that is lost in Hegel. As I put it in the introduction to my book, it is in the works of the early German Romantics that we find the most vivid accounts of the questions that motivated post-Kantian thought and the concerns that directed its development. Thus in order to understand Hegel and the move from Kant to Hegel, it is absolutely essential to understand the Romantics. However I would add that it would be a mistake to simply read the Romantics in order to understand Hegel, for each thinker is distinctive and offers different answers to the same questions. And this is where my disagreement with Beiser emerges.

I find problematic Beiser’s depiction of Schelling as the culmination of Romanticism/Idealism. He states that “what was merely fragmentary, inchoate, and suggestive in Hölderlin, Novalis and Schlegel became systematic, organized and explicit in Schelling.” This claim grants to Schelling the kind of significance that had been previously granted to Hegel, in that it offers an interpretation that confirms Hegel’s linear view of the development of philosophy and its culmination in his (or Schelling’s) thought. Moreover, it overlooks the complex relationship between the Romantic movement and philosophy by assuming that the goals of romanticism were best achieved in the form of a philosophical system. It also overlooks Schelling’s own dissatisfaction with his various attempts to present his views and the fact that after the publication of his best-known systematic work, the 1800 System of Transcendental Idealism, Schelling composed a dialogue, Bruno (1801) because he thought it might be a more appropriate form for presenting his ideas. Ultimately, my concern is that Beiser’s claim inadvertently overlooks the fact that Romanticism does not simply amount to the attempt to offer the most systematic or comprehensive account of the absolute; it is much more than that.

3:AM: Some contemporary philosophers relish the idea of Romanticism as rejecting systems and systematic thinking. But are systems and systematic thought something that the Romantics didn’t reject as much as these claim? And if it isn’t so helpful to those who want to be unsystematic then is Romanticism still important? Does it come back to the idea of the absolute?

DN: Friedrich Schlegel famously claimed that “it is equally fatal for the spirit to have a system as it is to have no system.” For many years, this was taken to mean that Schlegel was simply opposed to systematic thinking, and thus a predecessor or precursor of poststructralism. However, as is evident in the passage, Schlegel regards both systematicity and its antithesis as problematic, and is thus not straightforwardly anti-systematic. There is, rather, a more complex story here, one that was not properly told by those who regard Schlegel as simply anti-systematic. This complexity makes Schlegel more interesting, for it alludes to the problems of systematicity, while at the same time recognizing the significance of thinking systematically. I think it is precisely in Schlegel’s pointing to those problems and in his attempt to find solutions to them that he makes important contributions.

Recent philosophical interpretations of Schlegel have focused on his critique of first principles and foundationalism (i.e., positing an unconditioned first principle [Grundsatz] and from there deducing further principles). While this critique is certainly significant, the way in which it has been depicted overlooks the larger context in which Schlegel makes the critique: for him, the problem does not simply concern the notion of a first principle, but also the methodology and mode of thought that is employed in constructing a system based on a first principle.

Schlegel notes that the very notion of an unconditioned implies that the first principle cannot itself be derived from within the system. Thus, although it is the ground of the system, it must somehow stand outside of that which it grounds. This means that it is unknowable and inaccessible from within the system, which in turn means that the system cannot be complete or absolute: it does not (and cannot) account for the principle upon which it is based. Knowledge of the conditioned must come from a source that is outside of the system itself, and thus two systems of knowledge (two modes of thought) emerge as competing with one another. Furthermore, insofar as the unconditioned is outside the system, it does not say anything about the system itself; because it is external to the system, the unconditioned cannot explain the meaning or integrity of the system.

For Schlegel, the problem lies in the mode of thinking that constructs a system on the basis of an unconditioned. Precisely because thought posits the ground of knowledge as something other or external, in other words, as unconditioned, its relation to this ground is objectifying and ultimately dogmatic. By positing the ground of the system outside of the system, one unwittingly makes it into a thing or an object, that is to say, into something that is determined by opposition and difference. In turn, by positing an unconditioned, this mode of thought instantiates a duality between itself and the unconditioned (or between itself as unconditioned and itself as conditioned). This duality, however, once again necessitates objectification—the (self as) unconditioned is opposed to (and thus delimited by) the (self as) conditioned. Ultimately, Schlegel concludes, the very notion of the unconditioned is dogmatic, because it implies an unjustified opposition between subject and object, between the act of positing and the thing posited.

In contrast to such a system, Schlegel maintained that “a true system is an integrated, structured unity of scientific material, in thorough reciprocity and organic connection.” He described this system as historical, because it must not begin with an unconditioned principle, but rather “in the middle.” Only such a method would not presuppose or assume an object or goal, and thus only such a method would be truly philosophical. For Schlegel, this meant, however, that philosophy must alter its aims: the goal must not be to inquire after the external cause of an object, but to grasp it in its context and through its multifaceted relations. A shift in focus thus occurs, from understanding the object of knowledge as a member of a causal chain, to understanding it as a member within a dynamic process that achieves its distinctive character through its transforming relations with other things. Thus, instead of understanding something in terms of something else (an external cause), the goal is to understand its place within an ongoing process. What is necessary, then, is a system that is capable of grasping processes and discerning how different elements within a process affect and are affected by one another. In other words, what is necessary is a system that is imbued with a historical perspective.

3:AM: Philosophy has recently been attacked by scientists who think they cover all the bases, and fellow philosophers who think it’s asking empty questions or unenlightening ones. So why should we heed the philosophers?

DN: This is a large and important question, and I certainly cannot respond to it adequately with a mere paragraph or two. It might in fact be best to respond to it by offering an anecdote. I gave a talk several months ago at the University of Queensland, and during the question time one of the audience members, who introduced himself as an engineer, asked how my paper could help him understand his own work. The topic of my paper was on analogy in Kant and Herder, and this is the topic of my most recent research. In light of that, my answer was that philosophy makes us aware of the extent to which we are using analogies to describe the world and of the limits of these analogies. In the context of Kant and Herder, Herder had argued that it was only through seeing things analogically––through regarding something as something else––that certain aspects of a thing first become apparent to us. Kant came to this view a few years after Herder, in the Critique of Judgment, where he describes teleological judgment as analogical precisely because it regards natural organisms as ends. Only by seeing them as ends does their organized character become intelligible to us. The two of them are aware of both the significance of analogy and its limits.

Thus to the engineer I said that the current view of the earth as a “system” is, after all, an analogy, and, as such, reveals certain aspects of the earth to us, but also hides others. It has its limits, and it is only by being aware of the limits of our analogies or metaphors that we can both employ them fruitfully and move beyond them when necessary. There is, in other words, always a speculative level to any scientific research, and it is the philosophers who are able to account for it, recognize its limits and criticize or even reject it. I realize that this anecdote is limited, and the scope of my response is thereby also limited. Nonetheless, I hope that through it I have suggested the direction in which I would further develop an answer to this question.

3:AM: And are there five books you could recommend to the readers here at 3:AM that would take us further into your philosophical world?

DN: Kant’s Critique of Judgment
Schelling’s First Outline for a Philosophy of Nature
Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants
Novalis’ The Novices at Saïs
Schlegel’s Lectures on Transcendental Idealism [not translated]

Richard Marshall is still biding his time.

Buy his book here to keep him biding!

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, November 21st, 2014.