Topics: Ballad, Gothic architecture, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Pages: 11 (2449 words) Published: January 8, 2013

Philosophical Foundation (Summary)

Proponent: The Principle of Natural Goodness

Philosophical Foundations of Romanticism

• Earl of Shaftesbury’s View of natural goodness

• Herder’s organic view of History

• Post-Kantian German philosophers’ epistemological concerns

• Burke’s inquiries into the sublime and the beautiful

• Percy’s Researches in the Folk literature

• Walpole’s and Volney’s Concern with the past

• Goethe’s celebration of the rebel

• Rousseau's doctrines of man’s noble nature and the evil’s society

1. Earl of Shaftesbury

Empirical Study

He studied man as a unit in himself and secondly in his wider relations to the larger units of society and the universe of mankind.

Principle: Harmony or Balance based on the general ground of good taste or feeling as opposed to the method of reason.

Note: The virtue of Benevolence (Altruism) – concern for others (Wishing to be good/charity) as indispensable to morality

Close parallel between the moral and the aesthetic criteria: Just as there is a faculty which apprehends beauty in the sphere of art, so there is the sphere of ethics a faculty which determines the value of action

Moral sense/Conscience

2. Johann Gottfried von Herder

Organic View of History

Thoughts: Embodied in “Outline of Philosophical History of Humanity”

The philosophy stresses the “one must go into the age, into the region, into the whole history, and feel ones way into everything. “The historian” should be the “regenerated contemporary” of the past and history and science “instrument of the most genuine patriotic spirit.”

3. Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804)

German Philosopher from Prussia (Age of Enlightenment)

Defined Enlightenment as an age shaped by Latin motto

(“Dare to Know”)

Thoughts: maintained that one ought to think autonomously, free from the dictates of external authority.

He asserted that, because of limitations of argumentation in the absence of irrefutable evidence, no one could really know whether there is God and an afterlife or not. For the sake of morality and as a ground for reason, people are justified in believing in God, even though they could never know God’s presence empirically.

“All the preparations of reasons, therefore, in what may be called pure philosophy, are in reality directed to those three problems only:

- God

- The soul

- Freedom

However, these three elements in themselves still hold independent, proportional, objective weight individually.

|Cause |Beauty |Sublime | |Formal |The Passion of Love |The Passion of Fear | | |(inspires love and |(causes pain and terror)| | |affection) | | |Material |The concerns of certain|Equally aspects of | | |objects, such as, |certain objects such | | |smallness, smoothness, |as, vastness , infinity,| | |delicacy, etc. |magnificence | |Efficient |The calming of the |The tension of our | | |nerves |nerves | |Final |God’s providence |God having created and | | | |battled Satan (in | | | |Milton’s “Paradise | | | |Lost”) |

Moreover, in a collective rational context; namely, to know what ought to be done. If the will is free, if there is God, if there is a future world. As this concerns our action with reference to highest aims of life, we see that the ultimate intention of nature in her wise provision was really in the constitution of our reason, directed to moral interests only.

4. Edmund Burk (1729 – 1797)

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