Friday, April 27, 2007

The experience begins as a fascination with unexpected detail, the aptness of accident, real-time exploration of the unknown

Romanticism can be distinguished from idealism by a peculiarity in its attitude toward the unity of mind and world in knowledge. When romanticism asserts that the world exists in acts of mind, it intends not to deflate more robustly realistic pictures of knowing about the world, but to insist on a form of experience that is superior to them. It does not defend idealism as a philosophical truth but rather exalts it as the highest and most divine genus of knowledge, which knowledge may grow from acquaintance with the most fine-grainedly empirical. This sense of idealist knowledge as a sort of achievement is clear in the following passage from Schneet├╝ben:
I have recently embraced a theory of knowledge on which what is known is a rare and complex particular that exists only in its being known, and that it is available only in an unforced alignment of inner and outer circumstances. (Chemnitzer Tageb├╝cher, 34)

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