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|Title:||The Provocations of Nihilism: Practical Philosophy and Aesthetics in Jacobi, Kant, and Schelling|
|Abstract:||<p> The purpose of the dissertation is to describe how Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi's diagnosis of nihilism at the heart of the rationalist metaphysics of the Enlightenment provokes a tum to practical philosophy and aesthetics as alternative areas of philosophical scrutiny. I divide my analysis into two basic parts, treating practical philosophy and aesthetics respectively. The first part argues that Jacobi's debate with Moses Mendelssohn provokes the development of two unique approaches to practical philosophy, Jacobi's and Kant's. I interpret Jacobi's famous salto mortale as a balance between passively accepting feeling as a legitimate revelation of truth and actively creating the practical context in which feeling can appear as meaningful in the first place. I also argue that in his practical response to the Jacobi-Mendelssohn debate, Kant is still susceptible to Jacobi's critique of Enlightenment rationalism. In the second part, I tum my attention to how Kant and the early Schelling both develop their aesthetic theories as a response to Jacobi's diagnosis of nihilism. I show that Schelling's reinterpretation of Kant's theory of the postulates subtlety introduces an aesthetic dimension to philosophy in the process of employing Jacobian ideas to address problems in Kant. I continue on to interpret Kant's Critique of Judgment as unified in its attempt to respond to Jacobi by accounting for the sensible elements of experience as legitimate domain for philosophers. But I also argue that Kant's unwillingness to see the world as a creative accomplishment of human reason ultimately condemns his project to failure. I conclude by showing that Schelling's System of Transcendental Idealism finally makes good on Jacobi's call to develop a philosophy that accounts for the active role that agents have in the constitution of a meaningful world of experience.</p>|
|Description:||title: The Provocations of Nihilism: Practical Philosophy and Aesthetics in Jacobi, Kant, and Schelling author:Jeremy Proulx location: Mills|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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