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Schlegel, Friedrich von (1772–1829)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC070-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 15, 2024, from

Article Summary

Schlegel was the major aesthetician of the Romantic movement in Germany during its first formative period (1797–1802). In these years he developed his influential concepts of Romantic poetry and irony, created an original approach to literary criticism and edited the journal of the early Romantic circle, Athenäum. Along with F. von Hardenberg (Novalis),F.W.J. Schelling and F.D.E. Schleiermacher, he was also a guiding spirit in the development of a Romantic metaphysics, ethics and politics. His metaphysics attempted to synthesize Fichte’s idealism and Spinoza’s naturalism. His ethics preached radical individualism and love against the abstract formalism of Kant’s ethics. In his early politics Schlegel was very radical, defending the right of revolution and democracy against Kant. In his later years, however, he became much more conservative. His final works are a defence of his neo-Catholic mysticism.

Citing this article:
Beiser, Frederick. Schlegel, Friedrich von (1772–1829), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC070-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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