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Overview

Kantian ethics

An approach to moral questions deriving from the teachings and writing of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). It is characterized by an emphasis on the rational endeavour of ...

feminism

feminism  

The approach to social life, philosophy, and ethics that commits itself to correcting biases leading to the subordination of women or the disparagement of women's particular experience and of the ...
Über Anmut und Würde

Über Anmut und Würde   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to German Literature (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
164 words

...Anmut und Würde , a long philosophical essay written by Schiller in 1793 and published in the periodical Die neue Thalia ( 1793 ). It is the first fruit of the study of Kantian philosophy made possible for Schiller by the Danish benefaction of 1791 and reflects his preoccupation with the relationship between art and ethics. While accepting Kant's main principles, Schiller dissents from the view that the participation of pleasure in an action adversely affects its moral meritoriousness. He sets up the conception of the ‘beautiful soul’ (schöne Seele),...

Kant, Immanuel

Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
214 words

...subsequently developed and profoundly modified by Fichte , Schelling , and Hegel . In Britain, Kant's critique of empiricism was greatly valued by S. T. Coleridge , who made extensive use of his ideas in ‘An Essay on Genial Criticism’ ( 1814 ) and elsewhere. More generally, Kantian ideas filtered through to Thomas De Quincey , William Hazlitt , and P. B. Shelley . Kant also exercised a considerable influence on Thomas Carlyle , though his reception of Kant's thought was a quirkily individual one. Today Kant is acknowledged as a philosopher of the...

Personalism

Personalism   Reference library

The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
680 words

...legal, moral, and psychological meanings. But ‘Personalism’ as a general tendency was a late 19th‐c. development, with small Personalist movements developing in Britain, Germany, and America. Charles Renouvier 's book Le Personalisme ( 1903 ) offered a Kantian neo‐critical approach to ethics, though it was little followed in France. The emergence of a strong French Personalist movement in the early 1930s was an attempt to construct a viable social philosophy within the Catholic tradition. It was constructed under the aegis of Mounier and the group...

Fichte, Johann Gottlieb

Fichte, Johann Gottlieb (1762–1814)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to German Literature (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
541 words

...years in Berlin he became professor of philosophy at Erlangen University, resigned after one semester, and moved to Königsberg. In 1810 he was appointed rector of the new University of Berlin. As Fichte developed his philosophy, he diverged in important particulars from his Kantian model. He rejected Kant's ‘thing-in-itself’ ( Ding-an-sich ), and saw existence solely in terms of the self. For him only the Ego exists ‘in itself’. The world around it, comprehensively classified as the Non-Ego, is a creation of the Ego. Fichte preached moral virtues,...

Sartre, Jean‐Paul

Sartre, Jean‐Paul (1905–80)   Reference library

The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
1,702 words

...unable to escape from each other's gaze, and source of the much misinterpreted slogan: ‘L'Enfer, c'est les autres’). Les Chemins de la liberté ( 1945–9 ) and L'Existentialisme est un humanisme ( 1946 , a public lecture in which Sartre attempted to draw more positive, quasi‐Kantian ethical consequences from the basic tenets of Existentialism) also appeared in the years immediately following the war. The same fertile period saw the performance of the plays Morts sans sépulture ( 1946 ), La Putain respectueuse ( 1946 ), and Les Mains sales ( 1947 ), and...

Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
6,309 words

..., in which he considers the question of these extra-empirical universals and our mode of knowing them: “I call all knowledge transcendental which is concerned, not with objects, but with our mode of knowing objects so far as this is possible a priori .” Coleridge adapted the Kantian belief in a world of knowledge beyond that of the brute senses—Kant's idealism—and used it to defend against the aridity of empiricism: its tendency toward bloodless rationalism, an increasingly mechanistic worldview, and a cold reduction of the human to its accumulated sense...

Ethics of Reading

Ethics of Reading   Reference library

Matthew Garrett

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...guise—cannot withstand the scrutiny of what Raymond Geuss has called “outside ethics,” as in the key example of Hegel’s social understanding of the dialectical relationship between the subjective and the objective, which is “concerned with the real results and actual consequences of human action, not with everyone’s subjective intentions.” 19 At the same time, styles of thought that may seem incompatible with ethics understood in the Aristotelian, Kantian, or analytic fashions have also been grafted onto ethical readings of texts. So, for...

Genealogy

Genealogy   Reference library

Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson and Amy Nigh

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...in contrast to the Kantian project of transcendental critique, this contrast nevertheless sheds light on the specific form of critique that is at issue in genealogy and that it inherits from Kant’s critical philosophy, namely, an understanding of critique as inquiry into conditions of possibility. It is, therefore, useful to flesh out the notion of genealogy as critique by situating it in the tradition of Kant’s critical project. This has the additional benefit of further multiplying the beginnings of genealogy. The Kantian inheritance of genealogy...

Object-Oriented Ontology

Object-Oriented Ontology   Reference library

Graham Harman

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...Kantian formalism is overshadowed by a less beneficial one. Namely, it is not that Kant wants everything to be autonomous from everything else, but that he recognizes a rift only at the single gap between human and world. Anything can mix with anything else except human and world, just as Fried allows all elements internal to a painting to be absorbed with each other even as the relation of beholder to painting is supposed to be of a different kind altogether. The same problem is shown to be at work in the two other major parts of Kant’s philosophy: ethics...

Speculation

Speculation   Reference library

Graham Harman

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...on page 77 of the English text! 21. Meillassoux, The Number and the Siren , 214. 22. Meillassoux, The Number and the Siren , 222. 23. Graham Harman, Dante’s Broken Hammer: The Ethics, Aesthetics, and Metaphysics of Love (London: Repeater, 2016); and Graham Harman, Art and Objects (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2020). 24. Max Scheler, Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values , trans. Manfred Frings and Roger Funk (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1973); Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern , trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge, MA:...

Animal

Animal   Reference library

Christopher Peterson

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...Theory: An Anthology (New York: Routledge, 2017). 2. Aristotle, Politics , trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 9; and Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics , trans. Roger Crisp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 12. 3. Aristotle, Politics , 11. 4. Aristotle, Politics , 11. 5. See Peter Atterton and Matthew Calarco, eds., Animal Philosophy: Ethics and Identity (New York: Continuum, 2006). 6. René Descartes, “Discourse on the Method,” in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes , vol. 1, trans. John Cottingham et al....

Critique

Critique   Reference library

Charlie Blake

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
14,592 words

...random incident its savage caricature of Gottfried Leibniz’s more overtly metaphysical and tactically theological justification of worldly suffering in his influential Theodicy , it is at the same time a meditation on and critique of ethics in the broader sense of the term. 2 It is a meditation on and critique of ethics in that through rather than despite its more sensational elements it is a work of fiction concerned primarily with the question of how an individual should live and choose and act under the conditions of the essentially arbitrary life in...

Beauty

Beauty   Reference library

Jennifer A. McMahon

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

... Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant’s Pragmatist Legacy (New York: Routledge, 2014), 135–139. 55. Geoffrey Hartman in his commentary “The Passing of the Canon,” in Kermode, Pleasure and Chang e, 59. 56. CJ AK 5: 252, §26. 57. Longinus, “On the Sublime”; see Jean-Francois Lyotard, “The Sublime and the Avant Garde,” in The Continental Aesthetics Reader , ed. Clive Cazeaux (New York: Routledge, 2011), 586–595. 58. Hartman, “Passing of the Canon,” in Kermode, Pleasure and Change , 62; For the distinction between standard formalism and Kantian...

Scandal

Scandal   Reference library

Tarek El-Ariss

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...reality is merely a “belief.” For Kant, undermining the certainty of knowledge and causality unsettles the categorical imperative, ethics, and metaphysics. 8 While belief for Kant should be relegated to an a priori truth like God or freedom, demonstrable proof should pertain to physical objects or what Kant situates in the realm of the phenomenal. But this philosophical outrage on the part of Kant to save epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics from the scandalous skepticism of Hume generates yet another outrage, this time by Heidegger, who critiques Kant’s...

Singularity

Singularity   Reference library

Derek Attridge

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...to preexisting universal concepts. Aesthetic judgments are never mechanical, and therefore can never be predicted or indeed fully explained. (The burgeoning of cognitive approaches to literary experience that occurred in the early 20th century flies in the face of this Kantian insight.) Such judgments are therefore particular and subjective, but Kant is aware that they bear some kind of relation to universality. When I judge a flower to be beautiful, I am not saying “This flower is beautiful to me, but I am ignorant of what others would feel”; I intend...

Discipline

Discipline   Reference library

Peter Hitchcock

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...least take seriously the social implications of the Bildungsroman. At this level, discipline, whether as a discrete knowledge or as training, has a distinctly social register and all disciplines are symptomatic of the shifting bounds and priorities of that base. To be sure, Kantianism represents only one strand of thinking about discipline in the Enlightenment, and any more extensive consideration would have to address, for instance, John Locke’s treatise Some Thoughts Concerning Education ( 1693 ), which builds on his earlier “Essay Concerning Human...

Form and Formalism

Form and Formalism   Reference library

Stephen Cohen

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
12,532 words

...and theorized. Among the first of these groups was Russian Formalism, which flourished between 1915 and 1930 in Moscow and Petrograd; its leading members included Boris Eichenbaum, Viktor Shklovsky, Boris Tomashevsky, and Roman Jakobson. The Formalists rejected Kantian aesthetics and other evaluative theories of beauty and value, as well as prescriptive theories of function, in favor of a descriptive study of the nature of the literary object itself—a science of literature. Their foundational premise was disciplinary: they sought to establish...

Thing

Thing   Reference library

Woosung Kang

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
10,810 words

...to determine what the thing as thing is? 28 Though it is not easy to follow Heidegger’s “phenomenological” argument in his essay “The Thing,” one thing is quite certain: his insistence on the thing’s ontological difference from its ontic representation. For Heidegger, even the Kantian concept of thing-in-itself ( das Ding an sich ) falls far short of illustrating the thingness of the thing, it being merely “the object-in-itself.” 29 Thing-in-itself means “an object that is no object for us, because it is supposed to stand, stay put, without a possible...

Enchantment

Enchantment   Reference library

Michael Saler

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...incalculable force, which was often presented as a fount of re-enchantment in a secularizing age: that of the imagination. This “aesthetic turn” transpired during the fin de siècle, notably in the related movements of aestheticism, decadence, and symbolism in the arts; in neo-Kantianism and pragmatism in philosophy; in the revival of occultism, esotericism, and folklore by practitioners; and in the explorations of the unconscious by psychologists. Indeed, Weber’s forceful definition of Western modernity as rational and disenchanted was a deliberate rebuke to this...

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