Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Friedrich Schlegel, Henry of Ghent and Ruth Garrett Millikan

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11 ideas

1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 4. Later European Philosophy / c. Eighteenth century philosophy
Irony is consciousness of abundant chaos [Schlegel,F]
     Full Idea: Irony is the clear conscousness of eternal agility, of an infinitely abundant chaos.
     From: Friedrich Schlegel (works [1798], Vol 2 p.263), quoted by Ernst Behler - Early German Romanticism p.81
     A reaction: [1800, in Athenaum] The interest here is irony as a reaction to chaos, which has made systematic thought impossible. Do romantics necessarily see reality as beyond our grasp, even if not chaotic? This must be situational, not verbal irony.
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
Plato has no system. Philosophy is the progression of a mind and development of thoughts [Schlegel,F]
     Full Idea: Plato had no system, but only a philosophy. The philosophy of a human being is the history, the becoming, the progression of his mind, the gradual formation and development of his thoughts.
     From: Friedrich Schlegel (works [1798], Vol.11 p.118), quoted by Ernst Behler - Early German Romanticism
     A reaction: [1804] Looks like the first sign of rebellion against the idea of having a 'system' in philosophy, making it a key idea of romanticism. Systems are classical? This looks like an early opposition of a historical dimension to static systems. Big idea.
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
Substance, Quantity and Quality are real; other categories depend on those three [Henry of Ghent]
     Full Idea: Among creatures there are only three 'res' belong to the three first categories: Substance, Quantity and Quality. All other are aspects [rationes] and intellectual concepts with respect to them, with reality only as grounded on the res of those three.
     From: Henry of Ghent (Quodlibeta [1284], VII:1-2), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 12.3
     A reaction: Pasnau connects with the 'arrangement of being', giving an 'ontologically innocent' structure to reality. That seems to be what we all want, if only we could work out the ontologically guilty bit.
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
The only reality in the category of Relation is things from another category [Henry of Ghent]
     Full Idea: There is beyond a doubt nothing real in the category of Relation, except what is a thing from another category.
     From: Henry of Ghent (Quodlibeta [1284], VII:1-2), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 12.3
     A reaction: This seems to have been the fairly orthodox scholastic view of relations.
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes
Accidents are diminished beings, because they are dispositions of substance (unqualified being) [Henry of Ghent]
     Full Idea: Accidents are beings only in a qualified and diminished sense, because they are not called beings, nor are they beings, except because they are dispositions of an unqualified being, a substance.
     From: Henry of Ghent (Quodlibeta [1284], XV.5), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 10.4
     A reaction: This is aimed to 'half' detach the accidents (as the Eucharist requires). Later scholastics detached them completely. Late scholastics seem to have drifted back to Henry's view. The equivocal use of 'being' here was challenged later.
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
The function of beliefs is to produce beliefs-that-p when p [Millikan]
     Full Idea: Presumably it is a proper function of the belief-manufacturing mechanisms in John to produce beliefs-that-p only if and when p.
     From: Ruth Garrett Millikan (Thoughts without Laws [1986], p.69), quoted by Christopher Peacocke - A Study of Concepts 5.2
     A reaction: This is the 'teleological' account of belief, which is trying to fit belief into an evolutionary view of humans. It is doubtful whether you can say mental states are just their 'proper' function, because then piano-playing becomes a puzzle.
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / b. Transcendental idealism
Kant says things-in-themselves cause sensations, but then makes causation transcendental! [Henry of Ghent, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: Kant claimed that things-in-themselves caused our sensations; but causality was a transcendental condition of experience, not a property of things-in-themselves, so the great Kant had contradicted himself.
     From: report of Henry of Ghent (Quodlibeta [1284], Supplement) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 04
     A reaction: This early objection by the conservative Jacobi (who disliked Enlightenment rational religion) is the key to the dispute over whether Kant is an idealist. Kant denied being an idealist, but how can he be, if this idea is correct?
Poetry is transcendental when it connects the ideal to the real [Schlegel,F]
     Full Idea: There is a kind of poetry whose essence lies in the relation between the ideal and the real, and which therefore, by analogy with philosophical jargon, should be called transcendental poetry.
     From: Friedrich Schlegel (works [1798], Vol 2 p.204), quoted by Ernst Behler - Early German Romanticism p.78
     A reaction: I think the basic idea is that the imaginative creation of poetry has the power to bridge the gap between the transcendental (presupposed) ideal in Fichte, and nature (which Fichte seems to have excluded from his system).
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 8. The Arts / b. Literature
For poets free choice is supreme [Schlegel,F]
     Full Idea: Romantic poetry recognises as its first commandment that the free choice [Wilkür] of the poet can tolerate no law above itself.
     From: Friedrich Schlegel (works [1798], Frag 116 p.32), quoted by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 06
     A reaction: This leads to Shelley's 'poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the race'. We should also take it as a response to Kant's categorical imperative, which leads to the Gauguin Problem (wickedness justified by the art it leads to).
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / e. Love
True love is ironic, in the contrast between finite limitations and the infinity of love [Schlegel,F]
     Full Idea: True irony is the irony of love. It arises from the feeling of finitude and one's own limitation, and the apparent contradiction of these feelings with the concept of infinity inherent in all true love.
     From: Friedrich Schlegel (works [1798], Vol.10 p.357), quoted by Ernst Behler - Early German Romanticism
     A reaction: [c.1827] This is more about idealist philosophy and its yearning for the Absolute than it is about the actual nature of love. Love is the door to the Absolute. The irony is our inability to pass through it.
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 3. Angst
Irony is the response to conflicts of involvement and attachment [Schlegel,F, by Pinkard]
     Full Idea: Irony is thus the appropriate stance to feeling that is both inescapably committed and inescapably detached at the same time.
     From: report of Friedrich Schlegel (works [1798]) by Terry Pinkard - German Philosophy 1760-1860 06
     A reaction: This is the epitome of romanticism, which carries over into the dilemmas of existentialism. Striking the right balance between caring and not caring seems to me to be the main focus of modern British people.