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Showing posts from October, 2010

Notes on Jacobi: Reason and its Exits

Just been reading the German Romantic philosopher, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi - perhaps most famous, if at all, in a distorted and misinterpreted form as a fideist and irrationalist; a purely religious counterpuncher, hurling himself in the name of Christianity against the heart of Enlightenment reason. Either that, or he blurs into the chain of minor philosophers between Kant and Hegel, notably only because his name does not begin with Sch- (Schelling, Schlegel, Schleiermacher...)

On the other hand, I've found him interesting: not only because he is on the same page as Coleridge in many ways, but because I think he actually mounts a fairly radical and intelligent critique of rationality and its limits. Two things I wanted to reflect on:
1. Jacobi, in a way you don't see very often in the philosophical tradition, understands that acts of reason are set within lived experience. In 'Concerning the Doctrine of Spinoza', he claims that 'philosophy cannot create its mat…