Naturalism and Symbolism

Whistler, D ORCID: 0000-0002-8662-3211
(2016) Naturalism and Symbolism. Angelaki, 21 (4). pp. 91-109.

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I argue that Schelling’s construction of symbolic language is to be understood as an application of Naturphilosophie; indeed, more generally, that the concept of the symbol theorised anew in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Germany was predominantly a naturphilosophische concept, and its transfer into the discourses of aesthetics and ultimately linguistics was one instance of a broader project (represented by Schelling and A.W. Schlegel) to understand aesthetic phenomena through the explanatory framework of naturalism. That is, Schelling is here understood as continuing a project of “aesthetic naturalism,” which consists in the explanation of aesthetic phenomena naturalistically. In their theories of symbolic language, Schlegel and Schelling both extend such naturalistic accounts to the production of linguistic sense, and I go on to trace this Naturphilosophie of meaning through Schlegel’s 1801 Berlin lectures on aesthetics, Schelling’s lectures on the philosophy of art and into his later essays.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: symbol, meaning, potentiation, natural history
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:32
DOI: 10.1080/0969725X.2016.1229439
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