Posted by Helen on August 21, 1997 at 06:31:01:
In reply to Coleridge & German Idealism posted by Erin on August 19, 1997 at 09:39:13
] Coleridge, like Baudelaire, is one of the more intellectual 'junkies'. I believe laudanum was his monkey.
Have you ever read any of his> notebooks? An interesting fusion of serious and profound philosophical comment with "last night I had the dream where I was pursued by giant blue monsters again" (actually, it's more disgusting than that but I can't think of a euphemistic yet comprehensible way of saying it). Also Biographia Literaria, one of the few books I have ever been compelled to read underlining and writing "how true" in the margin.
] Next to Shelley, Coleridge was the most scholarly of the English Romantics. He traveled to Germany, and was highly influence by German Idealism --a school which believes that through reason, we apprehend what is real (noumena) over what is perceived (phenomena).
] First promulgated by Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason, this epistomolgy (IMHO, a modern interpretation of Plato --the Plato of the Republic), was further articulated by Hegel and later Marx in the 19th c..
Does Plato believe that we actually can get to reality? And if so, through reason? And where does that leave us in relation to the ideal? This is what I like about Renaissance neo-Platonism, that it wants to achieve its higher perceptions not through the intellect alone, but through love.
] In essence, German Idealism negates what is preceived by the human senses by stating that it (preceived-reality) is not real or as Kant would say, "the thing itself". A conclusion of this concept can cause a 'yearning' for the Real. I can see this in Kubla Khan, this longing for noumena. It's also possible that Coleridge felt that he could attain it through the use if opium-based substances. Something Kant, I'm sure would not recommend.;-)
Probably Coleridge, on a trip, thought that Kubla Khan was the real, and was yearning for it - I would not be at all surprised. Ironically, of course, he was at that point confronted with the "real" real, in the shape of the Man from Porlock...
] Sorry --this has very little to do with S&S --but I couldn't resist talking about it.:-)
No, thank you so much for explaining it - I have never never been able to find a comprehensible version of Kant before now, everyone ends up trying to emulate him in obscurity.
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