The Philosophy of Life, and, Philosophy of Language
Critic, poet and philosopher Friedrich von Schlegel (1772-1829) was a leading figure of German Romanticism. In the two years before his untimely death, he wrote three cycles of lectures intended as part of a larger project to lay the foundations of a new general philosophy. Two of these cycles, 'Philosophie des Lebens' (given in 1827, published 1828) and 'Philosophie des Sprache und des Wortes' (given in December 1828 and published posthumously), are reissued here in an 1847 English translation. The first presents Schlegel's understanding of philosophy as independent of theology or politics, concerned with the 'inner spiritual life' of humankind. The second explores the nature of communication through language and art. Schlegel argues that full human consciousness cannot be restored by Enlightenment science, but only by divine revelation and redemption. He offers no ready-made solutions, but encourages his listeners to develop their own responses to these questions.