>Schiller’s Dialectic

>Schiller’s interest in the Artist as a uniter of those things local and contemporary with those things universal and eternal seems intimately related to Hegel’s own dialectic. Schiller positions his ideal in the past, with Ancient Greek civilization, but acknowledges that “the intellect was unavoidably compelled by the store of knowledge it already possessed to dissociate itself from feeling and intuition in an attempt to arrive at exact discursive understanding” (488). He traces this split in our psyche to the many fractures which are evident to him in modern society – between “State and Church, laws and customs,” and perhaps most importantly between the Individual and Whole (486-7). It would seem then that the dissociation between reason and intellect creates a dialectic which is potentially resolved in the Artist, who can forge anew in the work of Art “the Ideal out of the union of what is possible with what is necessary” (491).

In considering this similarity, what does it suggest that Schiller’s first term – Greek art and culture – becomes Hegel’s second?

Schiller also seems to remain confident that Art can eventually reconcile the two. Hegel’s dialectic suggests that Art reaches its synthesis in its recognition that the two cannot be perfectly reconciled.


About Noah Brewer

I am an English teacher and Debate coach living in Carrollton, GA. I like gardening and critical theory. I like teaching and learning. I like language and technology.
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