Goethe´s Contribution to Philosophy. The Morphology of Individuality.

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In this essay, I discuss a variety of considerations that Goethe expressed in his writings. I will with few exceptions address these writings in chronological order. I include both literary and scientific-philosophical works. In this way, I hope to show that a certain theme is at the heart of Goethe´s thinking, and that Goethe´s later works expresses a sophisticated and “deep” account of this theme. In addition, I will try to explain how one can ascribe this Goethean theme to major philosophers of the 20th Century, Cassirer, Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein. The theme in question concerns the individuality of a human life in a metaphysical sense, characterizing the individual as situated “in between” Nature and Culture. By being both a child of Nature and a child of Culture, the fate of individuals is the transformation of previously given human concerns and practices. There never is a natural child nor a cultural formation securing human individuality. In Goethe´s words: The history of an individual human being is the individual human being.
TidsskriftSATS - Northern European Journal of Philosophy
Sider (fra-til)35-52
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2019

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