Volume 15, Issue 1, Fall 2010
The Debt of Philosophical Hermeneutics to Schiller’s Letters on Aesthetic Education
This paper examines the relation of Schiller’s Letters on Aesthetic Education to Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics, particularly by examining the connection between the concepts of “play” and “appearance” in Schiller’s thought. The paper points out parallels between the two thinkers which remain unacknowledged in Gadamer’s critique of Schiller. The first main section of the paper examines the notion of play in Schiller, pointing out that Schiller conceives of play in a medial voice, much as Gadamer does. The second section directly takes on Gadamer’s claim that Schiller’s notion of aesthetic appearance sunders art from truth, by arguing that Schiller conceives of appearance as a mode of truth.