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Idealistic Studies

Volume 46, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Gerard Kuperus
Pages 65-77

The Self as a Becoming Work of Art in Early Romantic Thought

For the Jena Romantics the idea of a self is always in a process, never fully completed. It develops itself as an acting I that interacts with the world, an ongoing interchange between what I am and what I am not. In order to grasp how the self develops and is educated, this paper compares this idea of the self to Schlegel’s account of irony. Both irony and the I exist as an ongoing process. In this comparison the self is found to be a work of art, which is never what it is since its identity always still has to become completed.

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