The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1998

Aesthetics and Philosophy of the Arts

Petre Dumitrescu
Pages 41-48

Le Theme de l’Unite et de l’Harmonie de l’Homme chez Friedrich Schiller

This study demonstrates that Schiller's philosophical work is not limited only to the explanation of the artistic phenomenon as such, and that, for him, art represents the premise of philosophizing, of elaborating an original conception of the world and of humanity. I emphasize the way in which the poet and playwright uses art as a philosophical method with a view to penetrating meaning in the world and in life and to identifying a solution to the crisis confronted by modernity. In this context, based on the conviction that the historical and rationalistic methods are the only ones valid for human understanding and achievement, Schiller, due to his artistic genius and his beginning from Kant's ideas concerning the compatibility of the theoretical and the ethical by means of the aesthetic, advances a way of raising nature (the sensible) to the level of morality with the help of the artistic creation interpreted as a game. What radically distinguishes and confers originality on Schiller's versus Kant's conception is the modality of solving the problems of the relation between necessity and liberty, sensibility and intelligibility, and individuality and liberty, thus offering the image of a person able to aspire to resonance with the exactingness of the Great Time, when evolution may become self-evolution, and history transhistory.