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Ars inventrix: En studie av Friedrich von Hardenbergs (Novalis') paraestetiska projekt
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Ars Inventrix : A Study of Friedrich von Hardenbergs (Novalis) Paraesthetic Project (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is divided into three sections, and treats three essential ideas in the philoso­phical notes of Friedrich von Hardenberg (also known as Novalis): 1) the critique of the foun­dationalist tendency in the systematic philosophy of idealism and the development of a “logological” perspective on philosophy, language and art; 2) the formation of a romantic phi­losophy based on a theory of experimentation and invention; and 3) the creation of a universal encyclopaedia in order to explicate the inner unity of all sciences and arts. Taken together, these three ideas constitute a theory of creativity and inventiveness in Man that no longer serves as a theory of art or poetry proper. It broadens the concepts of philosophy, imagination and creativity and outlines a paraesthetic theory.

The first part focuses on the concept of a philosophical system and Hardenberg’s disapproval of the idea that an unconditional first principle of philosophy will ground the system of the ab­solute held by his former teacher K.L. Reinhold and J.G. Fichte. His view that the nature of being is non-systematic led him to the conviction that no philosophy can capture the totality. Life, language and knowledge can be reflected upon only in terms of non-foundational princi­ples and this reflection should be a “logological” approach to philosophy that ultimately forms a “transcendental poetry.”

The second part investigates the product of the “logological” critique of Fichte, i.e. the ro­mantic philosophy. This study stresses the influence of Spinoza and Plotinos in Hardenberg’s theory of the I and its creative potential. What Hardenberg identifies as “romantic” is a) the relation between the known and the unknown (as well as the relation between inside and out­side, outwards and inwards) and b) an epistemological and cognitive operation preformed by the I in “series of variation.” The theory of the romantic operation leads to his theory of ex­perimentation and invention. In Hardenberg’s view, experimentation is not only the task of sci­entific practice, it is the very experience and conception of reality that is experimental. This concept of experiment is considered in relation to his ideas about mathematics and combina­torics.

The third and last part investigates how and why Hardenberg’s training at the mining acad­emy in Freiberg and his acquaintance with the mineralogist A.G. Werner is important for understanding his attempt to construct a general encyclopaedia, Das Allgemeine Brouillon (The Universal Draft). Without any centre or fixed field of study, Hardenberg’s encyclopaedia is his answer to the systematic philosophers of his time, that it is possible to put “non-systema­tisation in a system.” The last part focuses on Hardenberg’s “revision” of his teacher Werner’s system of classification and its implications for the composition of the encyclopaedia as well as his interpretation of nature as a language and language as nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för ABM , 2003. , 326 p.
Keyword [en]
Aesthetics, German romanticism, experiment, invention, the absolute, Kant, Fichte, Werner, Schlegel, Schelling, Lambert, Baumgarten, Wolff, Spinoza, Zinzendorf, Plotinos, Reinhold
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3415DiVA: diva2:162724
Public defence
2003-05-10, Hörsalen, Gustavianum, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2003-04-11 Created: 2003-04-11Bibliographically approved

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