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Basic concepts towards an understanding of the Age of Reason[edit]

Material parallel to Immaterial or the Being-question in conjunction with the Value-question[edit]

The question as to the relations or conflations that take place between the spiritual/immaterial dimension and the sensuous/material dimension can be with justice viewed as the central problem of all philosophy. From a historical viewpoint,the centrality of this question can be supported by pointing our reader as early as the beginnings of philosophy where namely we follow philosophy's interplay and consanguinity with the animistic view of Being[1]. The first organized and comprehensive worldview is dualistic, i.e. it exists because of the 'discovery' of the spirit (or spirits), which hovers separate from the sensuous-empirical component and which guides fates and the very essence of the material world. It is thus not a coincidence that philosophical products which were instrumental in forming the intellectual tradition of the so-called 'West' were beholden to dualism, namely the fundamental demarcation between the Material and Immaterial principles. It will be enough to mention only Platonism, which in its original version —precisely via the mediation of the dualistic principle — was deeply interwoven with the animistic-religious teachings of the Orphic and Pythagorean cults[2], and whose influence, not least because of the link to Christianity established later[3], was longstanding in history. The Cartesian distinction between res cogitans and res extensa[4] just like the Kantian between Intelligible and Sensible[5] famously examplify the same thing. It would be false however, to assume that the question as to the relationship between Material and Immaterial is only of central importance when we have to do with dualistic philosophies. The spiritualistic or materialistic signs of all hitherto attested 'monistic' philosophical constructs offer support to the thesis that here the deal is efforts to end and to overcome the jockeying between Spirituality and Sensuousness under the aegis of one of the two players. In other words, not only does this jockeying or antagonism form the starting point and therefore the conditio sine qua non of the thought effort, but also each given 'overcoming' of it, as a rule becomes possible only through the absolutization of one of the two opposing scales in the balance of philosophical reasoning. So it's crucial to note that the 'overcoming' has a polemic edge and for that reason cannot really mean the final end of the aforementioned antagonism.

For systematic reasons of presentation, the general significance that should be ascribed to the relations question between Material and Immaterial, will be easier to see into once we look up the conceptual pairs that can break up and parse this central question.: Subject-Object, God-World, Possibility-Reality, Soul-Body, Intellect-Sense, Reason-Drives, Ought-Is, Normative-Causal, Realm of God vs. Realm of Reason/History. All the important questions in the history of philosophy can be fitted within these conceptual pairs and that fact implies that a ceaseless, consequent answer to the questions of philosophy must necessarily produce a cosmology, a moral System an epistemology as well as a philosophy of history. In a structural sense these dimensions will naturally resonate with one another if the thinker in question follows the consequence and sequence of logic and otherwise works with systematic intent. That is however not often the case because as thinkers begin to put effort into thought, there usually stands poised in their mind not the whole complex of the possible conceptual pairs but instead only one of them all - which naturally depends on the fluctuations of the time and individual temperament. Nevertheless, an implied connection with the other dimensions of the complex continues to exist; this inevitability can be explained within the context of a more general investigation into the affinities of ethics and metaphysics. Along our studies here a resonance between ethics and ontology will be repeated and mentioned in a double sense: firstly, in recognition of the conflation that exists between the intertwined questions of what is (ontology) and the question of values (ethics), or in other words, in recognition that ontology is constructed in light of moral needs and postulates. Secondly, in the intent to demonstrate the hence resulting structural parallelism of ontological and moral-philosophical levels in the context of the same philosophy. At the same time, we'll demonstrate that the same structural parallelism extends to the levels of epistemology and the philosophy of history especially as these constitute alike in themselves manifestations of the general osmosis of the two questions which essentially yield a single, most essential question. So that the reader will come to terms with these structural correlations and realize them the method we'll employ to that end is presenting how these questions are attested and shown to handle and comport themselves along their aforementioned transformations or manifestations throughout history; in such a manner our conclusion as to their central and systematic import in all philosophy will be put to trial.

Why this question must be seen as being of central import historically and systematically, we can see better if we examine closely the notions of 'spirit', 'intellect' and the like. It does not however lie in our interest to find out whether human spirit 'exists' (whatever that's supposed to mean) or what it really 'is' in the first place. We just want to trace the function of this notion in the philosophical tradition in a purely descriptive manner. It would of course seem a magician's task to find a red thread that could lead us to unlock the function of this astonishingly polysemous notion. After all, it is well-known that in Greek antiquity the word πνευμα didn't have yet the meaning it was to assume later but instead denoted a refined but at any rate material vitalistic principle — a perception that remained active in the Christian Middle Ages as well and worked its way deep into the modern era[6]. The supra-sensory element was 'discovered' and represented chiefly by the notion of νους while that of πνευμα, was which by the time of the Stoics still materialistically understood was first 'vaporized' completely through the influence of Judeo-Christian thought[7], so that now it could be juxtaposed not only to the σωμα but the ψυχη as well[8]. The Latin Middle Ages employs mostly the term spiritus (in translation of the word pneuma) for the Holy Spirit while 'spirit' in the sense of a higher distinction of man was denoted through the term mens and in which continues to take effect not only the stoic-ciceronian but also the the platonic tradition of νους and διανοια [9]. it is due to such and similar terminological shifts and battles that allow that awesome diversity of spirit concepts to arise, a variety that was inherited by the modern era so that it may be integrated for utilization in new situations. It can however be demonstrated that whereas the socio-ontological and socio-intellectual constellation has changed, yet the needs which originally led to the apprehension and development of the spirit-notion have remained more or less the same, and this explains besides not only the adoption of the old diversity but also the adoption of traditional thought structures. The realization of this continuity will allow us to evaluate properly the particular consequences of the looming tendencies of the modern era towards a wholesale elimination of the spirit-notion[10].

A first entry point leading us to an apprehension of the formation of the notion of spirit is offered by noting that in the classical philosophical tradition the acceptance of a spiritual or immaterial faculty in man is inextricably linked with the acceptance of a spiritual dimension in a metaphysical or godly realm[11]. This lead explains why the 'true' spirit of man is not, - not chiefly - understood as a faculty of knowledge but as an instantiating authority of sorts that's hovering above the faculty of perception/cognition in a narrow sense and which is supposed to steer those in accordance with its own superior directives, postulates and machinations[12]. The spirit appears therefore as more encompassing or of a different kind to those respective faculties. It is not, - not just -, an organ or format of empirically found knowledge but is instead nothing less than catalyst/bearer of those highest and final truths at least to the extent that these are judged as accessible to man. In other words: the spirit of the philosophical tradition is not one to conceive of as serving primarily epistemological ends - at least so long as object of knowledge isn't just the readily perceptible (sensuous) world. One relapses to the spirit's higher knowledge-endowing faculties, as soon as the ontological basis is implicated, the derived knowledge of which basis must be especially be presented as objective and unassailable when a specific moral-normative value-scale is to be supported and vindicated. It is the spirit who first opens up the gates of the given 'true' world of what is and what ought. In view of that double main task it is extraneous whether it be conceived as purely intellectualistic or not (precisely for that we can derive two different notions of rationalism as we shall see later on): the decision in this question is calibrated and measured according to the current socio-intellectual constellation (i.e. the current given opponent) and has primarily nothing to do with the acceptance of the notion of spirit in its mentioned double form. So the polysemous ambiguity of the spirit-notion is among others, the result of the fact that it's almost always used to connote the intellect as opposed to the drives and body, almost always the inner psychological fanctions as opposed to the physiological-corporeal[13]. Where the spirit oscillates, the reach of sensuousness follows accordingly[14] but the divide line and antagonism between them never ceases to hold especially as we already said, even monistic conceptions join the fray in the name of one of either.

Since the spirit in the philosophical tradition, irrespective of what given nomina, invokes the 'true' Being and 'true' Ought at the same time, aye is itself invested in them, his opposition to sensuousness denotes not just simply a precondition for earning final; that is to say, liberated from the contradictory manifold of the sensuous, knowledge, but instead eo ipso also earning a series of defenses against factors that are experienced as threatening. The menace comes of course from sensuous/material, in whose reference the same applied connection between ontological and normative question must surface; this time under negative signs. Sensuousness in itself is seen namely as the nether layer of Being and in addition as the hurdle that prevents the realization of the moral ideal - or at best it is portrayed as morally indifferent[15]. Only to respectively different extents spiritualized/vivified, can sensuousness in the midst of a conscious or unconscious materialism can it feel entirely innocuous from a normative-moral viewpoint. Hence, the defense of the spirit implies not just taking sides in supporting a particular conception of Being/what Is, but also, -and quite often in the first instance - engagement to those values that the latter stand in connection with. Considering the normative function of the spirit, which one should consider in its entire breadth and all its transformations, it is neither an accident nor triviality if the main distinction between man and (other) beasts was theorized to be the exclusive (or preferential) presence of spirit/intellect/mind etc.[16] Of course these attribute wasn't just interpreted as a value-free organ to register sensory input into knowledge or instrument in the services of self-assertion and self-preservation in the strive for survival, but instead as normatively-morally colored and accordingly instantiating authority meant to produce binding pronouncements. It is therefore highly telling that in the language of the philosophical tradition precisely those termini that denote the spirit as ontologically-rooted measure or as source of ontological knowledge, are used in parallel at the same time to refer to the power of man's moral insights; then they are entangled beyond recognition with other termini like e.g. ορθος λογος, Ratio, Vernunft etc., which have partly direct moral-philosophical/normative connotations[17]. In this way the ambiguity of the conception of the immaterial is further compounded. Its ambiguity doesn't however prevent it from fulfilling its normative task - on the contrary: it arises from the need to tend to this task under different given conditions and adversaries and besides also illuminates the conflation of ontological and normative levels.

This conflation culminates or again roots in the link we referred to between the acceptance of the immaterial/spirit in man with the acceptance of an immaterial/spiritual dimension in the metaphysical sense, i.e. of a God, irrespective of how exactly he might be understood. At any rate he too features on his own part an illustration of ontological-normative unity in that he's supposed to incorporate not only 'true' Being but also the highest wisdom and nobleness. Thus the normative function of the spiritual receives an ontological support pillar, i.e. it appears as a necessary result of his origin and as such his character[18]. The correlation between ethics and ontology features here it its classical and up to ca. two centuries still most authoritative form. In view of the long cohabitation of the spiritual and God, clearing out the latter should of course naturally endanger the former. And in view of the conflation of ontological and normative on all levels (that of the spirit of man, that of God, as well as the level of the relationship between them) the battle to decide the character and fate of the spirit had to turn into to a battle to pronounce definitively upon moral-normative conceptions. In addition, what stood to threaten the spirit under ever more passionate fire from the idealistic side, the more it seemed to displace the possibility of objective values existing[19]. Even if the readiness was there to blot out the term 'spirit' from the philosophical vocabulary because of its ambiguity, it would be impossible to circumvent the need to seek for new supra-sensuous instantiating principal authorities to enshrine and safeguard the practical worth of values and evaluations[20]. That was perceived and was presented as final defense of the meaning of life. Philosophy can therefore even after the spirit's bankruptcy remain either as terminus technicus or yet as metaphysical measure beholden to its original osmosis with the animistic perception of life as far it is always sensing out for the breeze of the immaterial which it deems its 'meaning'. But in order to sustain the objective link with its animistic source it doesn't really need belief in God or his collaborators and opponents as the forces which agitate behind or on the inside of the scheme of things and whose actions decide upon its blueprint; the assertion that life has a meaning is entirely sufficient for all that. In reality is this assertion, on whose concrete social relevance we'll have more to say later, much more encompassing than every theology or demonology (that's why it's a lot harder to give up than God), which by the way is demonstrated in the fact that these are supposed to support the meaning of life and prove as unworthy when for all sorts of reasons they are unable to carry out this task. Regardless of whether the question of meaning or the question of the spirit is given priority it was at any rate held until recently that the spirit is the instantiating authority charged with issuing evaluations and norms, i.e. with giving meaning. The attack against him, first in its godly and then also in its human form had for that reason to mobilize the entire philosophical front. The battle to settle the question of Being was fought like a battle for the question of values - and one could hardly expect something else that both questions inside the philosophical tradition were thought side-by-side. By orienting our investigation on the question of the relationship between the Is and Ought questions, so broadly understood, we're touching a or better put the sensitive point of philosophical thought in general. And at the same time we're entering a domain where beyond the squabbles in the quarters of professors decisions of the highest sociopolitical relevance come in play.

The polemic nature of human thought as featured in the Age of Reason and in the interpretations of the Age of Reason[edit]

I would like to take up the position that the so-called Age of Reason culminating in the Enlightenment is all an attempt or more precisely a diverse series of attempts to answer the question as to the relationship of spirit and sensuousness. This way of looking at the affair, is, we must note following what we noted previously, neither extraneous nor does it in any way implicitly exclude the specific distinctions that make the Enlightenment from consideration (one could theoretically and justifiably so demur that all ages had sought an answer to the same). We're suggesting, quite to the contrary, that in the Age of Reason and Enlightenment the sensuousness question is put in a very pressing way for which reason the question as to its relation towards the spirit reached as well a hitherto unknown and permanent intensity. The Age of Reason had to urgently pose and pressingly promote the issue because the rehabilitation of the sensuous constituted one of its most important weapons in its world-view struggle against theological ontology and ethics. At the same time, therein lay a sensitive spot of the post-medieval era in general. For the radical rehabilitation of sensuousness cast forth equally pressing and awful logical problems that called for resolution, the more expedient or indispensable rehabilitation seemed in this or that form. Because of the reach of the question as to the relations between material and immaterial as well as the quasi inherent ability of the same to assume the most diverse forms, the rehabilitation of the sensuous pushed all levels of philosophical examination in fervent motion. In epistemology the antagonism between intellectualism and empiricism, i.e. mathematic-geometric versus experimental method reaches new heights, in cosmology the relations between God and world must be thought anew, in anthropology and ethics reason and drives demand rights and thus upset the relations between Is and Ought, while in the philosophy of history the rift becomes glaring between the causal perception of its movement or progression and the normative categories that conceptualize its desired purpose or end.

Now, our task would be not just to illustrate the structural correlation of all these leves in the work of a given thinker and then proceed to explain eventual deviations from the idealtypus of that work, but also and chiefly to evaluate properly the logical character of the questions posed during the Age of Reason in order to understand the multitude fruits the labors of contemporaneous thought bore. The unity and uniformity doesn't simply consist in the answers but also in the questions and this is a conclusion that could shelter research from more than a few debacles. The mutiplicity of the answers on the other hand consists in the variations of intellectual attitudes and the polemic targets the various thinkers chase after and focus upon. In my view, the meticulous study of the sources would suggest that the interpretation of the given position and counter-position on the fundamental assumption that thought itself is in essence of a polemic nature, i.e. designed to focus its sights and its fire upon concrete targets, can lead the furthest. From the perspective of this way of looking at things, we can explain not only the consequence but also the contradiction of a certain thought and this proves especially beneficial in terms of the investigation of the Age of Reason where the dualistic ambivalence (a result of the fear in view of the final consequences of the rehabilitation of the senuous world) is laid in the agenda. The best way to come to grips with a given philosophy in terms of intellectual history is thus to clearly get an idea of who its opponent is and to reflect on what it must or wants to prove to disarm that opponent. In the polemic of all against all (i.e. the philosophical parties against each other) arises - according to the aim of the polemic activity and its given hovering ideal - the multiplicity of variations over one and the same thema, i.e. on the fundamental question, around which revolves the polemic effort. The logical structure of that fundamental issue is the constant and thus necessary measure, the fundamental individual attitudes and polemics are the variable and interchangeable factors: thus is fashioned the general intellectual picture of the era with all its manifold of shades, while the particular window presented by the special work of a given thinker arises out of the crossing between the logical structure of the fundamental problem at hand with the given fundamental attitude. From the insights thus established into the uniformity and also the diversity of the Age of Reason, it is shown that the widely spread impressions this is the age of rationalis or of optimism etc., are indeed hermeneutically worthless. Just as untenable in view of the chronological line of the publication and effect of decisive works and in addition misleading is the (popular in its day) assertion that the period of extreme enlightenment-era rationalism was followed by the period of the pre-romantic protesting feeling. In reality, namely in the light of the sources, optimism and pessimism, eschatology and nihilism, belief in reason and veneration of feeling, trust in the power of the human spirit and epistemological doubt, so-or-so (i.e. in various grades and shades) motivated religiosity and atheism, moralism and eudaimonism, altruism and egoism are all inalienable tendencies of one and the same era, of which so diverse personalities and thinkers like Rousseau and La Mettrie, Herder and Locke, Fichte and Marquis De Sade, represent in equal fashion its produce and yield. All this waves and divided directions must be seen as uniform, namely as possible answers to the fundamental problems that the rehabilitation of the sensuous positively or negatively ushered in. Their co-existence is a fact and not in their denial but in their explanation are we to find the key to a measured understanding of the entire phenomenon that we've learned to call the Age of Reason and Enlightenment. Since that's the way thing are, the more the discovery and study of neglected sources resurged and especially the more certain rationalist positions which formed the core of the older one-dimensional conceptions of the Age of Reason lost after two world wars and massive social shifts their suggestive power, research had to bump into a dead end and reinvent itself. It is thus the result of a double necessity if in latest years the demand for disentanglement from all linear conceptions of the Enlightenment was pronounced ever louder[21] The inner variations and multi-dimensional component of that age thus re-asserted themselves; As far as I know and believe however, an explaination or more fittingly said, illumination of the enlightenment has been absent. It is the ambition of this obscure essay, whose publishing was recalled for reasons of perpetual obscurity, to yet bring to light these explainations with the aid of the herein developed set of conceptual instruments - namely by means of the two theses regarding A. the osmosis of the ontological and deontological levels just as it appears in the perspective of the question as to the relation between spirit and sensuousness and B. the polemic character of thought (the philosophical as much as the political).

The expression 'era of the Enlightenment' which we have been using, should first of all hint at the fact that this era doesn't snugly coincide or identify itself with it but rather play outs within it. The age reaches thus further than the Enlightenment. At the same time the Enlightenment takes roots in the era which after all wouldn't have been what it was without it. Configuring the Enlightenment within its era thus means two things: that the Enlightenment is characteristic for the era and that it is defined through the era. Since however the era is multi-dimensional and since the Enlightenment contains positions on points that refer to various aspects of the era, then the Enlightenment can be as little uniform with itself as it is identical with its era. One would be therefore best advised to effect a double distinction in order to erect borders to the area of the Enlightenment: first, under 'Enlightenment' we are to understand the intellectual currents which desire to impose in place of the traditional theological worldview a secular or at least an as far as possible immanent one. Second, in a narrower sense, we are to understand as Enlightenment those currents, which defend a normative-moral Ideal not just against traditional theology but also the skepticism and nihilism that arose along or by the secularization process itself. (It must be judged on examining the particular case which aspects of the reformed theology are to be reckoned to the Enlightenment or are motivated by it.) At any rate, it is necessary to see that the immanent conception of the world - in contrast to the transcendental in which God is ontological and at once normative-moral principle - is neither in logical wise nor in the perspective of the history of ideas necessarily connected with the acceptance of moral Ideals. The faith in the human spirit too implies eo ipso no scale of values since it's yet to begin with the question open if the human spirit is obliged according to its essence to be attached to the same just as in the platonic-aristotelian-Christian tradition[22] or if it can handle merely instrumentally rational and value-free. The following analysis will demonstrate of what central importance such fundamental conceptual distinctions are by means of various examples. From early on it serves to orientate us as we go by instructing us not just to differentiate and draw the proper boundaries between the Enlightenment and the age in which it took place which is broader, but also between Enlightenment in the wider (negative, anti-theology) and in the narrower (positive, normative) sense[23]. In this work we shall not be referring to the 'age of Enlightenment' but in both the often contradictory meanings the same has; the traditional-theologian foe cannot be examined here but he will always remain in the background because just a few side glances makes many actions and re-actions of the protagonists of the Enlightenment scene understandable. Which now is the age in which the Enlightenment plays out and thus gains its specific features is only possible to decide after we have looked and apprehended somewhat the nature and development of rationalism in the modern era[24].

The distinction of the three levels we mentioned above in no way implies that the single intellectual appearances or thinkers of the Enlightenment can be classified in three groups with no further differentiation. If we take the level of the Enlightenment in its moral-normative sense as our example, then we are to point out that its double hostility with traditional theology and nihilistic approaches generates a variety of thought artifacts which according to the specific situation at hand surrender their preference to various, (indeed highly deviating from each other) argumentative means in defense of the hovering Ideal. Radical skepticism appears too because of evident reasons more or less nuanced, i.e. not always as open nihilism. On the level of theology a tendency is becoming apparent of adopting positions of the normative version of the Enlightenment if such a tactic seems to promise the disarming of the enemy or at any rate if the concrete change in situation is judged to necessitate certain concession for the sake of survival. From all these basic approaches a picture of the utmost diversity appears since this here is a multi-pronged struggle on concurrently multiple levels. Naturally this situation is from a formal point of view in no wise remarkable or unique. Indeed, in regards to all great epochs, after along with the initial enthusiasms the hangover of the research process was finally over, the diversity of the active factors at play was steadily realized; That's how it happened for example with the two legends of Greek antiquity and the renaissance, which helped the urban classes (the bourgeoisie) acquire historically established self-perception[25]. To look upon an epoch as a kind of tension-filled co-existence of the most various and in fact contradictory positions (regardless of whether it can be said that a formal, retrospective-hermeneutic classification context or generic terms can be constructed to integrate the multitudes of those positions), is basically the self-evident thing to do if one would just consider, beginning with a socio-historical perspective, the plethora of individuals and groups which in every epoch and in their own manner each, raise claims of power and thus must enter in conflict and then beyond that conceives of the function of the constructs of thought on a concrete basis (i.e. without any sanctuary in the realm of ideas). The strained manifold of the age becomes in other words self-explanatory if one takes the position as to the militant nature of human thought seriously and contemplates that every position must haul with it a counter-position, indeed that with every position a counter-position must be born. The polemic clash and the jumbling assortment according to the central relationship between friend and foe (*this has nothing to do either with Carl Schmitt's definition of politics or with Schmitt in general) explain in this manner the resulting diversity attested in all great eras of intellectual history - and the Enlightenment is no exception to the rule. The observed unity in certain crucial questions in the ranks of the Enlightenment is no indication against the existentially militant character of thought because this unity is determined by militant needs itself: it exists for as long as a monolithic theologian enemy is in the background[26] and disintegrates when the enemy appears at least a bit willing of reform. The fictive i.e. militantly-conditioned character of the unity of the Enlightenment is shed some light if we examine each given denominator of the unity. Such concepts have so many meaning that a subsumption of the Enlightenment on their basis could only succeed in terms of focusing on form over content i.e. formal-wise. To derive a view of the nature of the Enlightenment from them in terms of content would equal an attempt to define our age as that of freedom and democracy because all parties call upon these catchphrases. Precisely that shows however that they can only be understood in formalist fashion which is after all proved by the fact that everyone who calls upon them is quick to add or to insinuate that he means each special 'true' reason and freedom. Thus, not just in view of the diversity of intellectual currents in the age of the Enlightenment but also considering the formal character of the catchwords of the normative-version Enlightenment itself, we must undertake to use the term 'Enlightenment' rather as conventional technical term[27]. That must a fortiori occur when one has neglected to strictly distinguish between the Enlightenment and the age wherein it played out.

The need for periodizations doubtless arises out of scientific necessities and it would be impossible to circumvent even if peridoziations were considered nothing but an evil. Of fictions and abstractions we stand in need and to radically speak against them in the final analysis must imply that one can never be fully satisfied with the nature of man's knowledge faculties. With justice, I would say but that won't take us further. In any case the unavoidable fictions fulfill their role much better if we keep in mind that they are precisely fictions. In the interests of a scientific conception of things, we are to point to that fact the more it seems that out of the necessity for periodization, very often as it does a hypostatization of an age arises that enters ideological services. The point of that hypostatization is for a specific normative conception to acquire historical i.e. in 'reality' itself recognized rights so that each given Ought may pass underhandedly to be an unassailable Is. The reverse happens as well: a whole era is vilified so that a coming era may seek and find in the previous era i.e. in 'surpassing' it, its own self-confirmation. The militant nature of thought manifests itself not only by looking at the Enlightenment but in like fashion also by scoping the research into the Enlightenment. I will now follow with briefly point to some typical examples of ideologically-sponsored fallacious interpretations. Here of course we don't intend to dispute their ideological import and effect and even less those doing their duty fighting on whatever front to freely contrive such interpretations. We cannot and wish not to keep them away from the politics of philosophy but we will endeavor by all means to keep them off the premises of this investigation.

The identification of the Enlightenment in itself with its moral-normative version comes from the mythology of liberalism. The liberal conception can sometimes do away with identifying the Enlightenment with its age[28] especially as it seeks in the ever lingering presence of an 'obscurantist' enemy its own actual legitimization. Deadly however for it would be any manner of decoupling fundamentally the Enlightenment in the sense of an immanent view of the world i.e. in view of disenchanting the world - from certain Ideas and catchphrases which as already said have neither always nor necessarily to do with the Enlightenment in logical and historical perspective. The term 'Enlightenment' is not allowed in the liberal terminology to be used as just a technical term and indeed not only because of the aforementioned identification of the Enlightenment with norms but aside from that also because of the liberal belief these are not just to be understood formally and as such in a potentially non-binding sense but that are endowed with a clearly specific content, exactly that which the liberals wish to give each time[29]. In the perspective of liberalism's self-understanding in respect to history, the gradual domination of those norms appears, in addition, as self-evident and necessary result of the de-theologization of history in conjunction with the social component of de-theologization as a permanent gain of an unshackled humanity[30]. That's however a logical misstep in two ways: it is entirely conceivable that the deo-theologization of worldview and society can benefit norms other than the liberal (that possibility became reality in a great part of the whole planet during the cold war and even today criticism of liberal orthodoxy from e.g. the alt-right and the aspects of the left has gained remarkable momentum) or that the consequent process of de-mystification of the world can lead to relativist, aye, nihilist final conclusions. For the liberal mythology in regards to the Enlightenment it must a bitter irony that nihilism found in the modern era its first systematic and consequent elaboration precisely during the same era - chiefly from La Mettrie and Marquis De Sade. It stands to reason to see such instances as miscarriages or blemishes in beauty[31]. Psychologically and ideologically speaking that can even be quite successful but scientifically our explanations of the affair have to suffer especially as it can be shown that such and similar phenomena, seen beyond their meager numbers constitute the logical end conclusions of approaches that can be found among morally-abiding Philosophes and which were used by them as weapons against traditional theology. Aye, the liberal conception of the Enlightenment has to dispute that precisely the worldview-ontological prerequisites of their own norms (e.g. primacy of anthropology vis-a-vis theology so long as it takes the form of radical atheism) could potentially lead to the overthrow of all norms with them.

The marxist (marxist-leninist)interpretation of the Enlightenment must entangle itself in similar difficulties to the extent it conceives exclusively the moral-normative aspect which it sees as ideology of the bourgeoisie and takes at nominal value in order to put itself in the position to accuse the bourgeoisie of having betrayed its own original Ideals[32]. The Enlightenment forms therefore the world-view flag of the rising bourgeoisie which is taken down by the victorious bourgeoisie which became conservative. Marxism is now supposed to take up the legacy of the Enlightenment in order to realize those Ideals in their content which the bourgeoisie could only formally declare even if in the name of whole humanity. Marxism must in other words see the Enlightenment as a closed-end epoch because it understands itself as an epochal movement, which according to the gradual scheme of historical development, follows a previous and incomplete one[33]. As a movement of emancipation Marxism would differently have not been able to represent itself as assuming the legacy of the Enlightenment if that could not be identified with certain specific fundamentally acceptable, if only formally integrated from the bourgeoisie. Thus ensues Marxism's double position as to the Enlightenment: in so far as it understands itself as surpassing the Enlightenment i.e. as inaugurating a new post-bourgeois epoch, it must identify the Enlightenment with the bourgeoisie; in so far as it feels it has completed the Enlightenment he must of course integrate its normative (emancipatory) version[34]. Both premises are sociologically and historically untenable. As regards the identification of bourgeoisie and Enlightenment, it doesn't pay heed to the fact that entirely independently of the fact whether the rise of the bourgeoisie and the ensuing to x or y extent displacement of the social power of church and theology created first the prerequisites for materialism and atheism, nevertheless the bourgeoisie itself was behaving timid or was outright rejecting of such tendencies; it saw them as harmful or compromising and gave its preference to oscillating dualistic positions. Sharp criticism from Voltaire, even Diderot on materialists like La Mettrie and Helvetius is an expression of this bourgeois concern. However the Marxist interpretation sees materialism as the truly revolutionary force of the bourgeois Enlightenment[35] which in turn corresponds to the self-understanding of Marxism as the inheritor of the best traditions of that age. Hence, of the Marxist premises mentioned above we arrive at the second against which we'll reserve three points of our own. Firstly: if a necessary correspondence should exist between materialism and 'progressiveness' - not just in an anti-theologian, but also, which is far more relevant here, in a moral-normative sense -, it would have to be demonstrated that the materialists were eo ipso more democratic than other Philosophes. That is not the case. Holbach for example is in no wise more democratic than shall we say, Voltaire, while conversely the democrat Rousseau combats with passion materialism and atheism. Secondly, in view of the ideologically desirable union of materialism and progressivism (under moral-normative auspices), the Marxist conception must deny that materialists arrived at nihilistic positions (in La Mettrie's case the texts are just raped[36]) and accordingly skepticism must be interpreted as a simple precursor to materialism[37]. In addition it not investigated whether materialists who abide by normativism on the level of their social and moral philosophy do this consequently i.e. in accordance with what they accept on the level of metaphysics. Thirdly: since Marxism presents itself not as continuing but also as surpassing Enlightenment materialism, the latter must be made to appear as undialectic or mechanistic whereupon the source of this mechanicism is supposed to be Descarte's natural philosophy[38]. Our analysis will show that to the contrary 18th century materialism became possible to begin with on the basis of rejecting Cartesian's mechanicism[39].

The debate over the influence of Enlightenment ideas, namely regarding how the revolution broke out and how it developed were naturally carried out under polemic banners as well. That will become evident as soon as we remind ourselves of the very first expressions about the subject which besides came from more or less directly involved persons. The revolution is considered as a necessary outcome, indeed as the high point of the Enlightenment, and in fact this was claimed both by revolutionaries which wished to present their own affair not just as prosaic power struggle but as a noble fight for noble Ideals[40], as well as from conservatives and reactionaries who had already been active previously in the fight against those ideas and then after the 'atrocities' of the revolution were keen to now see the confirmation of their warnings against those ideas or who in their (un)wilful blindness tried to pin the responsibility for what had just transpired on a handful of ideologues[41]. This kind of polemic affair stretched out for long and found on both sides prominent representatives[42]. Gradually however this was overshadowed by a different polemic affair and became interwoven with it; that polemic were related to more general historical or better put history-philosophical questions. In order to monopolize it and present it as part of their own glorious tradition, historians from the bourgeois urban classes hypostatized the revolution[43] and their example was then followed by Marxist history writing which was interested to present a hypostatized 'bourgeois' revolution as as to prop up its own blueprint of an upwardly scaling history. In view of the hypostatization of the revolution, which turns at the same time to 'personnage metaphysique'[44] the liberal and the Marxist conceptions show partly the same only superficially paradoxical agreement as in the question of the Enlightenment itself - something, which at any rate was to be expected since on both sides the position on the revolution essentially forms the position on the Enlightenment and vice versa. Just as to the hypostatized Enlightenment we are to oppose the concrete diversity of the age, so too we are to oppose to the hypostatized revolution of the two mentioned respective positions the revolution as a concrete, multilateral occurrence. We cannot talk of 'a' revolution, there's instead a series of revolutions which do not only just follow one another but are also developing side-by-side of the other and pursue each distinct goals[45]. The fact that the powerful upheavals which we are wont to call together as 'French revolution' ultimately came to benefit the urban classes (whereupon it must not be forgotten that the bourgeoisie in France, differently than in say, the ruling classes of England, had to share its victory with the independently revolting farmers), doesn't yet give us the right to speak of these upheavals in tot as 'bourgeois revolution'. Otherwise, a metaphysical-teleological position gains the upper hand and the historian becomes, according to a dictum from Fr. Schlegel a 'retrospective prophet'.

This first abstraction which lies in the hypostatization of the revolution suggests easily a second, namely, the hypostatization of the Enlightenment and finally a third one to boot: if the revolution is uniform with the Enlightenment, the former would appear to be reduced to at least the latter's ideology (and an extremely idealistically-oriented historian would even more linearly derive the revolution's reality to the Enlightenment's ideology). It is remarkable and at the same time amusing to note, how similar, albeit under reverse signs - a schematizing Marxism and a anti-Marxist/anti-materialist implied stressing of the role of ideas in the revolution proceed in the issue at hand. Fort he former the impact of the Enlightenment's literature can be 'significant enough'[46], but under the methodical condition that the Enlightenment's thinking is so trimmed such as it's main waves correspond to the waves of revolution more or less precisely; so in the first phase of the revolution be supposedly dominated on the ideological level a purely bourgeois political theory but in the jacobinic phase it should be Rousseauism[47]. The whole affair is imagined to be not essentially any different by researchers who, fighting against efforts to understand the Enlightenment above all in political-sociological fashion and not intellectually, wish to aver the significance of Enlightenment ideas[48]. In both cases rules over the (same) implicit correspondence between historical flow and ideology, independently of which of the two factors are assigned the primacy. And in both cases the fiction of 'the' revolution becomes a true 'obstacle epistemologique' when it comes to a concrete conception of the Enlightenment[49].

The effect of ideas during revolutionary times in France can only be evaluated concretely if we radically cast away not just ideologically-dependent constructions like those already mentioned but also several related conceptions which have almost become self-evident on the historical function of ideas in general. Namely, the effect of ideas is not to be understood linearly as effort to apply ideas that someone got from books and otherwise discovered or just thought up himself. To argue on that level is scientifically unproductive and is namely the surest way to wind up becoming prey to a teleological view. The effort to apply them actually takes place in a situation of struggle and through persons in the state of struggle but struggle has its own independent logic to which the logic of texts and previous persuasions must subdue itself if it even wants to remain in the game. The fact that ideas exercise their influence means simply that humans call upon them. It is not ideas which in their primordial virginity move people but it is people who being as always in the midst of specific situations make use of specific ideas they're aware of to a given extent but which must however be argued selectively or interpreted anew. Conversely: ideas are put to effect because they're used in situations which are no products of ideas but are utmost serious in the existential and political sense of 'seriousness'; the gravity of the situation makes the effect of ideas a serious matter. But that is at the same time precisely the reason why effective ideas can choose neither the room where they have their effect nor the conditions of their effect in the sense of the linear scheme we mentioned above. In other words, they cannot decide beforehand their each given interpreter and therefore cannot decide the form and purpose of their each given appearance. They are primarily just available weapons; who will use them as well as the when and the how depends not on them and for that reason the history of their effect, aye their own history, is merely just the history of their interpretation. Without interpretation of an idea in a concrete situation, i.e. without the struggling interpreters, the polemicists, there can be no effect for ideas to have. A scientific understanding of this effect had best begin with such an understanding of their effect. For linear idealistic or materialistic conceptions of history it will always remain a mystery how it stood possible that favorite of the Jacobins, Rousseau, could provide the conservatives with ideological services[50]. One could speak naturally for 'misuse' or 'distortion' that could be argued in reference to all parties (let's consider the Jacobin terror) and after all such moral-nostalgic insinuations lead astray, not far. At any rate, the relatively free interpretive capacity of ideas in situations of struggle is key to understanding their function as polemic instruments and hence understanding the particulars of their effects and is also the strongest argument to employ against a materialistic reflection theory as well as against the various versions of an idealistic primacy in intellectual history (better put: the intellect in history).

Insight into the utmost plastic function of ideas, which are used as weapons as dictated by the seriousness of the situation, should perhaps help to understand why pointing to their use before and during the revolutionary times is no argument against the thesis that Enlightenment ideals could never have wrought in themselves the revolutionary upheavals. The opposite holds true: it was first the fact that the mutiny broke out that effected the entrance of ideas into the fray and made their effect unavoidable - but only in the interpretations that the situation of struggle dictated. The complex of French revolutions after 1789 must therefore be explained in the view of social history and not intellectual history[51]. It is two different things, whether certain ideas of the Enlightenment could in themselves have engineered the mutinies or whether some, indeed many revolutionaries had to utilize these ideas. Reference to ideas was anyway entirely natural given the (socially and historically understood) role that elements of the new, mainly petite-bourgeois intelligentsia played in the events after 1789. One would be best advised to inquire how the bearers of those ideas appeared instead, in the opposite direction, to try to understand how these ideas went and found their standard-bearers. If the latter happened, then the (fictitious) average of the Enlightenment ideas would have ought to match the (fictitious) mean of the social content of the revolution. And yet, on the basis of the expressly sociopolitical demands of the standard bourgeois Enlightenment the revolution should have been complete the night of the 4th of August 1789 because these demands included everything but Robespierre or Bonaparte. The fate of the immediate partners and acolytes of the Encyclopedists is the best proof for that[52]. But the revolutionary time developed a terrible dynamic of its own which, tellingly, resulted not least in the fact that masses of people entered the scene, who only then got to hear a little bit about the ideas of the Enlightenment[53]. In the context of the pangs and the upheavals, certain ideas of the Enlightenment developed too a dynamic of their own. That should be made overly clear when we learn to avoid every manner of hypostatization of the Enlightenment or the revolution.

I would like to close this brief overview of polemic-ideological fallacious interpretations of the age of the Enlightenment by pointing at an intellectual current, that made its appearance everywhere in Europe - indeed very early - and received in Germany an especially characteristic expression. It's about the equation of Enlightenment rationalism and intellectualism where the former is accused of oppressing 'life' and the 'living principle in man' in favor of abstract schemes. Our analysis will show that the Enlightenment as a whole wasn't just not oriented to intellectualism but that it was in fact developed not least precisely in the fight against Cartesian intellectualism. The allegation of intellectualism against the Enlightenment was used in this sweeping manner in order to fight particular positions of content in the same. It was therefore no accident that it was the opponents of the revolution who sniffed the roots of evil in the Enlightenment were the first to lambast its supposed intellectualism[54]. In Germany this kind of criticism was heeded even by (distanced) friends of the revolution[55] since the main current of the late phase of the German Enlightenment which followed the decline of Wolffianism and the storm-and-stress-movement, was because of special reasons interwoven with an outspoken tendency of anti-intellectualism and connected its national identity often with a proud renunciation of French 'shallowness'[56]. National consciousness and struggle against the supposedly intellectualist Enlightenment went often along together.

This position was understandably decisive for leading thinkers of the restoration times[57] and survived unscathed the 19th century to even enjoy a renaissance in the 20th. In this way, the impacts of e.g. the school of aestheticist finery around Stefan George, as they spread particularly during the inter-war period extremely damaging for a scientific conception of the Enlightenment. Nationalist-minded supporters of this wave, relying on older positions from the philosophy of life and known polemic tracts against the 'spirit of the west' from the so Ahrimanic years of 1914-1918 even for esteemed scholars[58], wished to portray the 'essence of the German spirit' in its overcoming of the 'cold' and 'shallow' rationalism of the west; this should obviously be the ideal-level revanche of a Germany humiliated in Versailles and the Ruhr. Rationalism was defined so narrowly that as this concept became ever more meaningless, polemic against it became easier. That Kant and Fichte were in no less measure Germans than Goethe and Herder was either forgotten altogether or explained away with poor excuses and was also overlooked that the so-called reaction to rationalism received itself essential features of the same rationalism[59]. For obvious reasons that kind of evaluation of the Enlightenment received even more wider appeal during Nazism for obvious reasons[60] and after the war it died out almost completely to be replaced by the liberal and Marxist interpretations of the Enlightenment in the two respective spheres of occupation. We mean to remind of this wave not just with historical intent but we wish to show with a typical example that such widespread acceptance of positions like that equating rationalism and intellectualism must not be taken at face value since they resulted from polemic considerations. To clear out this question scientifically however would be in turn impossible without a fundamental exposition of the concept of rationalism.

Rationalism and Irrationalism[edit]

The unclarity that surrounds such notions as 'rationalism' presents another significant obstacle in the way to an evidenced conception of the Enlightenment especially as it's often been called 'the age of reason'. This ambiguity is nevertheless precisely consequence of the excessive use of the notion of rationalism in unavoidably various situations and hence the ambivalence in meaning. It would however be naive to expect to clear the ambiguity and ambivalence once and for all by virtue of terminological agreements. Because in fact, the given employ of the notion of rationalism each time is just too organically linked together with content-related intentions in thought to be able to expect that the given thinker would be prepared to abandon their own personal nuances invested in notion, hence blowing away more or less essential elements of their theories. After all, binding rationalism to a certain content and to certain position is one of the most important weapons in philosophical polemics and politics. It aims to make the ability for logical use of thought per se seem dependent on the acceptance of theories of particular content and therefore make the point that those who do not want to follow them are opponents of logical thought and generally untrustworthy thinkers. It is because of this militant use of the notion that we came to witness the diversity in meaning, since it was coupled from time to time with the most diverse of positions in terms of content. We are not disclosing any secret if we point to that elementary fact marking intellectual history - albeit fact that the philosophers do not very much like to mention -, that the use of logic itself, the employ of logical thought has indeed entered the service of the most strikingly different views and intentions. The champions of this or that thesis are of course allowed to emotively question not just the opposing views but also the opponent's ability for rational thought itself and in fact in the name of one single reason which astonishingly always happens to correspond to their own. A view of things bent on understanding has no other choice but to refrain from participating in these conflicts as long as it desires understanding. It must therefore search for a definition of rationalism not pending on content but consequently formal and could offer a scheme applicable to any kind of rationalism regardless of the investment in content. There's no other way if one doesn't want to venture the absurdity that Thomas Aquinas is less rationalist than Hobbes or Machiavelli less rationalist than Kant. A careful examination into these and similar such examples is enough to prove how meaningless (in a scientific, not ideological perspective!) is a connection between rationalism and certain contents of thought.

So for us, rationalism would mean the intentional and unobjectionable from the perspective of formal logic use of the means of argument that are available to thought for the purposes of defending a fundamental stance. This definition implies this fundamental stance or fundamental decision lies itself beyond logical foundation even as it is seen from the view of militant rationalists as proven: that is after all the very purpose of their connection of rationalism with a certain content. Only the rationalization of a fundamental stance can possibly be carried out in a logically consequent manner and therefore be a matter of contention for science but not the fundamental stance itself. For, there are no answers to final questions other than in the form of axiomatic assertions. There can therefore exist as many kinds of logical consequence as fundamental stances. Since however these lie ultra rationem they are to be designated here according to their nature as mystical which in turn, implies the position that the mystical component is not the opposite, but the source, the Alpha of the effort of human ratio. In view of answering the final questions the distinction between the rational and irrational loses entirely its consequence; for that reason, this distinction must remain limited to the level of the conceptual elaboration, the rationalization of the fundamental decision, since also the decision for in favor of the ratio itself lies ultra rationem. Only on this level can there a direct contradistinction between the rational and irrational be scientifically (not ideologically!) legitimate. The mystical, which lies in the beginning of the rational effort is of course irrational itself but this mystical-irrational must however be strictly differentiated from the logical-irrational. Since for us the criterion that defines the rational lies in the consequence of thought in the formal-logical sense while it's in the process of conceptually elaborating a fundamental stance, the rational is opposed not the mystical-irrational but to the logical-irrational. So in other words the mystical-irrational is found deeper than the rational as well as the logical-irrational both of which lie on the same level and can combat each other precisely for that reason. Because of this divergence in the levels one should not confuse the mystical-irrational source of thought with its elaboration and deduce from the rationality of the latter the rationality of the former - and conversely: one should interpret logical irrationality as the effect of the mystical-irrational. From our perspective only the logical-irrational, not the mystical-irrational is the opposite of rationalism. That explains why religious systems of thought should not be seen as opponents of rationalism per se; fighting exists only between these systems and certain, particular kinds of rationalism defined by their content, a fact which however doesn't imply some fundamental difference in reference to the rationality of both. Because non-religious brands of rationalism are no less hostile to each other as religious kinds of rationalism to non-religious or anti-religious others.

A summary view of the hitherto confrontations of rationalism and irrationalism should not overlook the purely militant element at play in them. Since, according to the times and to the individual, at some points the rational and at others the irrational serve both as accusations, on the part of scientific research none of their claims can be taken at face value. Our scheme shows why the strict juxtaposition of rationalism and irrationalism is objectively untenable, when we just oppose the mystical-irrational and logical-irrational to each other. If the former lies beyond rational foundation then the latter is a much rarer phenomenon than the rationalists, who must present their own rationalism as the sole possible, would have it. Under the designation logical-irrational, I don't include just the violation of the rules of formal logic (this appears in all manner of rationalists too) but also and above all, the fundamental denial to transform the mystical-irrational to a rational system, in other words, to rationalize the fundamental stance. This denial has primarily polemical motives, namely, it serves to defend particular positions of content which seem to be endangered by the rationalizing process as such. The fight against thought turns in fact not against thought as such but against certain contents bound to it - a bond which at certain times flourishes so much that the contents in question appear to simply follow and imply the use of thought itself.


  1. P. Radin has shown, that the animistic worldview can be well reckoned as a philosophical product considering the questions it tries to answer (origin and nature of the world, purpose of human life, rules of moral conduct etc.), considering how it's dependent on the ability for abstract thought and also its origin from the intellectual effort of particular personalities. Radin rebuffs the proposition coming mainly from Levy-Bruhl and Cassirer regarding some 'prelogical-mythical' thought, sharply opposed to the 'rational' thought and seen as its inferior - a preposition that as Radin rightly remarks, reflects merely the self-praise and the deeply entrenched thinking habits of European scholars (Primitive man as philosopher, esp. xxiv ff., 30 f., 99 ff., 208f., 246f., 252 ff., 292ff., 345 f.). In Lévy-Strauss' criticism of Levy-Bruhl's distinction between 'rational' and 'irrational' thought he confirmed to a great extent Radin's conclusions 35 years later (La pénsee sauvage, see esp. chapter 1. the first part of chapter 8. and the last part of chapter 9.). The work of Topitsch on the continuity of thought-structure underlying mythology and the traditional philosophy metaphysics must be seen to lend further support to the same position (Vom Ursprung und Ende der Metaphysik, esp. 3 f., 18 f., 95 f., 221 f., 285 f.).
  2. See Leisegang, Platon, col. 2421, 2424, 2423. Cf. Nestle, Vom Mythos zum Logos, 540.
  3. See generally v. Ivanka, Plato Christianus, esp. 68 f., 469 ff.
  4. Descartes linked his distinction between res cogitans and res extensa not least with the Platonic teachings of Inneism. But also the Platonic definition of χώρα would have been known to him. S. Taylor, Platonism, 51 ff.,; Gilson, Ėtudes sur le role . . ., 28 f.; Smith, New Studies, 194 annotation. 1.
  5. The influence of metaphysical-religious traditions upon the Kantian teachings about the two worlds was explained well by Topitsch, Die Voraussetzungen der Transzendentalphilosophie, 21 ff.,
  6. The ancient conception of the materialistic πνευμα (Jaeger, Das πνευμα im Lykeion, esp. 43 ff., 55 ff.) lives on in the Stoa (lodge) enjoying there a prominent position and is through the translation of Cicero (spiritus vitalis, De Nat. Deorum, Lib. II, Cap 45) assumed by the Christian Middle Ages (see e.g. Thomas, Summ. Theol., III, Qu. 27, Art. 2 ad 1.). In the Modern Era this concept played a critical role too (see F. Bacon, De augm. scienti., IV, 3 =Works, I, 605 f., and esp. Descartes, Passions de l' ame, I, 10 and 34 =AT, XI, 334 f, 354 f.).
  7. For the study of this development, H. Siebeck's study from the year 1880 on the evolution of the teachings of the 'spitit' has led the way (see Index). More than three decades later Siebecke expanded his analytical endeavor in light of the literature that had in the meantime appeared through a second work where he stresses the importance of Philon although he ascribes the final 'evaporation' (Entsinnlichung) of the pneuma-concept primarily to Paul (Neue Beiträge, esp. 5 f., 15). H. Leisegang concentrated on the figure of Philon as typical for the radical change and pointed to his relations with the religious ideas of Greek antiquity and partly also with the Stoa, while he argues against the decisive influence of the biblical concept of spirit (Der Heilige Geist, esp. 13 f., 75, 114 ff.). In contrast, Fr. Rütsche has supported the position that the spirit de-materialized not via Philon, who in his thinking fused the platonic-aristotelian nous with the stoic conception of pneuma and thus, similarly to Poseidonius was led to the construct of the 'pneumatic/spiritual light-body' (Lichtpneuma), but that the change was faciliated through Origen and primarily Augustine and indeed under the influence of platonic thought. In the Neo-Platonics we can even observe a return to the mediary position of Philon (Das Seelenpneuma, insb. 20, 23 f., 30 f., 42 f., 46 f., 55, 68 ; this book presents the elaboration and further development of research results who were presented in two somewhat eariler works, see Index). G. Verbecke re-established the central role of Philon but nevertheless stressed against Leisegang the biblical origin of his penuma conception (L'Evolution de la doctrine du Pneuma, esp. 172 ff., 219 f., 257 ff., 510 ff.; against Leisegang chiefly 247 ff.).
  8. See e.g. Paul, 1 Cor. 2, 14; 1 Thess. 5, 23; He. 4, 12
  9. The linguistic use of Augustine had been decisive for the Middle Ages (see the views of Gilson, Saint Augustin, 53 annotation 1; 282, annotation 2 and Rüsche, Das Seelenpneuma, 64 ff.). Cf. Bonaventura's definition, Itinerarum Mentis in Deum I, 4 = Opera V, 297; cf. Thomas, Sentent. Lib. I, Dist. III, Qu. V = Opera I, 123 f. On Cicero's reception, i.e. transformation of the stoic psychological terminology informs us Schindler, Die stoische Lehre . . ., esp. 84 ff. (über den Terminus mens), 93 ('Gerade die Betonung des Etischen läßt die oberen Stufen des animus deutlicher erkennen').
  10. In latest decades this demand was put forward by spokesmen for analytical philosophy (mainly Ryle, The Concept of Mind, esp. 167 ff.) as well as by exponents of the more or less biologically-oriented anthropology (Plessner still abides by certain reservations Die Stufen des Organischen 304 f.; Further go Gehlen, Urmensch, 89ff., and Portmann, Biologie und Geist, 10ff.). Worthy of mention are also are tendencies such as those typical for Armstrong ('mental states are nothing but physical states of brain', A Materialist Theory of Mind xi). The fact that in a marxist-leninist dictionary like that from G. Klaus and M. Buhr, the word 'spirit' (Geist) doesn't appear at all should not surpise. - I am point to such and similar tendencies because a thesis of this essay is precisely that they represent the progression and coronation of waves that were characteristic for the modern era and which as a first appear at their most systematic fashion during the Enlightenment in order to come forward stronger along the 19th and 20th centuries.
  11. Typically, Plato in Tim. 41 cd, 69 cd. Aristotle sees the nous as the certain indication for man's partaking in the divine, de Part. Anim. 656 a 8, 686 a 28-29; de An. 408 b 29; de Gen. Anim. 736 b 28, 737 a 10. The stoic view in this question Cicero presents in Tusc. Disp., V, Cap. 13 s 38 and Cap. 25 s 70. For Augustine the spirit is in man imago and partceps Dei, Enarr. in Psalm. XLII, S 6 = pl 36, Sp. 480; cf. De Symb., I, S 2 = PL 40, SP. 628. Following Augustine Bonaventura,In I. Libr. Sententiarum, Dist. IX, Dub. IV = Opera, I, 189; Cf. Dist. III, qU. iii = Opera, I, 75. S. also the analysis of Leisegang in regard to Philo, Der Heilige Geist, 93, 104 ff.
  12. In the final analysis that's the point of the platonic distinction between nous, which has to do with the tou pantos archen (Politeia, 511 cd). The same significance carries the aristotelian juxtaposition between nous and episteme (Anal. Post. 100 b.). The function of this distinction consisted in the empowerment of the moral-normative component of the spirit notion; in their perspective a spirit thinking in value-free terms and purposively rational operating is incomplete: even highly intelligent 'immoralism', whatever that might precisely mean, is therefore eo ipso a signal of ontological inferiority. And conversely: 'proper', 'true' knowledge is always supposed to always supposed to further ethical action (Just like Jaeger put it: 'Bei Wissen ist nicht an die moderne Wissenschaft (science), sondern an den geistigen Sinn für Werte zu denken, den der Grieche phronesis nennt', Paideia, S. 1277 Annotation. 1. Leisegang too correctly observes that for Plato, the Stoa and Philo that knowledge and virtue were 'interchangeable terms' (Wechselbegriffe), Der Heilige Geist 118). Because of that central function it has it's really not strange at all that the distinction traverses the entire philosophical tradition. Paul too distinguishes between rational and higher knowledge (1 Cor 1, 19-21; cf. the wordplay in Eph. 3, 19). In view of the change in meaning or enhancement of the word 'pneuma' it is instructive that Paul, who often uses the nous of ancient philosophy synonymously with the pneuma to denote the 'higher' or true' spirit (e.g. 1 Cor. 14, 15; Ro. 2,2; 1 Co 2, 1), writes nevertheless always nous when he conjures conditions of weakness or corruptness. In Augustine we encounter the position that the intellectus, directly affected by God is superior to the discursive ratio (Sermo XLIII, II, 3 - III, 4 = PL Bd. 38, Sp. 254-256). Thomas following on Aristotle reports in similar fashion: the intellectus is related directly and intuitively to the principia while ratio and scientia operate discursively and have only just made use of the principia recognized by the intellectus (Summ. Theol. I, Qu. LIX, Art. 1 ad 1 ; II, II, Qu. XLIX, Art. V ad 3; De Ver., Qu. XV Art. 1 = Quaest. Disput. I, 418). In modern era philosophy the same constellation appears in the form of the antithetic conceptual pair Raison-entendement, Reason-understanding, Vernunft-Verstand (cf. also annotation 17).
  13. Platon's double or ambivalent stance in relation to the question of the soul parts marks already both positions within which the philosophical traidtion has chiefly been moving. Plato undertakes as is well known a partition of the soul in three indeed in reference to the inner organization of the ideal state (Politeia, 435 c-444 a), while on the other hand he has to stress the unity of the soul when he's dealing with the problem of immortality, i.e. with the opposition to the mortal body (Politeia, 611 b-612 a). For the further development of this issue the stoic psychology, which developed from the yet elastic teachings of Zenon as per the faculties of the soul to the intellectualistic monism of Chrysippus (Pohlenz, Die Stoa I, 85 ff., 142 ff.). Pauls who opposes the pneuma not only to the soma but also the psyche speaks in similar ambivalent fashion on the pneuma when his chief interest lies in stressing its opposition to the body (Ro. 18, 13, ; 1 Co 7, 34 ; esp. Gal. 5, 17; in 1 Co 12, 4 he's obviously speaking about multiple faculties or parts of one single pneuma). All these, (oscillating) distinctions and classifications purport to secure the independence or sovereignty of the higher or pure spirit and at once somewhat seek to explain why this sovereignty from a practical perspective often seems to be missing. We shall yet see what an important role such issues played in the moral philosophy debates of the 18th century.
  14. Just as the conceptual pairs imply and just as demanded by the plethora of the levels of philosophical skepsis, the word 'sensuousness' must have in our study many meanings. First of all it will mean the purely biological dimension of the human being; then it wil mean the 'inner' sensuousness (according to an accurate expression of Herder, Vom Erkennen und Empfinden = SW, VIII, 190, 239), namely the natural drives, passions etc., which are traced back to the corporal constitution of the human being and which are considered to be an obstacle to the domination or the (sovereign) activity of the intellect. Thirdly, it will mean the sensuous world in the geographical and sociohistorical sense as namely the sum of factors which influence the inner world of man who lives as he does in a geographically defined area and in a historically particular society; fourthly, it will mean the sensuousness of the cosmos, namely the universe as opposed to spiritual dimensions or God. Also, we must not forget sensuousness as an epistemological faculty in the Katian sense. The structural similarities of the different levels (from the anthropological all the way to socio-philosophical and the cosmological), which result from the evaluation of the sensuous factor in its given meaning, we'll be pointing out with the help of that multi-dimensial definition we just applied; to that definition likewise corresponds a multi-dimensional definition of the immaterial or spirit.
  15. The ontological and therefore also moral-philosophical devaluation of the sensuous world, is, as is known, basic feature of the platonic-christian tradition. And Aristotle, despite of his revaluation of the sensuous world vis-a-vis Platonism reserves the motivating action of the prime mover for the pure intellect and accordingly sees in theory the highest fulfilment of human life. The sensuous world is seen in constrast as morally indifferent when it's observed as just the sovereign realm of mechanistic causality. As shown by the example of Kant, in that case a new distinction shall arise between intelligible and sensible for the sake of morality. (Plato already knew the distinction between causal anagke (αναγκη) and autonomous nous, see for example Tim 48 a).
  16. Typically, Aristotle's formulation, Pol. 1253 a 10.
  17. The terms nous, episteme, synesis, and phronesis are encountered in Plato when they're supposed to be pitted against the hedonistic principle (see for example Phil. 21 b, 59 d, 66 b, etc. etc.). In Aristotle too, morally active nous is identical with gnome, synesis or phronesis (both should be dominant cf. Pol. 1254 b 5 with 1295 b 6, 8 and 1260 a 19) like orthos logos and phronesis (Eth. Nic. 1144 b 28). K Bärthlein that in the Corpus Aristotelicum and in the platonic scripts the term orthos logos means 'proper knowledge' as well as objectively-existing ontologically and anthropologically found moral law (D er ΟΡΘΟΣ ΛΟΓΟΣ in der großen Ethik des Corpus Aristotelicum, esp. 239 f., 245 f., and: Der OΡΘΟΣ ΛΟΓΟΣ und das ethische Grundprinzip in den plato nischen Schriften, esp. 129, 139, 141 f., 151 f.). Here again, it's about the stereotypical equation of 'true' knowledge and 'right' or 'proper' action, in other words, about the thesis that knowledge is deficient so long as it doesn't reson ate with certain moral axioms (see above annotation 12). This is the reason why in the Christian tradition too the terms which are meant to denote the faculty of scientific knowledge, are used synonymously with those intended for the higher spirit when it's accepted that namely that scientific knowledge was established and complemented through the insight into the true Being and true Ought. Characteristic for that is the double use of the word ratio which can mean both the just scientific (see above annotation 12) as well as the higher normative knowledge. See the distinguished analyses by Gilson (Saint Augustine, 141 ff.; Saint Bonaventure, 362 ff.), which arrive at the world-view dimension of the problem. On the double use of the word ratio by Thomas see Summ. Theol., I, Qu. LXXIX, Art. IX, Concl. (distinction between ratio superior and ratio inferior). In contrast to the passages we cited in annotation 12 the terms intellectus and ratio are elsewhere used synonymously, and in fact (just like in Aristotle) precisely when talking about the sway of drives, i.e. when talking about the function of the higher spirit (see for example Summ. Theol., I, LXXXI, Art. III, ad. 2).
  18. This is the point of the position that man is only able to abide by the dictates of the godly or the divine because those dictates are ontonologically anchored in him, in other words he's acting according to moral principle because he's own constitution is (essentially) moral (see Plato, Politeia, 590 d; similarly in Aristotle, Eth. Nic. 1177 a 13-17). Very pragnantly Paul attests to the same state of affairs in that he uses the world pneuma immediately twice in order to thus denote as a first the ontological vitalist principle and secondly the imposing normative instantiating authority (Gal. 5, 25). Heinze in his ever read-worthy book has illustrated briefly yet clearly attempts at an ontological foundation of morality on the basis of the ancient logos-teachings (Die Lehre vom Logos, esp. 66 f., 145 ff., 197 f., 270 ff., cf. his critical remarks to the issue 264 f.). As we shall see, the need for an ontological establishment of ethics wasn't less immediate in the 18th in comparison to all preceding centuries.
  19. Very telling is the style in which M. Stirner connects his nihilistic critique on traditional ethics with a fight against the notion of spirit (Der Einzige und sein Eigentum, 10 ff.). It's maybe no accident, if Heidegger precisely at the beginning of a section that's devoted to the question of nihilism, thematizes how the spirit is pushed aside; 'Die Absetzung des Übersinnlichen endet bei einem Weder-Noch in bezug auf die Unterscheidung von Sinnlichem (αισθητον) und Nicht-Sinnlichem (νοητον). Die Absetzung endet im Sinnlosen. Sie bleibt jedoch die unbedachte und unüberwindliche Voraussetzung der verblendeten Versuche, sich durch eine bloße sinn-gebung dem Sinnlosen zu entziehen' = 'Doing away with the supra-sensuous ends with a neither-nor in relation to the distinction between senuous and non-sensuous. It amounts to meaninglessness. It remains however the unwitting and insurmountable condition of the deluded attemps to escape the meaning-less with simply just meaning-giving (Nietzsches Wort 'Gott is tot', in: Holzwege, 193). Cf. annotation 10 above.
  20. That has been the case with Kant, who relatively early 'cast aside' ('beiseitegelegt') (see Träume eines Geistersehers . . ., AA, II, 351 f., cf. KdU (Kritik der Urteilskraft), AA, V, 467 f.) and despite of that uses in his mature work terms like Ego (Ich), Conscience par excellence (Bewußtsein überhaupt) or Intelligence (Intelligenz). At any rate this 'casting aside' of the term 'Geist' (spirit) led not to the overthrow of the supra-sensuous in itself - and reason for that stood not just epistemological but at least as much moral-philosophical concerns.
  21. Above all, check out Dieckmann's substantiated criticism on the works of Hazard and Cassirer, who wished to present as far as possible a closed-end review of the Enlightenment, whereupon they had very often to suppress or overlook facts and texts (An Interpretation of the 18th century, in: Studien, 218 ff.; also: Themen und Struktur der Aufkl ärung, in: Diderot und die Aufklärung, 4 ff.). Cf. Boas' reception, esp. 246 f., who rebuffs the teleological character of Cassirer's conception (Kant presented as 'Vollendung' =completing of the Enlightenment etc.), as well as Price's worthwhile remarks on the abstract-fictive character of Cassirer's supposed uniform pattern of Enlightenment thought (Cassirer on the Enlightenment, esp. 108 ff.). Crocker showed to what errors of content the linear constructions of Hazard lead him: he places the crisis of the Enlightenment at the end of the enlightenment although this crisis follows the age of Enlightenment from the beginning (Recent Interpretations, 434). -Paradoxically, Gay sides with the afore mentioned criticisms of Cassirer and Hazard and then becomes pray in turn to the same methodical and contextual errors. For, he wants obviously to see the Enlightenment as a precursor to the modern philosophy of 'critical rationalism', i.e. from normative premises. For him the Enlightenment was mainly critical thought against the irrationality of myth and a strive to gain autonomy from Church authority (464, 495 f.) That's precisely the reason why he barely manages to acknowledge the existence of the sceptic-nihilistic aspect of the Enlightenment (cf. his unjust polemic against Crocker and the inordently brief mention of Vyverberg's work, 427 f. and 449) and why in the divisions of the Philosophes with each other, he only managed to see the 'complexity of synthesis'.
  22. See annotation 17.
  23. Between the Enlightenment and its age Dieckmann draws a fundamental distinction, Religiose und metaphysische Elemente im Denken der Aufklaerung, in: Studien, 266, and: Themen und Struktur . . ., in: Diderot, 15 f. He doesn't however arrive at a distinction between anti-theological and normative Enlightenment, with the result being that he's not in the position to satisfyingly approach the question of nihilism. To that end it is not enough to point out the co-existence of opposites in the 18th century (Dieckmann speaks about that ibid., 11 f., following Dithey Friedrich der Große und die deutsche Aufklärung, in Gesammelte Schriften. III, 97 ff., and Schalk, Formen und Disharmonien der französischen Aufklärung, esp. 254 f., 265, 267). The role the light metaphor (which originates in mythical-religious conceptions) had in covering the differences between the Enlightenment thinkers (Philosophes) was investigated by Delon who correctly remarks that the existing divides in Enlightenment thought cannot be apprehended on the basis of a dualistic-manichaistic scheme as could be suggested under the impression of the light- darkness metaphor. (Les Lumieres . . ., esp. 529 f., 533 f.).
  24. See Cap. II, sect. 1.
  25. Cf. Rügg, Die Humanismusdiskussion, 310 ff.; Ferguson, The Renaissance in Historical Thought, 175 f., 181 ff., 199 ff.
  26. Troeltsch has already traced the merely 'relativ einheitlichen Charakter' = 'relatively uniform character' of the Enlightenment on the common 'Kampf gegen den kirchlichen Supranaturalism' = 'Struggle against Church supernaturalism', Die Aufklärung in: Gesammelte Schriften. IV, 339.
  27. According to a nailing proposal from Balaval, L' heritage Leibnizien, 255.
  28. Already Kant who sometimes refers to his own time as an 'enlightened age' (Prolegomena, AA IV, 383), distinguishes in other places between an 'enlightened age' and an 'age of enlightenment' (Was ist Aufklärung?,) AA, VIII, 40). Cf. in addition the worthwhile analysis from Stuke, Aufklärung, 265 ff.
  29. Cobban provides a good example of this tendency in his book in Search of Humanity, passim. On that see Crocker's critical remarks, Recent Interpretations . . ., 452 f. In the sense of a modern liberalism uses also Funke the concept of the Enlightenment in his treatise: Aufklärung - eine Frage der moralischen Haltung? He will go on to demonstrate with his remarks that behind the question mark stood merely just a rhetorical question. Beyond that he identifies the Enlightenment with the 18th century (look 24. above) whereas phenomena of intellectual history that do not fit the liberal-nornative concept are simply silenced. This unhistorical disposition on the Enlightenment is typical for those, who, like Funke (see for instance 33.), stand in ideological proximity to so-called 'critical rationalism'; cf. for instance Mittelstrass, Neuzeit und Aufklärung, 87 ff.
  30. Hobhause's Liberalism, 32.
  31. Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, II 375.
  32. Engels, Anti-Dühring, in: MEW 20, 16 f. From a Marxist view on that see Besse, Marx, Engels et le XVIII siecle francais, esp. 159 f., 162 ff.
  33. Engels, Die Lage Englands, in: MEW 1, 550 f. Forced by the periodization scheme of Marxist history Krauss claims that although a periodization according to the self-understanding of an epoch is fundamentally unacceptable, in this case however we must make an exception and consider its (supposed) self-evaluation at nominal value as a unitary age characterized by philosophy and progress (Zur periodisierung der Aufklärung, VIII; elsewhere Krauss speaks even not just of a self-understanding of the Enlightenment but of the 18th century itself, see Siecle im achtzehnten Jahrhundert, 88 f.). Kraus however is relying on the claims of certain Enlighteners of a certain (normative) inclination and as such his proof is basically just a tautology. On top of that he overlooks that the systematic use of the Enlightenment as a concept denoting an era appeared first in the second half of the 19th century (Stuke, Aufklärung, 244 ff.) and that it was exactly then that the Marxists discovered and constructed their double relation to the 'bourgeois Enlightenment' we mentioned above (Fetscher, Aufklärung col. 451).
  34. Here the notion of 'Enlightenment' is used in a supra-historical sense cf. for instance Ley's book, Geschichte der Aufklärung und des Atheismus, which begins with the 'Enlightenment' in the acient riverside civilizations and in Greece (I, 45 ff., 155 ff.). It's characteristic for the relation we wish to stress here between marxist and liberal view of the Enlightenment is the fact that also 'critical rationalists' speak of the 'first', i.e. the Greek Enlightenment (such are for instance Mittelstrass, Neuzeit und Aufklärung, 15 ff., obviously he's following Gay, Enlightenment, 72 ff.; since in Gay too, 207 ff., we find talk of a 'retreat of reason' just as we find in Mittelstrass, 76 ff., mention of the 'disorientation of Reason' during the 'middle ages', here we're obviously dealing with an implied resuscitation of the triadic scheme of history's course. About the degradation of the 'middle ages' as topos of the modern-era's polemic self-understanding see next capital annotation ..
  35. Engels, introduction to the English rendition of his 'Entwicklung des Sozia lismus', in: MEW, 22, 203. Arguing in the same sense Krauss goes as far as to make of d'Alembert for instance a militant materialist: 'Voltaire's succession by Diderot and d'Alembert (as leading editors of the Encyclopedia) means the full victory of materialism in this preparatory play of bourgeois triumph' (Einführung in das Studium der französischen Aufklärung in: Studien, 199).
  36. See capital 3 annotation . . . The claim by Marx-Engels (Die Heilige Familie, in: MEW 2, 138), that the materialists had tought the 'original goodness' in man is false, at least so far as Helvetius and La Mettrie are concerned.
  37. Engels about Hume, Die Lage Englands, in: MEW 1, 553; cf. Engels, L. Feuerbach . . ., in: MEW 21, 276; Cf. Engels, intro. to engl. vers. of 'Entwicklung des Sozialismus', in: MEW, 22, 295 f.
  38. Marx-Engels, Die Heilige Familie, in: MEW, 2, 132 f. (cf. Engels, in: MEW 22, 303).
  39. Capital 4, section 4 b.
  40. Brissot put it this way: 'our revolution isn't the fruit of an insurrection but work of the lights of half a century. The lights laid the foundations of freedom etc.' Le patriote Francais, 10 oct. 1791, 426 (citation is given by Trenard, Lumieres et Revolution 10).
  41. Burke was one of the first, Reflections, 211 f. On conspiracy theory in general see Epstein, Ursprünge des Konservatismus, 583 ff.
  42. Taine ('millions of savages were roused to rebellion by a few thousand rhetors', Les Origines . . ., II 351, cf. II, 77 f.: La propagation de la Doctrine) and partly also Tocqueville (L' Ancien Regime, III, 1 = Oeuvres II, 193 ff.) be seen as following up on Burke. Michelet on the other hand shares the Brissot viewpoint, Historie de la Rev. Franc., Introd., V = I, 55 ff.
  43. Gooch, Geschichte und Geschichtsschreiber im 19. Jahrhundert, 200 f., 213 ff.
  44. From a nice expression by Furet, Le catechisme revolutionaire, 279. Furet is right to criticize the teleological conception about the origins and development of the revolution and points out that especially for Marxist interpretations it is 'a bit paradoxical' to rely on the idea that the then-active persons had for themselves (262 f.; cf. annotation 33).
  45. Above all Lefebvre was the one to stress the plethora of revolutions as well as the independent and anti-bourgeois character of the peasant movement, La Revol. francaise et les paysans, in: Etudes, esp. 248, 250, 260. Cf. Furet, Le catechisme, 282 f. and Cobban, Aspects of the French Revolution, 22 ff.
  46. Accoding to Krauss, Einführung, in: Studien, 201.
  47. Volguine, L' ideologie revolutionnaire en France, 217 f. Volguine develops a mechanistic conception after the orthodox Marxist scheme: the theoretical prep work of ideologues is followed by the practical-political turmoils and thus the work of the Enlighteners supposedly contributes significantly to the development of revolutionary consciousness 'in the masses' (206, 213). How this process was carried out concretely remains however obscure.
  48. Peyres effort in that direction is based on two incorrect assumptions: that France was relatively prosperous before 1789 so therefore the unrest could only have had ideological reasons, and that the revolution is broken up into two phases presided by the principles of Montesquieu and Rousseau respectively. (The influence of eighteenth century ideas, 72 f., 77). As far as the first point is concerned, even if we overlook the great famine of 1789, we can assert in general that social (not just ideological) tensions do not necessarily occur in conditions of bitter want; as regards the aforementioned separation of the revolution, this reveals not just a neglect of the diversity of concrete events but also a mechanistic perception of the effect of ideas: that Rousseau was also used by the aristocrats (see annotation 50) is not even mentioned, for instance. Instead of looking at ideas as weapons after the revolution breaks out, Peyre considers them as forces that define its development. However, he himself cites (73) the expression by Desmoulin that namely before 1789 there didn't exist in France even 10 republicans.
  49. The expression is from Gusdorf, Les principes de la pensee, 22. The same thesis was in a very intelligent manner elaborated by Goulemot, who stresses that to view the whole of the Enlightenment from the standpoint of the revolution will only lead to a teleological and in addition manichaean perception. Just as right is his noting that bourgeoisie and revolution are not identified fully and self-evidently. (De la Polemique sur la Revolution . . ., esp. 238, 239 ff.).
  50. About that see the excellent work by McDonald, Rousseau and the French Revolution which also has some good remarks regading the effect, re-discovering and re-interpretation of ideas (3 ff., 20 f., 115 f., 155). See also Sozzi, Interpretations de Rousseau, esp. 190, 199 f., 205 ff., 217 f., 223 ; Barny, Rousseau dans la Revolution, esp. 65, 74 f., 83, 96.
  51. Mornet, Les origines intellectuelles, 440 ff., 469 ff. Sée, The economic and social origins, 13. In his review of Mornet's book (366 ff.) Lefebvre makes important remarks about the lack of a purely social-historical conception although he basically accepts the author's findings.
  52. Kafker, Les Encyclopédistes et la Terreur, 295; Mortier, Les Héritiers des 'Philosophes', esp. 55.
  53. Lefebvre, Foules révolutionnaires 3 f., 13 ff. Rudé, The Crowd in the French Revolution 199 ff.
  54. Burke, Reflections, 156; Maistre, Considérations sur la France, chap. VI - VII = Oeuvres, col. 49, 54.
  55. See for example Humboldt's opinions on the arbitrariness of the Enlightenment and revolution's reason in his 'Ideen einer Staatsverfassung' from the years 1791 = Werke I, 35 f. This kind of critique culminates in Hegel's description of the 'absolute freedom and terror' (Phänomenologie des Geistes, Werke II, 441 ff.), after it had already found in Hölderlin's 'Hyperion' support in a metaphysical context (cf. Kondylis, Entstehung der Dialektik, 338 f., 357 ff.).
  56. See for example Humboldt's analysis of the French national character as opposed to the German, Das 18. Jahrhundert, in: Werke I, 448 f., 456 f. Herder denies the French altogether an ability for metaphysics, namely superior (and not just 'rationalizing') thought (Journal = Werke IV, 496).
  57. Evidences in Stuke, Aufklärung, 323 f.
  58. See the collection of texts from Böhme: Aufrufe und Reden . . ., passim. Cf. Lübbe, Politische Philosophie in Deutschland, 171 ff., esp. 205 ff.
  59. It is a contribution of E. Cassirer to stress that and especially so in the context of a fundamental rejection of the legend about the linerarly intellectualistic character of the Enlightenment. Check out for insance his analysis about the relations of romanticist historism to the Enlightenment, Die Philosophie der Aufklärung, 253 ff.
  60. Typical citations found in Korff, Geist der Goethezeit I, 24 ff; Böhm, Anti-Cartesianismus 42 ff., 77 ff., 129 ff., 235 ff.; Hildebrandt, Hölderlin, 35 ff.; Scheibe, Die Krisis der Aufklärung, 4, 30, 33 ff., 53 f.