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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

It corresponds to the plastic arts


The beginning of art is _Architecture_. It belongs essentially to the symbolic form of art, since in it the sensible matter far preponderates, and it first seeks the true conformity between content and form. Its material is stone, which it fashions according to the laws of gravity. Hence it has the character of magnitude, of silent earnestness, of oriental sublimity.

(_b._) _Sculpture._--The material of this art is also stone, but it advances from the inorganic to the organic. It gives the stone a bodily form, and makes it only a serving vehicle of the thought. In sculpture, the material, the stone, since it represents the body, that building of the soul, in its clearness and beauty, disappears wholly in the ideal; there is nothing left of the material which does not serve the idea.

(_c._) _Painting._--This is preeminently a romantic art. It represents, as sculpture cannot do, the life of the soul, the look, the disposition, the heart. Its medium is no longer a coarse material substratum, but the colored surface, and the soul-like play of light; it gives the _appearance_ only of complete spacial dimension. Hence it is able to represent in a complete dramatic movement the whole scale of feelings, conditions of heart, and actions.

(_d._) _Music._--This leaves out all relation of space. Its material is sound, the vibration of a sonorous body. It leaves, therefore, the field of

sensuous intuition, and works exclusively upon the sensation. Its basis is the breast of the sensitive soul. Music is the most subjective art.

(_e._) Lastly in _Poetry_, or the speaking art, is the tongue of art loosed; poetry can represent every thing. Its material is not the mere sound, but the sound as word, as the sign of a representation, as the expression of reason. But this material cannot be formed at random, but only in verse according to certain rhythmical and musical laws. In poetry, all other arts return again; as epic, representing in a pleasing and extended narrative the figurative history of races, it corresponds to the plastic arts; as lyric, expressing some inner condition of soul, it corresponds to music; as dramatic poetry, exhibiting the struggles between characters acting out of directly opposite interests, it is the union of both these arts.

(2.) _Philosophy of Religion._--Poetry forms the transition from art to religion. In art the idea was present for the intuition, in religion it is present for the representation. The content of every religion is the reconciliation of the finite with the infinite, of the subject with God. All religions seek a union of the divine and the human. This was done in the crudest form by

(_a._) The natural religions of the oriental world. God is, with them, but a power of nature, a substance of nature, in comparison with which the finite and the individual disappear as nothing.

(_b._) A higher idea of God is attained by the religions of spiritual individuality, in which the divine is looked upon as subject,--as an exalted subjectivity, full of power and wisdom in Judaism, the religion of sublimity; as a circle of plastic divine forms in the Grecian religion, the religion of beauty; as an absolute end of the state in the Roman religion, the religion of the understanding or of design.

(_c._) The revealed or Christian religion first establishes a positive reconciliation between God and the world, by beholding the actual unity of the divine and the human in the person of Christ, the God-man, and apprehending God as triune, _i. e._ as Himself, as incarnate, and as returning from this incarnation to Himself. The intellectual content of revealed religion, or of Christianity, is thus the same as that of speculative philosophy; the only difference being, that in the one case the content is represented in the form of the representation, in the form of a history; while, in the other, it appears in the form of the conception. Stripped of its form of religious representation, we have now the standpoint of

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