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Beauty And The Unattainable Essay

959 words - 4 pages

Schiller takes the position that his age is lacking something, meaning that it is missing a certain something that is essential for all human beings.  In other words, the "part’’ is missing the "whole’’. Friedrich Schiller on the Sixth Letter of his text "On the Aesthetic Education of Man in a Series of Letters’’ gives an example of a culture, which was not wanting. This culture, the Hellenic Greeks, seemed to manage a perfect balance between art and wisdom, and their connection to nature, for they realized art and wisdom were not something of their own that detached them from nature, but that they were the road itself, which one had to take to find his way towards nature. Schiller states this differently. "For they were wedded [the Greeks] to all the delights of art and all the dignity of wisdom, without however, like us, falling a prey to their seduction’’ (31). Schiller believes that not only do these parts of human nature come together to create a better society but they mesh through art to connect man's soul and mind. Schiller’s philosophical fascination with aesthetics goes beyond a critic of art or even a philosophical discussion of the Beautiful or the Sublime; Schiller seems to be concerned with Man’s realization of freedom and of himself. Schiller fails to provide a clear analysis of the relationship between the beautiful and the sublime. His writings may allow the read to conceive the aesthetic merely as a means to a higher end, the moral state. Meaning that instead of regarding the aesthetic education as an end in itself, he invokes man to use aesthetics to try to reach the ideal. Since his work is an aesthetic object by virtue of its effect on the reader, it invokes feelings and leaves the reader free, it is also a superfluous object because to Schiller it's only use is as and means to an end, an unattainable end.
In Schiller's aesthetic philosophy, human nature consists of two states of being: that which is constant, and that which changes. The human self is constant and it's determining Condition is that which changes. The self and its Condition is distinct in finite being, but are unified in an Ideal Being. Schiller asserts that beauty is an aesthetic unity of thought and feeling, of reason and emotion. It Is by the attainment of this unity that Schiller believes enables human nature to be realized and fulfilled. That Beauty may lead to truth, meaning one can become the ideal through joining the logical and the emotional. However, when truth is perceived, feeling may follow thought, or thought may follow feeling.(189) When beauty is understood, thought is unified with feeling. He states the need for this unity much beautifully than just a philosopher could “The reality of things is the work of the things; the appearance of things is the work of man and a nature...

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