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By M. Hofstetter

By way of the past due eighteenth century, universities in England and Germany had misplaced their experience of objective. The romantics then provided them with a brand new one, a brand new notion of a college. In Germany, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and others under pressure that universities needs to educate extra successfully; in England, Coleridge and Wordsworth hooked up to the German inspiration a wish to continue the colleges a part of England's nationwide church.

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Extra info for The Romantic Idea of A University: England and Germany, 1770-1850 (Romanticism in Perspective)

Example text

The highest faculty, then, the one that must be developed, is Reason. Man, said Kant, is neither good nor bad in himself. Kant was still enough of a child of Pietism, though, to believe that, left to his own devices (that is, without reason), man will tend towards evil. 27 When does man reach this point? When is education finished? 28 Beyond this point, regular instruction is unnecessary. Of what use, then, is the university? Kant was not altogether direct in defending his own profession, but he did leave some hints.

Schiller made the best of an unpromising situation and talked to the remaining luminaries in this small but cultured The Romantic Idea of a University in Germany 35 city. These included Johann Gottfried von Herder (the court chaplain whose ideas about culture were a foundation for historicism) and the famous poet Christoph Martin Wieland, the Duke’s old tutor. Shortly after meeting these men, Schiller went to nearby Jena and met Karl Leonhard Reinhold, a professor of philosophy at Jena and a fierce Kantian.

The Romantic Idea of a University in Germany 39 Schiller was only a sojourner in academe, not a permanent resident. Through him, though, the Weimar ideal of self-cultivation entered the university environment. Schiller did not have the strength or inclination to carry these ideas into the realm of academic politics. This task fell to a contemporary of his at Jena, Johann Gottlieb Fichte. While Schiller merely visited the academic world, Fichte made the university and intellectual life the core of his being.

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