Dugald Stewart's Absolute Mind

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Dugald Stewart (1753-1828) [Edinburgh]. He taught mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, standing in for his father, until 1785, when he was appointed professor of moral philosophy. In 1792, his Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind appeared, and his Outlines of Moral Philosophy was published in 1793. His philosophy followed that of Reid and represented a reaction against that of Berkley and Hume. He professed to follow the method of Francis Bacon but held that it was possible to establish fundamental laws of certainty and principles of knowledge. Stewart sought to explain habit as a result of association of ideas. The existence of self is known through a suggestion of the mind which follows sensation but is not immediately…show more content…
Fichte thought that the world of appearances in space and time is posited by the Absolute Spirit as the objectification of its will, as the raw material for its duty. It is objective to man because he is finite, and the mistaken notion that what is outside of the human mind must be material has given rise to the customary forms of dualistic and even to materialistic philosophies. Actually, Fichte wrote, what is beyond us is Absolute Mind, as Berkley had suggested. And as Spinoza had pointed out, Fichte continued, there is only one Substance in the universe, namely god, though Spinoza failed to see that even extension is a form of conscious experience. He insisted that Spinoza’s “Substance” must be interpreted wholly in terms of spirit. The opposition of subject and object is the real counterpart of the logical structure of thought. A = A, A ≠ non-A, can be given content by letting A be the Ego. The Ego = Ego, and Ego ≠ non– Ego. (And if you understand that, you’re a better man than I am!) Fichte wrote that this shows the ultimate identity of the Absolute Self, and the…show more content…
This chap’s earliest interest was in Greek and Roman literature, of which he wrote a history. He was an outstanding representative of the Romantic school in literature and philosophy, and he edited, with his brother, the Athenaeum, which was a publication consisting of their ideas. In 1799, Schegel wrote a novel called Lucined, in which he related his relations with the wife of a German banker (later he married her in Paris) as an expression of the romantic demand for freedom of self expression and unlimited self-realisation. He rooted this point of view in Fichte’s doctrine of the self as the basic reality. Schegel’s lectures on philosophy at Jena were without success. After moving to Paris he lectured on philosophy and studied languages, including Sanskrit, and published a volume on the language and wisdom of India. In addition he published a collection of romantic poems from the Middle Ages. Among his later publications was a History of Ancient and Modern Literature. Schegel and his wife, also a writer, joined the Catholic Church in
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