This article discusses the relationship between philosophical anthropology and philosophical aesthetics at the turn of the nineteenth century, and the connection of both with literature and the novel form in particular as it develops in the late eighteenth century. The analysis presented goes beyond the usual treatments of aesthetics and anthropology that focus on the sensory or corporeal. Here the connection is seen to turn on an aspect of anthropology’s holism, namely what is identified as its antipathy to separation, and to the ideas about methodology that accompany this antipathy to separation: that an anthropological approach is descriptive, syncretic, fragmentary, and aphoristic. These qualities are seen as particularly suitable for the human, making the novel form as it appears in the late eighteenth century a particularly appropriate medium for a ‘Diskurs vom Menschen’. Antipathy to separation also casts useful light on the connection between anthropology and aesthetics, in which regard I draw links between expressivism as a philosophical approach and anthropology’s antipathy to separation.
Carroll, J. (2016). Philosophical aesthetics and philosophical anthropology at the turn of the nineteenth century: holism, expressivism, and antipathy to separation. Publications of the English Goethe Society, 85(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593683.2016.1162578