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The Relevance of RomanticismEssays on German Romantic Philosophy$
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Dalia Nassar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199976201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199976201.001.0001

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Mathematics, Computation, Language, and Poetry

Mathematics, Computation, Language, and Poetry

The Novalis Paradox

(p.221) 12 Mathematics, Computation, Language, and Poetry
The Relevance of Romanticism

Paul Redding

Oxford University Press

Recent scholarship has helped to demythologize the life and work of Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg, who, as the poet “Novalis,” had come to instantiate the nineteenth-century’s stereotype of the romantic poet. Among Hardenberg’s interests that seem to sit uneasily with this literary persona were his interests in science and mathematics, and especially in the idea, traceable back to Leibniz, of a mathematically based computational approach to language. Hardenberg’s approach to language, and his attempts to bring mathematics to bear on poetry, is examined in relation to debates that developed late in the eighteenth century over the relation of language to thought—debates that share many features with contemporary ones in this area.

Keywords:   Novalis, mathematics, computationalism, poetry, language

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