Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Relevance of RomanticismEssays on German Romantic Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 April 2021

Friedrich Schlegel’s Romantic Calculus

Friedrich Schlegel’s Romantic Calculus

Reflections on the Mathematical Infinite around 1800

(p.239) 13 Friedrich Schlegel’s Romantic Calculus
The Relevance of Romanticism

John H. Smith

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the way German thinkers in the decades around 1800 recognized that the new mathematics, especially differential calculus as it was developed by Leonard Euler, had important philosophical and aesthetic consequences. Novalis, Schlegel, Schleiermacher, Schelling, and Hegel all exploited in different ways the fundamental paradoxes inherent in thinking about infinity, continuity, and the infinitesimal. Although these mathematical concepts were powerfully effective in quantifying motion and change in physical reality, and were thus as concrete as the arc described by a flying object, they nonetheless defy representation. The thinkers discussed in this paper saw this paradoxical concrete unrepresentability of mathematics as itself a metaphor for ontological and creative processes. Their uses of this metaphor had effects beyond the period of romanticism.

Keywords:   infinite, mathematics, mathematical infinite, unrepresentability, Leonard Euler, Schlegel, romanticism, Hegel, Maimon, Kant

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .