Sublime offal: Coleridge, Hegel, Schelling, and the remains of German idealism

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Abstract

What remains of German Idealism? This essay sets out by proposing that in both Hegel and Schelling the answer is ultimately an ontology of remains: an unsystematic philosophy of divine abjection in which the waste of the One is exposed as its own condition of possibility. This sheds new light on Coleridge’s uneasy relationship with German Idealism, especially his puzzlement over Hegel’s Science of Logic and his scandalized fascination with Schelling’s Freiheitsschrift. At the heart of Coleridge’s disquiet is his detection in both philosophers of a form of transcendental ontology that redirects the Kantian concern with the epistemological conditions of possible knowledge into an enquiry into the ontological conditions of the subjectivisation of being. The essay traces the implications of the ontologising of transcendental idealism for Coleridge’s philosophy, chief among which is the way in which an indivisible remainder or Abfall (waste, offal) of the Absolute presents an excess that refuses to be harmonised into the transcendental unity of Coleridge’s Prothetic ‘One.’
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Romantic Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Apr 2022

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