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Title: Recognition and romantic hermeneutics : Hegel and the English romantic tradition
Author: Deakin, Wayne George
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 1585
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2012
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In what follows I seek to articulate a romantic hermeneutics, that is, an interpretive approach to texts acknowledged as central to the canon of English Romanticism, that articulates the human relationship to artistic creation, the natural world and metaphysics. Through this methodological approach I hope to integrate philosophy with the study of English Romanticism, and delineate a coherent, inter-disciplinary corpus of intellectual ideas, all of which can be subsumed under the rubric of “Romanticism.” Using this hermeneutical approach, I offer Hegel's teleological theory as an example of a romantic mythology—that is, a story that attempts to reintegrate the human subject into the natural world whilst at the same time retaining a sense of imaginative autonomy. I offer a reading of Hegel, which combines his social philosophy with his philosophy of art, and integrate the two areas of his work using an expanded understanding of his notion of recognition. What motivates the philosophical approach to English Romanticism, and the use of Hegel as an exemplar of a romantic narrative, is the conviction that the English romantic tradition is philosophically rich in ways not always appreciated by traditional commentary. I posit a connection between seemingly disparate Romanticisms such as those of Wordsworth, Coleridge and the later P.B. Shelley. All of these thinkers and artists present us with varying forms of romantic mythology, each looking to retain a contingent, autonomous subjectivity, whilst retaining a necessary connection to the empirical world. Working on this assumption, I explicate these different romantic narratives, whilst illustrating the structural features common to them all. Central to my thesis is the idea that this philosophical-narratorial template gives the critic a useful hermeneutical reading tool with which to approach texts, which, whilst subsumed under the generic category of Romanticism, offer contradictory conclusions in their treatment of artistic creation, nature and metaphysics. Of course, this is only one approach amongst many, and as such a romantic hermeneutics, that whilst not exhaustive, hopes to add to the other critical prisms through which Romanticism has been explicated as an aesthetic movement, or a substantive canon of texts. I contend that all the major canonical romantic poets covered here approach the problem of philosophical certainty through the romantic ideal that there is an intuitional assent to knowledge through aesthetics. Using a Hegelian approach as an interpretive guide is therefore useful in that Hegel endorses art as a way of apprehending philosophical certainty on the one hand, yet on the other places philosophy on a higher interpretive level. This means that in using Hegel we can gain a double-awareness of our subject matter; we see the strengths of art in its approximation of philosophical certainty, and we can critique it in terms of its relationship to speculative philosophy, which acts as an alternative narrative for attaining philosophical certainty. I aim to argue in this thesis therefore that both the romantic poets and Hegel share a common romantic purpose, which is explored in their romantic mythologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BD240 Methodology