By Ernst Cassirer
Translated through James Gutmann, Paul Oskar Kristeller, and John Herman Randall, Jr.
Originally released in 1945.
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Extra resources for Rousseau, Kant, Goethe: Two Essays
Our deeds, not our outward fate, give life its meaning. For Kant this meaning cannot be impaired by any suffering, and no pessimistic argument can touch it. No matter how low we human existence in terms of and enjoys, there remains the value that a free personality creates for itself. Only a good will can give man absolute value, and by reason of it the existence 56 of the world can have a final purpose. Such a solution of the conflict between "optimism" and "pessimism," and such a transcending of the "dialectic of pure practical reason," of the opposition between happiness (Gliickseligkeit) and being worthy of happiness (Gluckvwirdigkeit) was impossible for Rousseau.
Xvii, 404). 16 Babbitt, Rousseau and Romanticism (Boston, 1919), 79. f [ 14] Cf. letter PERSONAL INFLUENCE he read in Julie's letters. "A happy instinct leads me to good a violent passion arises it has its source in that the ; same ; instinct: what do to destroy it? From the derive beauty and virtue but shall I consideration of order I . . what can they do against my private interest? Finally, since the character and the love of the beautiful are imprinted by nature in the depths of my soul, I shall have my rule as long as they are not disfigured.
Thus Seilliere sees in what Rousseau calls his religion only the morbid inflation of his own egotism, and a pathological deification of him" that is Rousself. Jean- Jacques, direct reflection of God seau's religion/' 62 We see that the estimate of Rousseau's religion has run through almost the whole scale from heaven to hell, from beatification to damnation. In what sense is Rousseau himself to blame for this complete divergence of opinion? If we concentrate on the crucial document of his religious philosophy, if we plunge into the study of the Profession de foi du Vicaire Savoyard, we shall hardly be inclined to make him responsible for him in the course of time by his the For interpreters.
Rousseau, Kant, Goethe: Two Essays by Ernst Cassirer