Relationships as Foundations of Practical Philosophy: J.F. Herbart’s Realism and I. Kant’s Transcendental Freedom
Harmony and Counterpoint in J. F. Herbart’s Psychology and Aesthetics
The realist J. F. Herbart (1776‐1841), an original follower of Kant and chief opponent of German Idealism, was particularly concerned with music in his life as well as in his philosophy. Der musikalische Herbart is the conceptual reconstruction of his theoretical reflection, involving metaphysics, psychology, and aesthetics: it is by his multidisciplinary, relational approach that Herbart contributes his original philosophy of music. In contrast to Kant, he defends the possibility of scientific psychology, which he establishes upon metaphysics, mathematics, and experience. Herbart investigates tone relations applying psychological laws and mechanisms: intervals, chords, melody, consonance, dissonance, and even equal temperament are analysed as psychological products and explained through the notions of the tone line (a kind of musical a priori) and “musical thinking”. At the same time, musical thinking can be seen as a principle of aesthetical legality, since Herbart’s account of tone relations forms the core of his rigorously formalistic aesthetics of music. His concept of music finally proves to be pivotal for later tone psychology. Review: Maier, M. (2008). Die Musikforschung, 2, 164–165
The “explicable original sin of all experience”. Critique and metaphysics of knowledge by J.F. Herbart.
The Author claims that, in the system of Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), multiple foundation relationships between psychology and metaphysics interweave as a result of the intermediate position assigned to the human being within the methodological framework. To highlight the quest for objectivity in his general and applied metaphysics, its overall structures are analysed on several levels: the problematic assumption of external and internal data; formality of knowledge; essences and events in realistic ontology; and the connection between events and objective appearance, which is further specified in scientific psychology. The condition of individual observers amidst manifold essences proves to be decisive in linking ontology and experience. Yet Herbart’s metaphysics is intended to rearrange and develop Kant’s critical philosophy: it is argued that the establishment of scientific psychology is aimed at legitimating objectivity and that Herbart’s metaphysical foundation of knowledge also relies on the definition of the subject as a blank position.
Proceedings of the Internationale Herbart-Gesellschaft