As an instrument of reaction,romanticism played a much bigger role and exercised a more for-reachinginfluence in the history of modern Germany. There it assumed a philosophicalcharacter and determined political theories as well as practice. Beforeproceeding to examine the significance of romanticism in Germany.
It isnecessary to define the term. Romanticism has been definedin a variety of ways. The confusion and error about its place in the history ofthought and also in life results from the vagueness about its meaning.Originally, it was a tendency in art; but the theory of art indicates anattitude to life, and life is a part of nature. Therefore, from the verybeginning, romanticism was a way of life and as such had a philosophicalsignificance, even if that was not clearly realized and formulated untila later period. There cannot be culture without a philosophy. The men ofRenaissance, particularly those who represented its artistic and literaryaspects, were the first to take a romantic view of life.
Historically,Romanticism is a form of the revert of man against the ———- of the supernatural. Philosophically and culturally, romanticism is identical with humanismit is the faith in the sovereignty of man and in his unlimited creativeness.The cardinal principle of romanticism is that man makes history – he is themake of his own destiny. Therefore, if the eighteenth century was the age ofreason. It was also the age of romanticism.
The rationalism of the eighteenthcentury placed man in the center of the universe, without denying thatultimately he is bound by the laws of nature; but it maintained, on the authorityof scientific knowledge, that potentially man was capable of acquiring themastery of nature progressively. ‘I hat is also the sober philosophicalstatement of the romantic view of life it proclaims the sovereignty of humancreativeness, but at the same time is not blind to the actual limitations ofman’s power, the limitations being natural, since man is only a part of nature.This view of romanticism was expressed by Garth in the classical sentence “inder BeschrenkngZeigSichersder Meister.
” A belabored English rendering will be:”the master man reveals himself under limitations”.Thedevelopment of science is so far the greatest romance of human history it beganas the romantic act venture of man for conquering nature by penetrating hersecrets. It the sometime. Scientific knowledge is rational; science therefore,is the synthesis of rationalism and romanticism it broke away from classicalrationalism which by implications denied the sovereign creativeness of man,when it adopted the inductive method. Romanticism repudiates metaphysicalgeneralizations and insists upon concreate realities, man being one of them; sodoes science. Romanticism was not revolt against reason, but against theneo-classicism of the seventeenth century, which made a secular teleology outof rationalism. Religion being the earliest expression of human rationality,instinctive belief in order, it remained inherent in classical rationalism evenof Descartes and spinae, which started from the theogical concept of alaw-governed universe. The scientific naturalism of the eighteenth century notwith stand the fact that it was anchored in the reason of man, was revoltagainst the essentially ideological classical rationalism.
Not only etc. 100metric suggested,” let us follow the direction of experience and not troubleour react; about the main history of philosophers. “The arch rationalistVoltaire also exclaimed; “Oh Plato, so much admired: you have only narratedfables.” The revert against the eighteenth centuries, Therefore, was fighting abogey. Sheer irrationalism, spinning a cow web of Maked fantasy, Mysticism,religions, revivalism and sloppy sentimentality is not romanticism Revolutionis a romantic adventure.
The post-revolutionary romanticism a passionate cryfor the restoration of the ancient regime. At best it was a feeble echo ofneo-classicism.