Abstract

A generation before Kant emerged from his "dogmatic slumber,” Christian Wolff’s rationalist metaphysics had already undergone a crisis. When Johann Jakob Bodmer translated Paradise Lost into German (1732) it sparked a polemic among leading Wolffians. The metaphysics of Milton's poetology raised concerns about the extent and bounds of rational imagination analogous to Kant's concerns about the limits of pure reason. The aesthetics of creative genius Bodmer articulated in his defense of Milton was based on Wolff’s rationalism yet found warm acceptance among leading Romantics of the following generation. This article therefore contributes to the rationalist roots of Romantic irrationalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 51-71
Launched on MUSE
2017-02-08
Open Access
No
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