Oxford: Oxford University Press (2020)

Authors
Peter Cheyne
Shimane University
Abstract
‘PHILOSOPHY, or the doctrine and discipline of ideas’, as S. T. Coleridge understood it, is the theme of this book. It considers the most vital and mature vein of Coleridge’s thought to be ‘the contemplation of ideas objectively, as existing powers’. A theory of ideas emerges in critical engagement with thinkers including Plato, Plotinus, Böhme, Kant, and Schelling. A commitment to the transcendence of reason, central to what he calls ‘the spiritual platonic old England’, distinguishes him from his German contemporaries. The book also engages with Coleridge’s poetry, especially in a culminating chapter dedicated to the ‘Limbo’ sequence. This book pursues a theory of contemplation that draws from discussions of imagination and the ‘Ideas of Reason’ in Coleridge’s published texts and extensively from his unpublished works, fragments, letters, and notebooks. He posited a hierarchy of cognition from basic sense intuition to the apprehension of scientific, ethical, and theological ideas. The structure of the book follows this thesis, beginning with sense data, moving upwards into aesthetic experience, imagination, and reason, with final chapters on formal logic and poetry that constellate the contemplation of ideas. Coleridge’s Contemplative Philosophy is not just a work of intellectual history, it addresses a figure whose thinking is of continuing interest, arguing that contemplation of ideas and values has consequences for everyday morality and aesthetics, as well as metaphysics. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, intellectual historians, scholars of religion, and of literature.
Keywords contemplation  Coleridge  German idealism  post-Kantianism  Platonism  imagination  nineteenth-century  Jacob Boehme  Jakob Böhme
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ISBN(s) 0198851804   9780198851806
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