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Freedom From Domination: German Scientists’ View Term Paper

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Updated: Sep 12th, 2021

Introduction

For centuries, the notion of freedom from domination has been the key theme of the Christian faith. For no other people has this truth been a more touchable reality than the members of the Black Church.

Charlemagne

Or he is also known as Charles the Great. Today he is viewed by some historians as the founder of both France and Germany and sometimes as the Father of Europe, as he was the first ruler of a Western European empire since the fall of the Roman Empire. He made the greatest ever attempt to unify the country, as Western Europe was divided into lots of feudal courts, and the unification of Germany led to the creation of single national mentality and appearing of the institutions, claimed to fix this mentality and provide further unification of the people. It is well known, that people can be free only if they are protected by the higher authority of the state institutions.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther dealt the figurative blow that began the Reformation when he spiked his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. That document enclosed an attack on papal maltreatments and the sale of indulgences by church officials.

And at the heart of the gospel, in Luther’s inference, was the principle of rationalization by faith – the teaching that Christ’s own uprightness is imputed to those who believe, and on that ground unaided, they are accepted by God. This notion made the great contribution to the unification of the country, as it further provided the basis for implementation the only church in the country.

Luther’s writings circulated widely, reaching France, England, and Italy as early as 1519, and students thronged to Wittenberg to hear him speak. He published a short commentary on Galatians and his Work on the Psalms. At the same time, he received deputations from Italy and from the Utraquists of Bohemia; Ulrich von Hutten and Franz von Sickingen offered to place Luther under their protection.

This period of Luther’s career was one of the most creative and productive. Three of his best known works were published in 1520: To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and Freedom of a Christian.

The German notion of freedom involves the Complex of individual live aims and principles of everybody in the country. The totality of these wishes and aims compose the National aim and the purpose of the activity of all the Governmental Institutions. One of the first German philosophers who pointed this notion was Immanuel Kant. Kant stated that, as of the restrictions of reason, no one could really realize if there is a God and a life after death. But, then once more, he adjoined; no one could actually know that there was not a God and a life after death. For the benefit of the public and morality, Kant stated, people are practically reasonable in believing in them, even although they could never know for sure if they are real or not. Kant explained: “All the groundworks of reason, consequently, in what may be called chaste philosophy, are in actuality directed to those three problems only (God, the soul, and freedom). However, these three constituents in themselves still hold self-regulating, proportional, objective weight independently. Furthermore, in a cooperative relational context; namely, to know what is necessary to be done: if the willpower is free, if there is a God, and if there is a future world. As this distresses our deeds with reference to the highest purposes of life, we see that the eventual purpose of nature in her wise stipulation was really, in the foundation of our grounds, aimed at to moral attentions only. “The sense of a progressive approach and the decisive method required that”. If one cannot establish that a thing exists, he may try to confirm that it does not. And if one succeeds in doing neither (as often happens), one may still ask whether it is in one’s interest to recognize one or the other of the alternatives theoretically, from the conjectural or the sensible point of view.

…Hence the matter no longer is as to whether continuous peace is a real thing or not a real one, or as to whether we may not be misleading ourselves when we take on the former substitute, but we must proceed on the possibility of its being genuine.” The supposition of God, soul, and liberty was then a realistic concern, for “Morality, by itself, represents a system, but contentment does not, unless it is dispensed in exact quantity to morals. This is possible in a comprehensible world only under a wise author and leader. Reason induces us to admit such a leader, jointly with life in such a world, which we must regard as future life, or else all ethical laws are to be regarded as idle dreams…

Idea of freedom by Kant

In the analysis of Untainted Reason Kant differentiates between the transcendental notion of freedom, which as an emotional concept is “mainly practical” and refers to “the issue whether we should admit a power of unexpectedly beginning a series of successive things or states” as a real position of stipulation in regard to causality, and the convenient concept of independence as the independence of our spirit from the “intimidation” or “necessitation through sumptuous impulses.” Kant discovers it a source of obscurity that the useful impression of liberty is grounded on the transcendental idea of freedom, but for the benefit of realistic interests uses the empirical meaning, taking “no account of… its transcendental denotation”, which he feels was correctly “disposed of” in the Third Antinomy, and as an constituent in the problem of the freedom of the will is for viewpoint “a real stumbling-block” that has “embarrassed speculative reason”.

Kant describes practical “everything that is probable through freedom”, and the pure realistic laws that are never given through sumptuous circumstances but are connected with either the reason or effect of our decision are moral laws. Reason can give us only the “practical laws of free action during the senses”, but pure sensible laws are given by reason a priori, and “if the will is free”, and “if there is a God”, dictate “what is necessary to be done“.

As it can be observed form the conclusions, the German notion of freedom took its origins from the Kant’s ideas of freedom, where everyone is free, who can use his/ her own reason, think over and imagine. He argues that the Reason in someone is the capability to enlarge the rules and aims of the use of his resources far beyond natural instinct. It does not create or identify any boundary to its projects. It does not develop impulsively but requires trials, understanding, and information in order to progress increasingly from one level of understanding to the next. Therefore every one would have to live exceptionally long in order to learn how to make full use of all his powers.

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Another philosopher who was engaged in the thinking over the issues of freedom was Johann Gottlieb Fichte. His ideas of German Idealism in some measure influenced the foundation of genocide and theory of the superior man. The fact is that, Fichte’s main idea was to clean the German nation, and eliminate all the Jews from the German lands. He described it in the Addresses to German nation. He openly articulated desire to expel Jews from Germany In regards to Jews getting “civil rights” he wrote that this would only be possible if one managed “to cut off all their heads in one night, and to set new ones on their shoulders, which should contain not a single Jewish idea”. Fichte had a deep influence on the rise of the Third Reich, and continues to be deemed a spiritual father of modern Neo-Nazism. Since nationalism is often associated with the freedom of any nation, Fichte may be regarded as one of the grounders of the German notion of freedom.

Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist

He was a German poet, dramatist, novelist and short story writer. The Kleist Prize, a prestigious prize for German literature, is named after him. It is necessary to emphasize, that any nationally-wide famous poet, who is considered the founder of classical national literature is often viewed as national unifier, and sometimes national hero. Even inspite o the freedom lyrics, which call the nation for the unification, Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist is the national unifier himself. Kleist is also famous for his essays on subjects of aesthetics and psychology which, to the closer look, show an unfathomable insight into the metaphysical questions discussed by philosophers of his time, such as Kant, Fichte and Schelling.

In the first of his larger essays, “Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden” (On the gradual development of thoughts in the process of speaking), Kleist shows the conflict of thought and feeling in the soul of man, leading to unforeseeable results through incidents which in their turn provoke the inner forces of the soul to express themselves in a spontaneous flow of ideas and words, both stimulating one another to further development. Kleist’s view of the hidden forces in the human soul and the quite instable and endangered position of the mind in their struggle can be compared to Freud’s psychoanalytic model of the soul, especially to his notion of the “unconscious” and its hidden influences on the ego.

The metaphysical theory in and behind Kleist’s first essay is that consciousness, man’s ability to reflect, is the expression of a fall out of nature’s harmony, which may either lead to disfunction, when the flow of feelings is interrupted or blocked by thought, or to the stimulation of ideas, when the flow of feelings is cooperating or struggling with thought. A state of total harmony, however, cannot be reached. Only in total harmony of thought and feeling life and consciousness would come to be identical through the total insight of the mind, an idea elaborated and ironically presented in Kleist’s second essay “The Puppet Theatre” or “On the Marionette Theater” (Das Marionettentheater).

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe is the originator of the concept of Weltliteratur (“world literature”), having taken great interest in the literatures of England, France, Italy, classical Greece, Persia, amongst others. His influence on German philosophy is virtually immeasurable, having major impact especially on the generation of Hegel and Schelling, although Goethe himself expressly and decidedly refrained from practicing philosophy in the rarefied sense.

Goethe was one of the key figures of German literature, with a career spanning Enlightenment (“Aufklärung“), Sentimentality (“Empfindsamkeit“), Sturm und Drang, Weimar Classicism and Romanticism. His scientific ideas influenced Darwin with his focus on plant morphology. Goethe’s influence spread across Europe, and for the next century his works were a primary source of inspiration in music, drama, poetry and philosophy. Goethe is widely considered to be one of the most important thinkers in Western culture and is generally acknowledged as the most important writer in the German language.

Goethe is considered to be the greatest contributor to the German notion of freedom. First of all, as it has been pointed in the introductory part of the paper, everybody’s personal aims serve the common goal. Thus, in “Faust” Goethe highlights this point, when Dr. Faust goes through different adventures according to his ambitious wishes, and, as a result gains life experience and knowledge, which help him to serve the society.

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German Idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend. Interpreting Schelling’s philosophy is often difficult because of its ever-changing nature. Some scholars characterize him as a protean thinker who, although brilliant, jumped from one subject to another and lacked the synthesizing power needed to arrive at a complete philosophical system. Others challenge the notion that Schelling’s thought is marked by profound breaks, instead arguing that his philosophy always focused on a few common themes, especially human freedom, the absolute, and the relationship between man and nature.

Schelling’s thought has often been neglected, especially in the English-speaking world. This stems not only from the ascendancy of Hegel, whose mature works portray Schelling as a mere footnote in the development of Idealism, but also from his Naturphilosophie, which positivist scientists have often ridiculed for its “silly” analogizing and lack of empirical orientation. In recent years, Schelling scholars have forcefully attacked both of these sources of neglect.

Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich

He was a German-Austrian politician and statesman, and one of the most important diplomats of his era. He was a major figure on the negotiations leading to and at the Congress of Vienna and is considered both a paradigm of foreign policy management and a major figure on the development of diplomacy. He was the prime practitioner of 19th century diplomatic realism, deeply rooted on the balance of power postulates. As a talented diplomat he devoted his life to the German notion of freedom, and provided this notion in the sphere of international politics by defending the state interests.

Karl Marx

Actually, Marxism is about freedom. It is also about constraint–about the circumstances and conditions that prevent working men and women, the actual producers of all wealth, from controlling the conditions of their own lives and work.

And it is about how these circumstances can be changed and how working men and women can create a truly free society in which all contribute according to their ability and receive according to their needs–a society free from exploitation, free from oppression, free from racism, from unemployment, from war, from poverty and inequality.

Is all this pie in the sky? The early Christians had just such a vision. Except that they saw it coming in an (imaginary) world above the sky, and they looked to a savior, Lord Jesus, to get them to it. Marx showed how it could be gotten in this world–and not by a supernatural savior, but by the collective efforts of working people themselves.

How? And why hasn’t it been done long before? Let us look at the constraints–the things that prevent, deny, limit or cripple our freedom. “A man must eat before he can think,” Marx wrote. That is the basic idea.

References

Aveling, Eleanor “Marx”, 1855-1898.

Crackanthorpe, Hubert, 1870-1896.

Kant, Immanuel, 1724-1804.

Schelling And Devious the Line of Duty 1835-1910.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Freedom From Domination: German Scientists' View." September 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/freedom-from-domination-german-scientists-view/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Freedom From Domination: German Scientists' View'. 12 September.

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