Aesthetic Reason and Imaginative Freedom

Friedrich Schiller and Philosophy

Edited by María del Rosario Acosta López & Jeffrey L. Powell

Subjects: Aesthetics, Continental Philosophy, German Studies, Philosophy, Phenomenology
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Hardcover : 9781438472195, 224 pages, October 2018
Paperback : 9781438472201, 224 pages, July 2019

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Maria del Rosario Acosta Lopez and Jeffrey L. Powell
Part I: Schiller’s Historico-Philosophical Significance

1. Schiller, Rousseau, and the Aesthetic Education of Man
Yvonne Nilges

2. Schiller on Emotions: Problems of (In)Consistency in His Ethics
Laura Anna Macor

3. Schiller’s Aesthetics between Kant and Schelling
Manfred Frank, translated by Christina M. Gschwandtner

4. The Violence of Reason: Schiller and Hegel on the French Revolution
Maria del Rosario Acosta Lopez

5. Schiller and Pessimism
Frederick Beiser
Part II: Imagining Schiller Today

6. Naive and Sentimental Character: Schiller’s Poetic Phenomenology
Daniel Dahlstrom

7. Schiller and the Aesthetic Promise
Jacques Ranciere, translated by Owen Glyn-Williams

8. On the Fate of the Aesthetic Education: Ranciere, Posa, and The Police
Christoph Menke, translated by Eliza Little

9. Kant, Schiller, and Aesthetic Transformation
Jeffrey L. Powell

10. Aesthetic Dispositifs and Sensible Forms of Emancipation
Maria Luciana Cadahia

Friedrich Schiller’s Works Cited

Shows the relevance of Schiller’s thought for contemporary philosophy, particularly aesthetics, ethics, and politics.


This book seeks to draw attention to Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) as a philosophical thinker in his own right. For too long, his philosophical contribution has been neglected in favor of his much-deserved reputation as a political playwright. The essays in this collection make two arguments. First, Schiller presents a robust philosophical program that can be favorably compared to those of his age, including Rousseau, Kant, Schelling, and Hegel, and he proves to be their equal in his thinking on morality, aesthetics, and politics. Second, Schiller can also guide us in our more contemporary philosophical concerns and approaches, such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, aesthetics, and politics. Here, Schiller instructs us in our engagement with figures such as Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière, Roberto Esposito, and others.

María del Rosario Acosta López is Associate Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University. She has published several books, including La tragedia como conjuro: el problema de lo sublime en Friedrich Schiller. Jeffrey L. Powell is Professor of Philosophy at Marshall University and the editor of Heidegger and Language.


"…it is heartening to have here a volume of essays focusing on [Schiller's] philosophical writings and bringing together titans of the fields of philosophical Schiller-studies, German early romantic aesthetics, and German idealism, such as Beiser, Daniel Dahlstrom, and Manfred Frank, together with a younger generation of Schiller scholars. What makes this compilation additionally useful is the fact that its editors have not shied away from providing several essays in translation, thereby opening access to readers for whom they might otherwise be inaccessible. " — Journal of the History of Philosophy

"The contributors to this invigorating collection make consummate use of the latest offerings in Schiller scholarship and groundbreaking new English translations to argue for a Schiller more deftly attuned to contemporaneous concerns about aesthetic reason, imaginative freedom, and political Romanticism than normally attributed to this late Enlightenment figure … Highly recommended. " — CHOICE

"As a whole, the volume provides a well-informed treatment of both aesthetical and political conceptions that are to be found in Schiller's work as well as indications of how Schiller's thought at times differs from that of his and our contemporaries, while it could at times also support contemporary philosophical paths. " — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews