The Politics of the Copula: Love, Marriage, and the Question of Judgment

in Uncivil Unions

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780226136936
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226136950 | DOI:
The Politics of the Copula: Love, Marriage, and the Question of Judgment

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter reviews the early Idealist theory of the judgment as developed in response to Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi. It summarizes the political valence of the critique of judgment, in particular its Platonic dimensions. The example of Friedrich Schlegel's account of marriage as a restoration of original androgyny offered a window into what in sexuality the early Romantics and Idealists regarded as corresponding to the figure of judgment. Since Urtheil und Seyn found Friedrich Hölderlin reacting to Johann Gottlieb Fichte, it was not surprising that he would see his epistemological points as having a direct relation to practical philosophy. Much like G. W. F. Hegel and Hölderlin, Schlegel understood the division between the sexes as analogous to social divisions of labor, property, and so on. As in the metaphysics of Urtheil und Seyn, marriage does not develop something new out of two preexisting particulars; instead, it returns them to a primordial unity.

Keywords: marriage; judgment; Immanuel Kant; Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi; Friedrich Schlegel; sexuality; Urtheil und Seyn; Friedrich Hölderlin

Chapter.  14534 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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