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(1974) Max Scheler (1874–1928) centennial essays, Dordrecht, Springer.

Metaphysics and art

Max Scheler

pp. 101-120

Many attempts have been made to approach the meaning of metaphysics by assigning it to art, i.e., to regard metaphysics as an art which itself does not reveal its art-character directly to the human mind. Of course, such a view of metaphysics never came from metaphysicians. It came mostly from thinkers of metaphysically agnostic orientation. But even metaphysicians whose artistic ways of description of the world of their ideas are most striking, and whose works come close to works of art by their unity, harmony, compactness and clarity and the aesthetic charm of their 'systems' even beyond their artistic descriptions, never subsumed metaphysics under art. Such is the case, for example, with Plato, Schopenhauer, Novalis (as a border case), with the thinker-poet Nietzsche, and, in more recent times, with H. Bergson whose main work, "L"Évolution Créatrice", has been called by the critic and biologist Le Dantec, a work of art rather than a work of scientific investigation. In some cases, such thinkers have maintained at most that metaphysics is more similar to art than to the positive sciences (e.g., Schopenhauer). Aristoteles sees metaphysics as belonging to "theoria" in contrast to "prattein" and "poiein" (acting and building). But, he maintained that philosophy in general is more similar to art—thinking of the drama in particular—than it is to history.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-011-6434-4_5

Full citation:

Scheler, M.F. (1974)., Metaphysics and art, in M. S. Frings (ed.), Max Scheler (1874–1928) centennial essays, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 101-120.

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