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p. 583. The age of idealism (1781–1832)locked

  • Nicholas Boyle


‘The age of idealism (1781–1832)’ describes how Immanuel Kant endeavoured to reconcile the empiricist Enlightenment of the bourgeoisie with the rationalist Enlightenment of officialdom in a new fusion to which he gave the name of Idealism. This subtle compromise between two different Enlightenments provided an ideological basis on which the German official class could claim to represent and harmonize the interests both of the economically productive middle class and of the absolute monarch, or state, which they served. The period of officialdom's cultural hegemony — the age of philosophical idealism — was the period in which German literature bore its most distinctive fruits, its classical age.

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