By Miklós Vassányi
This paintings offers and philosophically analyzes the early glossy and smooth historical past of the speculation about the soul of the realm, anima mundi. The preliminary query of the research is why there has been a revival of this concept for the period of the early German Romanticism, while the idea that of the anima mundi were rejected within the previous, classical interval of eu philosophy (early and mature Enlightenment). The presentation and research starts off from the Leibnizian-Wolffian institution, ordinarily adversarial to the idea, and covers classical eighteenth-century physico-theology, additionally reluctant to simply accept an anima mundi. subsequent, it discusses early smooth and smooth Christian philosophical Cabbala (Böhme and Ötinger), an highbrow culture which to a point tolerated the assumption of a soul of the realm. The philosophical dating among Spinoza and Spinozism at the one hand, and the anima mundi idea at the different can also be tested. An research of Giordano Bruno’s usage of the concept that anima del mondo is the final step ahead of we provide an account of ways and why German Romanticism, particularly Baader and Schelling asserted and utilized the speculation of the Weltseele. the aim of the paintings is to turn out that the philosophical insufficiency of an idea of God as an ens extramundanum instigated the Romantics to imagine an anima mundi which may act as a divine and quasi-infinite middleman among God and Nature, as a locum tenens of God in actual truth.
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Extra resources for Anima Mundi: The Rise of the World Soul Theory in Modern German Philosophy (International Archives of the History of Ideas, Volume 202)
These respective conceptions of the perfection of the world, to be sure, derive from different understandings of how the world would best express divine perfection and glory. 27 In contradistinction to this, finite corporeal substances or the universe as a whole cannot be considered properly active in Sturm’s system: each material part of the whole suffers the mechanical impression of another one, and mechanically passes it on to another in turn, the omnipotence of God guaranteeing the preestablished harmony of nature.
Sturm: Idolum naturae…, caput IV, xiv; pp. 39–40. Transl. by M. ) 20 In the 1698 Exercitatio philosophica de natura sibi incassum vindicata, Sturm lays less stress on the ‘clockwork’-character of the operation of nature, but he essentially maintains his original position that the Creator delegates no power to secondary causes, and that the divine power brings about all natural change immediately, though by a general arrangement rather than by particular interventions; cf. “Et hoc est illud, quod ubique inculcamus ubi DEUM immediate movere dicimus, non eo sensu, quasi immediate ante effectum actu secuturum omnipotens suum jussum repetere de novo necessum habeat, neque quod unis corporibus non utatur tanquam mediis ad movendum alia, neque quod ejusmodi mediorum formis ac texturis ad sic potius quam aliter movendum non utatur illa olim lata & in omnia tempora, loca, operandi modos & c.
Since, however, an infinite progress of finite causes of existence would still build a contingent chain, it is reasonable and necessary to conclude that this chain as a whole has an efficient cause outside itself. This is essentially the reconstruction of the Leibnizian cosmological argument for the existence of God considered as the ultima ratio rerum. As § 334 of the Metaphysica puts it: § 334. Every contingent and finite being is one that exists by virtue of another being… Therefore, the existence of such an existing thing does not inhere in it by virtue of its own particular force… Hence, a foreign force, placed outside the finite and contingent reality, is the sufficient reason of the existence inherent in the finite and contingent, real being… Therefore, a substance placed outside the finite and contingent being exercises an influence on it, giving it existence… Hence, every contingent and finite real being is but an effect… and has an efficient cause…18 In other words, God, the efficient cause of existence of the concatenation of all finite things is a being beyond the world, an ens extramundanum; this is God’s essential ontological difference.