“Yes, a time of perfection must come, when each being will be harmonious with itself and with the others, when they flow into each other and become one in a great unison, when every melody throws itself into the eternal harmony.” – Karoline von Günderrode

Art: Sarah Cameron, Friedrich’s Mountain: Botched Romance.

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Guest posts on historical German women philosophers at the Genealogies of Modernity project.

Why We Should Read Frances Power Cobbe as a Philosopher – Guest Blog by Alison Stone

Until recently, women were systematically excluded from the history of philosophy – so systematically that it used to be assumed that there were no women philosophers in the past. Women have even been left out of the canon when they were famous in their own times. The Anglo-Irish philosopher Frances Power Cobbe (1822–1904) is aContinue reading “Why We Should Read Frances Power Cobbe as a Philosopher – Guest Blog by Alison Stone”

Poems in Günderrode’s Notebooks & Their Sources

Supplementary information and corrections to published scholarship on the sources for poems transcribed in Günderrode’s notebooks. This is a resource for scholars working on Günderrode’s notes and unpublished writings. Günderrode left numerous notes from her studies on a range of subjects, including philosophy, chemistry, Latin, metrics, physiognomy, ancient history and religions from across the world.Continue reading “Poems in Günderrode’s Notebooks & Their Sources”

Karoline von Günderrode, “Muhammad’s Dream in the Desert”

This poem was published in Günderrode’s first collection of poetry, dialogues and short stories, Poems and Fantasies, which appeared in 1804. Unlike Günderrode’s play Muhammad, the Prophet of Mecca, the poem does not follow Muhammad’s life or use the Prophet as a stand-in for European political figures. Instead, the piece develops Romantic, Christian, and alchemicalContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Muhammad’s Dream in the Desert””

Karoline von Günderrode, “Antiquity, and Modernity”

This unfinished poem by Günderrode contrasts faith and reason; an enchanted world with a safer but less inspiring world of science. The piece has parallels to Novalis’ “Christendom, or Europa,” although it was very likely written before Novalis’ text was published. It is interesting in part because of its consideration of themes that appear inContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Antiquity, and Modernity””

Why We Should Read Günderrode as a Philosopher

The question of why we should read Karoline von Günderrode (1780-1806) as a philosopher is only a specific instance of the question about the value of studying historical women’s writing in general for its philosophical contributions. The discipline of philosophy, as it is carried out in academic institutions in the west, has historically tended toContinue reading “Why We Should Read Günderrode as a Philosopher”

Karoline von Günderrode, “The Apparition”

Karoline von Günderrode’s “The Apparition” is a ghost story dealing with betrayal and regret, as well as two of Günderrode’s trademark themes: connections between the living and the dead, and the search for knowledge. The piece appeared in Poems and Fantasies: Günderrode’s first, 1804 collection of poetry, short stories, dialogues and Lesedramen (“closet dramas,” orContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “The Apparition””

Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Günderrode’s Suicide

Karoline von Günderrode killed herself on 26 July 1806, after receiving a letter from the married Georg Friedrich Creuzer ending their affair. This event, and its spectacular circumstances (she stabbed herself in the heart with a silver dagger, on the banks of the Rhine, leaving a poem and a blood-stained handkerchief as a “pledge” forContinue reading “Why I Don’t Want to Talk About Günderrode’s Suicide”

Karoline von Günderrode, “Don Juan”

Karoline von Günderrode’s poem “Don Juan” was published in her first, 1804 collection of poems, dialogues and short stories, Poems and Fantasies. The poem is a highly original take on the Don Juan story and reflects Romantic ideas of gender, of the relationship between art, love and morals, and of social constraints vs individuality. Günderrode’sContinue reading “Karoline von Günderrode, “Don Juan””

Philosophy and Genre

Philosophy has always been practiced in a wide variety of genres, both written and spoken. In philosophy programs in the west, we’re often trained to look for philosophy in specific types of writing: structured prose passages that make arguments in an explicit and logical form. But this is not the only way philosophy is done.Continue reading “Philosophy and Genre”

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