De Pretto, Davide (2007) Idealismo come patologia. La diagnosi hegeliana della Nachtseite
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This paper illustrates Hegel’s criticism of the reduction of reality to thought in the idealism which he believed to be peculiar to the Indian spirit. The paper starts by analyzing the metaphors of dream and mesmerism. Hegel deducted these metaphors from anthropology and he largely used them to describe the ways in which Indian idealism is structured. We outline Hegel’s interpretation of some central concepts of Indian philosophy and religion, especially those of Brahman and Yoga. Then we reach the rebound which is proper of every idealism of this kind: the resolution of material reality into an absolutized, and therefore absolutely empty, thought turns ipso facto into a subjection of thought to reality in its harshest and most natural shape, represented in India by castes. Finally, we trace Hegel’s criticism of Romantic irony, and in particular of Friedrich Schlegel. We show that irony ends up subjecting the spiritual dimension to superstition and to bare reality, like Indian idealism. However, irony starts from an absolutization of a form of thought which is very far from the Indian one.
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