Monday, September 30, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

misc, for notes

KriegerThe German Idea of Freedom: History of a Political Tradition 
This book is not designed to cover a section of history. It is designed rather, to provide answers to a definite set of historical questions arising out of the "German problem." The questions are these: Did the Germans‘ failure to achieve, under their own power, a liberal democracy in the western sense mean simply the triumph of conservatism over generic liberalism in Germany or was a peculiar German attitude toward liberty involved in its defeat? If there was such an attitude, what were its ingredients? And finally, given the ingredients at a special German approach to the problems of political freedom, how did that strange historical development work which kept changing the conditions while leaving the ingredients themselves constant? 
The first of these questions, on which the others hinge, is easily decided. Without minimizing in the slightest the conservative weight of German authoritarian institutions or the bitterness of the liberal opposition to them during the 19th century, an historical view into any period of modern German history must still acknowledge that the external posture of German liberalism has ever been qualified by its distinctive internal structure. The juxtaposition—indeed, even the connection—of one conception of liberty that could be realized only within the authoritarian state and of another that could be realized only in an absolute realm beyond all states is a commonly remarked German phenomenon. It has been traced back to Luther and up to Hitler. My problem is to show what the connection between these two apparently antithetical conceptions has been and how it has grown. 
Both the scope and the method of the book are tailored to this problem. The kind of liberty or freedom which is relevant to it is the individual secular liberty familiar to the western political tradition. Unless otherwise qualified it is in this sense that these terms will be used and that the historical advocates of them will be selected. The timespan of the book covers the historical periods in which freedom in this sense was a central issue—roughly the era between the medieval type of corporativism and the contemporary type of collectivism, punctuated by the Protestant Reformation at one end and the national unification at the other. ...
Gombrich,  Art and Illusion
...Riegl’s main argument is that ancient art was always concerned with the rendering of individual objects rather than with the infinite world as such. Egyptian art shows this attitude in its extreme form, for here vision is only allowed a very subsidiary part; things are rendered as they appear to the sense of touch, the more “objective" sense which reports on the permanent shape of things irrespective of the shifting viewpoint. Here, too is the reason why Egyptians shunned the rendering of the third dimension, because recession and foreshortening would have introduced a subjective element. An advance toward the third dimension, which grants the eye its share in the perception of modeling, was made in Greece.

"What Admetus seeks is not a spell, not even assurance, only a dream for those who are awake; in other words, precisely that state of mind to which Plato, the stern seeker after truth, objected."