'PHILOSOPHY, or the doctrine and discipline of ideas' as S. T. Coleridge understood it, is the theme of this book. It considers the most vital and mature vein of Coleridge's thought to be the contemplation of ideas objectively, as existing powers. A theory of ideas emerges in critical engagement with thinkers including Plato, Plotinus, Boehme, Kant, and Schelling. A commitment to the transcendence of reason, central to what he calls the spiritual platonic old
England, distinguishes him from his German contemporaries. The book also engages with Coleridge's poetry, especially in a culminating chapter dedicated to the Limbo sequence.
This book pursues a theory of contemplation that draws from Coleridge's theories of imagination and the Ideas of Reason in his published texts and extensively from his thoughts as they developed throughout unpublished works, fragments, letters, and notebooks. He posited a hierarchy of cognition from basic sense intuition to the apprehension of scientific, ethical, and theological ideas. The structure of the book follows this thesis, beginning with sense data, moving upwards into aesthetic
experience, imagination, and reason, with final chapters on formal logic and poetry that constellate the contemplation of ideas.
Coleridge's Contemplative Philosophy is not just a work of history of philosophy, it addresses a figure whose thinking is of continuing interest, arguing that contemplation of ideas and values has consequences for everyday morality and aesthetics, as well as metaphysics. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, intellectual historians, scholars of religion, and of literature.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 368
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
Cheyne wrestles such clarity out of a mass of material, much of it fairly scattered and hard to assimilate into such a comprehensive interpretation. It is a great achievement. I feel I know Coleridge's thought better after reading. This will be an important book and I admire it greatly. * James Engell, Harvard University *
This erudite study shows that Coleridge made important contributions not only to literature and poetry but also to the history of English-speaking philosophy. Cheyne shows how Coleridge created a coherent philosophical system, 'ideal realism', which combines aspects of empiricism, Kantian and post-Kantian idealism, mysticism, and Platonism. * Alison Stone, Lancaster University *
An analysis of Coleridge's philosophy by a professional philosopher that is new and extremely rewarding. It proceeds logically through adept phrasing and deft explanations, uncluttered by undue attention to positions Coleridge outgrew. Always sympathetic and succinct, it both illuminates and asks to be argued with at a commensurate high level of discussion. * Jim Mays, University College Dublin *
Cheyne's discussion of Coleridge's modified Platonism is impressive both in the breadth of its erudition and depth of its interpretations * Kenneth Dorter, author of The Transformation of Plato's Republic *
Comprehensive and evinces a deep knowledge and careful thinking-through-and it's beautifully written: always clear and elegant. * Tim Fulford, De Montfort University *