Deserves as much credit as any source for bringing the political implications of Kant’s Critique of Judgment into contemporary discourse. Despondent over the perceived failure of the French Revolution, Schiller asks, “Why are we still barbarians?” He argues that humanity has been subject to two harsh conditions: a “natural state” populated by “sensuous man” and governed entirely by the “blind” necessities of nature, and a “moral state” populated by “rational man” which uses reason to abolish the “natural state,” but which in doing so imposes a state of terror upon the “actual […] physical man.” Aesthetic education produces a “third character,” an “aesthetic man,” which “might pave the way for a transition from the realm of mere force [nature] to the rule of law [in a just society].”
Edited and with an interpretive essay by Ronald Beiner. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1992.
Schiller, Friedrich, “On the Aesthetic Education of Man,” Legacies of the Enlightenment, accessed December 3, 2023, https://enlightenmentlegacies.org/items/show/73.