Les présences du spinozisme dans l'esthétique allemande du XVIIIème siècle

par Anaïs Delambre

Thèse de doctorat en Philosophie

Sous la direction de Lorenzo Vinciguerra et de Daniel Dumouchel.

Thèses en préparation à Amiens en cotutelle avec Campus de Montréal , dans le cadre de École doctorale en Sciences humaines et sociales , en partenariat avec CRAE Centre de recherche en Arts et Esthétique (laboratoire) depuis le 01-10-2016 .


  • Résumé

    Spinozisme et esthétique. Ces deux éléments majeurs de l'historiographie allemande ne semblent pas être faits pour se rencontrer. D'un côté, nous avons la réception tourmentée du spinozisme, depuis les premières diffusions des textes du vivant de Spinoza jusqu'aux controverses qui en font une pensée disparate, façonnée par les espaces non remplis que l'on a cherché à combler au gré des réfutations et des attaques contre sa pensée et ses prétendus adeptes. Dans l'Allemagne du XVIIIe, le spinozisme est pour sa plus grande part une construction factice, nourrie des critiques plutôt que par la lecture des textes. En outre, Spinoza occupe majoritairement la métaphysique et la théologie. D'un autre côté, une nouvelle science émerge à la suite de la contestation de l'idée du beau et de la volonté de réhabiliter la sensibilité au moyen du goût et de la connaissance sensible. Nous intéresserons plus particulièrement à la partie de l'esthétique pr oche de l'anthropologie et de la psychologie qui émergent à cette époque. C'est à cet endroit que nous situons le point de convergence entre le spinozisme et l'esthétique. En effet, bien que Spinoza n'ait pas fait d'esthétique, il s'est longuement intéressé à une sorte d'anthropologie que nous retrouvons dans l'Éthique, surtout dans le livre III, central aussi bien dans son livre que dans sa pensée, mais aussi dans le livre IV. Ainsi, à partir du présupposé d'une rencontre entre l'esthétique et le spinozisme, notre travail explore la « réception esthétique » de la philosophie Spinoza. Il ne s'agit bien évidemment pas de minimiser la part des auteurs traditionnellement reconnus dans la naissance de l'esthétique, mais de reconnaître la place du spinozisme parmi eux. La question qui anime ce travail est donc la suivante : en quoi l'esthétique allemande est-elle, elle aussi, aux côtés de la métaphysique et de la théologie, hantée par le spinozisme ? Nous répondrons en nous appuyant sur des « signes » pour identifier les « présences » du spinozisme dans l'esthétique rationaliste allemande. Il ne s'agit pas de dire que le spinozisme a façonné cette esthétique à la manière du wolffisme, ou qu'il a orienté les débats sur la sensibilité à la manière des sensualistes. Nous allons parcourir le XVIIIe siècle allemand à la recherche de signes spinoziste chez Tschirnhaus, Leibniz, Wolff, Sulzer, Mendelssohn et Lessing. In fine, les hypothèses que nous formulerons dans le corps de ce travail permettront, nous l'espérons, de reconsidérer la réception de la philosophie de Spinoza dans l'Allemagne du XVIIIe, en lui reconnaissant une place dans la naissance de l'esthétique.

  • Titre traduit

    The Presence of Spinozism in the German Aesthetics of the 18th Century


  • Résumé

    Spinozism and aesthetics. These two major elements of German historiography do not seem to be made to meet. On the one hand, we have the tormented reception of Spinozism, from the first diffusion of the texts during Spinoza's lifetime to the controversies that have turned it into a disparate thought, shaped by the gaps that have been sought to be filled by refutations and attacks against its alleged followers. In eighteenth-century Germany, Spinozism was for the most part a factitious construction, nourished by criticism rather than by reading the texts. Moreover, Spinoza was mainly concerned with Metaphysics and Theology. On the other hand, a new science emerges as a result of the contestation of the idea of the Beautiful and the will to rehabilitate sensibility by means of taste and sensitive knowledge. We will focus on the part of Aesthetics close to Anthropology and Psychology that emerges at that time. It is here that we locate the point of convergence between Spinozism and Aesthetics. Indeed, although Spinoza did not do Aesthetics, he was at considerable length interested in a kind of Anthropology that we find in the Ethics, especially in Book III, central both to his book and to his thought, but also in Book IV. Thus, based on the premise of an encounter between Aesthetics and Spinozism, our work explores the "aesthetic reception" of Spinoza's philosophy. It is not, of course, a question of minimising the part played by traditionally established authors in the birth of Aesthetics, but of acknowledging the place of Spinozism among them. The question that motivates this work is therefore the following: in what way is German Aesthetics, alongside Metaphysics and Theology, haunted by Spinozism? We will answer by relying on "signs" to identify the "presences" of Spinozism in German rationalist Aesthetics. It is not a question of claiming that Spinozism has shaped this Aesthetics in the same way as Wolffism, o r that it has oriented the debates on sensibility in the same way as the Sensualists. We will go through the German eighteenth century in search of Spinozist signs in the works of Tschirnhaus, Leibniz, Wolff, Sulzer, Mendelssohn and Lessing. In the end, the assumptions we will develop in the course of this work will, we hope, allow us to reconsider the reception of Spinoza's philosophy in eighteenth-century Germany, by acknowledging its place in the birth of Aesthetics. The 18th century in Germany also saw the birth of a new discipline: aesthetics. This rationis analogy forged by Baumgarten, a pupil of Wolff's, participated in this movement which also existed in France and Great Britain, which thought art no longer from artistic productions but by placing itself on the side of the public, through the notions of sensation, sensitivity, feeling, perception or experience. Hardly born, this new discipline is in turn the object of various reappropriations. It crystallises the will to reform thinking about art in terms of its autonomy, the rules that govern its forms, the experiences that one makes of it, etc. We are now in a century of change for the thinking of art, which is gradually abandoning classicism to make its entry into modernity. This period is therefore a pivotal one, both for German philosophy and for art. Although Spinoza never considered art as a philosophical object, studies in philosophy and literature often brought Spinoza closer to Goethe, Vermeer, the Baroque, Flaubert or St. John Persia. Currently, Spinoza studies are once again looking at the relationship between Spinoza and the arts, as the colloquium 'Spinoza and the Arts' in May 2014, Ursula Goldenbaum's studies on Spinoza's influence on the aesthetics of Mendelssohn, Martin Bollacher, Saverio Ansaldi on the Baroque or Vittorio Morfino on the image and thus the reception of Spinoza in Germany show. The influence of Spinoza in Germany has also been a constitutive element of German historiography because it has been involved in metaphysical or theological quarrels. As an accountant of these various works, in this thesis I would like to delve more deeply into the relationship that eighteenth-century German thinkers had with Spinoza in the context of the birth of aesthetics. I will then argue that Spinoza, by his presence through the reception of his thought, played an important role in the foundation of this new science and thought on art. To use Jacobi's metaphor, used in the letter to Mendelssohn of April 26, 1785, Spinoza worked rather like a ghost that haunted the thinking of that time, a ghost that can only be grasped through a play of mirrors and reflections revealed by the reception of his thought, the readings that were made and the reappropriation of certain concepts and theories. The aim will therefore be to determine whether or not the aesthetics would have been the same without Spinozism.