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‘To "Make a Bull": Autobiography, Idealism and Writing in Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria"' / Steven Vine

Coleridge and the Armoury of the Human Mind, Pages: 99 - 114

Swansea University Author: Vine, Steven

Abstract

‘The postulate of philosophy and at the same time the test of philosophic capacity, is no other than the heaven-descended KNOW THYSELF!’ writes Coleridge in the 'Biographia Literaria'. The deduction of metaphysical truth is co-extensive with the deduction of the self: philosophy is written...

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Published in: Coleridge and the Armoury of the Human Mind
Published: Frank Cass London 1991
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa17973
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Abstract: ‘The postulate of philosophy and at the same time the test of philosophic capacity, is no other than the heaven-descended KNOW THYSELF!’ writes Coleridge in the 'Biographia Literaria'. The deduction of metaphysical truth is co-extensive with the deduction of the self: philosophy is written ‘as’ autobiography. Focusing on Chapters 1-13 of the 'Biographia', the first volume of the book when it was published in 1817, the essay shows how literary biography and metaphysics implicate each other in such a way as to make the autobiographical ‘mind & fortunes of S.T. Coleridge’ themselves the ground and prospective achievement of ‘metaphysical’ subjectivity. At the same time, the philosophical deduction of selfhood is haunted by the question of writing, or the letter, and Coleridge fails to achieve the unity of self that he desires.
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Start Page: 99
End Page: 114