How A German University Town Helped Usher In The Modern Age

Gary Saul Morson at The American Scholar:

Perhaps there would be a birth of a whole new era of the sciences and arts,” German romantic thinker Friedrich Schlegel hoped, “if symphilosophy and sympoetry became so universal and heartful that it would no longer be extraordinary for several complementary minds to create communal works of art. One is often struck by the idea that two minds really belong together …  to realize their full potential only when joined … an art of amalgamating individuals.”

By symphilosophy and sympoetry (and other “syms”), Schlegel referred to dialogues in which interlocutors achieve insights otherwise unrealizable. Several minds “amalgamated” this way in the German university town of Jena around 1800.

more here.