Study Sheet on
Romanticism and German Idealism
The Philosophe vs. the Romantic
1. Why did the Romantics denounce the scientific rationalism of the
2. According to the Romantics, how did reason stifle the individual’s creativity?
How could the expression of feeling lead to a truer understanding of human
nature and the world?
3. Why did the Romantics believe that the poet rather than the scientist was
best able to explore the mysteries of existence?
Nature, God and History
4. How was the Romantic idea of God different from the Enlightenment’s
The Impact of the Romantic Movement
5. What dangerous political movements found their origins in the Romantics’
attack on the rational traditions of the Enlightenment?
6. Explain how the German idealists understood the difference between
material and spiritual reality. Which Greek philosopher inspired this
dualistic understanding of reality?
7. How did the British philosopher David Hume shake the bedrock convictions
of scientific certainty?
8. How did Kant redefine Locke’s theory of human knowledge?
9. Which Greek philosopher had also argued that we are born with innate
10. According to Kant, how does the human mind itself impose order upon our
sense experiences? How did this idea rescue science from Hume’s skepticism?
11. According to Kant, the human mind is actively involved in the creation of
reality. How did this new understanding of the human mind change the course
of western philosophy?
12. Why did Kant believe that science was incapable of grasping total
13. How did Kant believe that God reveals his existence? How does this belief
make human morality legitimate?
14. What was Hegel’s great philosophical goal?
15. Describe Hegel’s dynamic understanding of how the Spirit manifests itself
in human history.
16. How, according to Hegel, does history proceed through dialectics?
17. Towards what end did Hegel believe history is proceeding?