One of the reasons why I chose to pair Butler and Schiller in this latest post is because I was so surprised by the similarity of currents running through these two pieces. Schiller would have been certainly championing a kind of morality and worldview in the late 18th century that Butler would have objected to. But at the same time they both see a kind of moral purpose to the humanities. That that idea endures despite the shifting paradigms of what that morality is and how it is shaped (in part due to Butler’s work!) is really sort of incredible.
If you haven’t had enough, check out Schiller’s lecture: “What is and to What End do we Study, Universal History?”