Haakon Flemmen: The dream of the values

The «Skillelinjen circle» was a philosophical study group established in Oslo in the late 1920s. The group was inspired by Heinrich Rickert’s Neo-Kantianism, with which it hoped to counter naturalist and positivist currents in culture and philosophy. This ambition was clearly expressed in their programmatic anthology Skillelinjen (The Dividing Line), published in 1929. It was to be their first and only publication. The circle soon disbanded, and its members went their separate ways. There are probably several reasons why the attempt to organize a Neo-Kantian movement stranded. In this article I argue that a significant philosophical tension was evident already in Skillelinjen. Until now, scholars have portrayed Skillelinjen as a consistent idealistic manifesto. I argue however, based on an analysis of Charles Kent and Ingjald Nissen’s articles in the anthology, that they express different forms of Kantianism, and ultimately two incompatible views on idealism.