Now the only candidate, it would seem, for a substantial end internal to cognition is self-knowledge, or thought gaining knowledge of itself. But to understand how the aim of freedom can be realized in aesthetic experience they took it that the aims achieved in this experience constitute and reflect nature’s own ultimate aims. (Otherwise nature and freedom might be in conflict.) These points jointly yield the astonishing conclusion that art is the vehicle of nature’s own self-knowledge, and that in art we participate in the highest thing reality contains. The attempt to understand this conclusion gave birth to Absolute Idealism.