Epistemic Reciprocity in Schelling's Late Return to Kant

In Pablo Muchnik (ed.), Rethinking Kant (volume 4). Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 75-94 (2015)

G. Anthony Bruno
Royal Holloway University of London
In his 1841-2 Berlin lectures, Schelling critiques German idealism’s negative method of regressing from existence to its first principle, which is supposed to be intelligible without remainder. He sees existence as precisely its remainder since there could be nothing that exists. To solve this, Schelling enlists the positive method of progressing from the fact of existence to a proof of this principle’s reality. Since this proof faces the absurdity that there is anything rather than nothing, he concludes that this fact’s constitution and this principle’s proof are mutually dependent, non-dischargeable tasks. I trace this reciprocal relation to one Kant establishes between the constitutive categories of experience and the experience that proves their applicability and argue that it adheres to Kant’s threefold criterion of proof. I do so by uncovering the Maimonian skeptical motivation—specifically, the need to answer what I call the question quid indicii—behind the qualified return to Kant on which Schelling’s critique of idealism relies.
Keywords Schelling  Kant  Maimon  a priori  German idealism  empty formalism
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