Mitwissenschaft: Schelling and the Ethical


This essay seeks to explicate the ethical dimension of Schelling’s project. Schelling complicates the theory/praxis distinction by arguing that these two modalities are different sides of the same movement in thinking. I attempt to establish this by first examining Schelling’s early essay, Neue Deduktion des Naturrechts, and then by turning to his celebrated Freedom essay. Although I chiefl y examine an early work and then a work from his middle period, I contend that the ethical dimension governs all of Schelling’s thinking. I examine closely Schelling’s description of Mitwissenschaft (the conscience). I further develop my argument by contrasting Nietzsche’s understanding of this notion with Heidegger’s treatment of it in Being and Time. I then turn to Hannah Arendt and her discussion of “radical evil” and the “conscience” in order to deepen our appreciation of Schelling’s watershed contribution

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Jason Wirth
Seattle University

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