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Mark J. Thomas
Central College
  1.  23
    A True Proteus: Non-Being in Schelling’s Ages of the World.Mark J. Thomas - forthcoming - In Lore Hühn, Philipp Höfele & Philipp Schwab (eds.), Zeit – Geschichte – Erzählung: F. W. J. Schellings “Weltalter”. Baden-Baden, Germany: Karl Alber.
    In this essay, I give an analysis of the account of non-being in the Weltalter, focusing on the ways in which this account reflects Schelling’s new ontology of revelation. I begin by discussing the connection between non-being and the fundamental distinction between the principles in God. I then turn to the relationship of non-being to being in the Weltalter and show how a new meaning of being allows Schelling to distinguish non-being from nothing. The new meaning of being also makes (...)
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  2.  38
    The Schelling-Eschenmayer Controversy, 1801: Nature and Identity by Benjamin Berger and Daniel Whistler. [REVIEW]Mark J. Thomas - 2022 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (4):703-705.
    This excellent book focuses on a decisive moment in Schelling's philosophical development: his 1801 dispute with Eschenmayer shortly before publishing Presentation of My System, the inaugural text of his identity philosophy. Carl August Eschenmayer was a German physician whose Kant-inspired writings in the philosophy of nature greatly influenced Schelling, especially with respect to the doctrine of the potencies. As Berger and Whistler demonstrate, the 1801 controversy has significant implications for understanding the trajectory of German Idealism and its debates on methodology, (...)
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  3. The Mediation of the Copula as a Fundamental Structure in Schelling's Philosophy.Mark J. Thomas - 2014 - Schelling-Studien 2:21-40.
    In the Freedom Essay Schelling provides four different accounts of the copula, two of which are largely implicit. In this paper, I focus on the first of these accounts, which I call the "mediated account." I argue that this explanation of the copula articulates a fundamental ontological structure in Schelling's philosophy. In the first half of the paper, I analyze the structural features of the account, drawing on Schelling's more extensive treatment in the Ages of the World. In the second (...)
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  4.  9
    Freedom and Self-Grounding: A Fundamental Difference between Schelling and Schopenhauer.Mark J. Thomas - 2022 - In Henning Tegtmeyer & Dennis Vanden Auweele (eds.), Freedom and Creation in Schelling. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog. pp. 289-311.
    At first glance, Schopenhauer’s account of human freedom looks strikingly similar to Schelling’s account of formal freedom in the Freiheitsschrift. Despite the clear similarities, I argue that there is a decisive difference between the two accounts—a difference that has to do with the ultimate grounding of freedom. For Schelling, the intelligible deed is a radical self-grounding of the eternal essence of the human being. For Schopenhauer, the eternal essence of the human being is groundless. Moreover, I argue that this difference (...)
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  5.  68
    Schelling, Heidegger, and the Ambivalence of Will.Mark J. Thomas - 2021 - Research in Phenomenology 51 (2):313-323.
    Review article on Philipp Höfele's book "Wollen und Lassen: Zur Ausdifferenzierung, Kritik und Rezeption des Willensparadigmas in der Philosophie Schellings" (Freiburg: Alber, 2019). The book demonstrates why Schelling is not an uncritical predecessor of Nietzsche and the will to power, as Heidegger alleges. Instead, Schelling displays an ambivalent attitude toward willing—affirming it in some forms, critiquing or rejecting it in others. Above all, Schelling’s thought on the will has many layers of complexity: it includes not only a variety of forms (...)
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  6.  9
    Interpreting Schelling: Critical Essays, edited by Lara Ostaric. [REVIEW]Mark J. Thomas - 2017 - Schelling-Studien 5:245-249.
    This collection is the first volume published by Cambridge University Press devoted exclusively to Schelling scholarship. It contains eleven essays on diverse topics in Schelling’s philosophy, covering the entirety of his philosophical development, but mostly focusing on writings up to 1815. A number of the contributors are well-established scholars best known for their work on other thinkers in German Idealism. The volume thus offers readings of Schelling that are especially sensitive to his relationship to other figures in classical German philosophy. (...)
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  7.  9
    The Perfection of Freedom: Schiller, Schelling, and Hegel between the Ancients and the Moderns, by David C. Schindler. [REVIEW]Mark J. Thomas - 2013 - Schelling-Studien 1:225-228.
    This book aims to present a richer alternative to the popular conception of freedom as the power to choose by giving an account of freedom in Schiller, Schelling, and Hegel. Despite my points of criticism (especially with regard to moral responsibility and the freedom to do evil), the contributions of the book are significant. By posing and developing the question of the relationship between freedom and actuality, Schindler introduces a problem that any complete account of freedom must address. At the (...)
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  8.  71
    Gadamer and the Hermeneutics of Early Music Performance.Mark J. Thomas - 2018 - Research in Phenomenology 48 (3):365-384.
    The success of the early music movement has long raised questions about performing historical works: Should musicians perform on period instruments and try to reconstruct the original style? If a historically “authentic” performance is impossible or undesirable, what should be the goal of the early music movement? I turn to Gadamer to answer these questions by constructing the outlines of a hermeneutics of early music performance. In the first half of the paper, I examine Gadamer’s critique of historical reconstruction and (...)
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  9.  61
    The Playful and the Serious: A Reading of Xenophon’s Symposium.Mark J. Thomas - 2011 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (2):263-278.
    In this paper I investigate the relationship between the serious and the playful elements in Socrates’ character as these unfold within the context of Xenophon’s Symposium. For the Greeks, the concept of value is attached to the meaning of seriousness, and this accounts for the natural preference for the serious over the playful. Despite the potential rivalry of the playful and philosophy, Socrates mixes the playful with the serious in such a way as to conceal their boundary. This mixing serves (...)
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  10.  58
    Alexander Schnell’s Project for a Constructive Phenomenology.Mark J. Thomas - 2015 - Research in Phenomenology 45 (3):441-449.
    Review article on Alexander Schnell’s book “Hinaus: Entwürfe zu einer phänomenologischen Metaphysik und Anthropologie” (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2011). According to Schnell, an exclusively descriptive phenomenology is not enough; phenomenology must also be constructive. He thus outlines an ambitious project for constructive phenomenology that promises (1) to provide an ultimate justification for knowledge and (2) to ground a phenomenological metaphysics and anthropology, each of which is centered on the “image” (Bild). Insofar as Schnell fills in the details of this outline, (...)
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  11. Ethics and Technoculture.Mark J. Thomas - 1987 - Upa.
    To find more information about Rowman and Littlefield titles, please visit www.rowmanlittlefield.com.
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  12.  11
    Freedom and Ground: A Study of Schelling's Treatise on Freedom.Mark J. Thomas - forthcoming - Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press.
    This book is a new interpretation of Schelling's path-breaking 1809 treatise on freedom, the last major work published during his lifetime. The treatise is at the heart of the current Schelling renaissance—indeed, Heidegger calls it "one of the most profound works of German, thus of Western, philosophy." It is also one of the most demanding and complex texts in German Idealism. By tracing the problem of ground through Schelling's treatise, this book provides a unified reading of the text, while unlocking (...)
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  13.  48
    In Search of Ground: Schelling on God, Freedom, and the Existence of Evil.Mark J. Thomas - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:99-111.
    This paper is a reading of Schelling’s 1809 treatise Of Human Freedom in light of its relationship to the question why? and the principle of sufficient reason. This “principle of ground” defines the limits of rational inquiry and poses substantial difficulties for the three central themes of Schelling’s text: God, freedom, and the reality of evil. God and freedom go beyond the principle by requiring an absolute beginning—a ground that is not itself grounded. Evil defies rational explanation, deriving its existence (...)
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  14.  14
    Reason in Context.Mark J. Thomas - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:99-111.