The recent publication of Heidegger’s 1936 lectures on Schelling’s essay on human freedom reveals yet another point of transition along the way from Being and Time to the later works on language and poetry. It brings to light an influence on Heidegger almost as weighty as his reading of Hölderlin and Nietzsche in that same decade, an influence hitherto only hinted at in published works. It now appears that Heidegger’s essays on identity, on grounding, on being, all bear the imprint (...) of a dialogue with Schelling, that he discovered in the latter thinker a valuable prototype of his notion of being. If the reader is not aware of the direction of Heidegger’s own thought, the 1936 lectures on their own reveal little of the dialogue. Schelling’s Investigations is a difficult and obscure work, and Heidegger confines himself to close textual work, with care and insight bringing even the most obscure passages out of allegory into lucid philosophical statement. The lectures are a triumph of pedagogy, the most careful attempt to date to read Schelling as an ontological thinker. Yet their smooth surface, scholarly poise, and objectivity leave hidden a question of real interest: Why should Schelling, commonly thought a weak link to Hegel or the first symptom of “existentialist” anti-Hegelian reaction, be of interest to Heidegger the philosopher? And why, in particular, should this most exotic of Schelling’s works, touched by the influence of theosophists like Boehme, be accepted by Heidegger as one of the crucial moments of the West’s historical thinking through of being? (shrink)
The famed author of Systematic Theology, the vast synthesis of philosophy of culture and existentialist anthropology, of the history of religions and of the Christian Churches’ dogmatics, often acknowledged his debt to the philosophy of F. W. J. Schelling. With the translation of these his Schelling dissertations, his philosophy thesis at Breslau in 1910 and his theology thesis at Halle in 1912 respectively, the American scholar will be able to better assess Tillich’s rehabilitation of the post-Kantian idealists’ notion of ‘philosophical (...) religion.’ In these early works, one sees Tillich formulating notions that will remain central to his thought, viz. revelation as an historical process, mediated through mythology and the history of religions; being and revelation as a progression of stages or ‘potencies’; and the concept of human spirituality as a dialectic of freedom and being, in which freedom is meant to definitively win out over the unfreedom of nature and take command over being. (shrink)
Doctor Marti is to be commended for compressing such a rich variety of historical reminders and flashes of philosophical insight within the scope of his brief and suggestive paper. Among the important reminders culled from the tradition are, first of all, the pivotal importance of St. Augustine’s fusion of philosophical inwardness and Christian doctrine, then a correct and careful estimation of Kant’s location of the ethically active self within the noumenal order, and finally a lucid synthesis of Schelling’s insights into (...) the possibility of a philosophical religion. Marti understands that to repeat the tradition philosophically is to renew and restore it. But he also brings novel insights to bear upon the Kantian-Hegelian tradition, the most striking of which are the assertions that the work of ratiocination is guesswork, and that obligation becomes objective only in and with the act of taking responsibility. Each of these gems deserves to be cut, polished, and set within its own extended treatment. (shrink)
Schelling presents the 1809 freedom essay as the idealistic flowering of a vision of system he always held. He is not disingenuous but somewhat perplexing in claiming that the system always was complete in nuce, even though not expounded completely. Tilliette captured the ambiguity nicely in designating Schelling’s oeuvre «une philosophie en devenir». This mid-career essay must be read backwards to the earliest essays republished with it—especially to their views of willing, freedom, and moral responsibility—and simultaneously forward to the late (...) philosophy’s analysis of God’s freedom as freedom from being, even necessary being. I locate Freedom’s fulcrum in the novel anthropology or affective psychology that Schelling brings to the philosophy of will. Material freedom, capacity for good or evil, is assessed by norms of psychological maturation, whether conscious or unconscious forces determine behavior. If ‘moral necessity’ or normativity is the lens for assessing agency, formal self-determination moves from the domain of deliberation to a pre- or unconscious option for good or evil, and one’s character unfolds necessarily. (shrink)
The 1790’s were a time of upheaval, and every thinker in Europe was moved by the events of France, by the measure of fear or of promise they offered. In Germany the reaction to the political tumult was intense; the seeds of French radicalism found a ground nurtured by idealistic moral ideology, on the one hand, and actual political backwardness on the other. The cultural result of the completed Kantian philosophy was - as Schiller’s Letters on Aesthetic Education testify - (...) a preoccupation with the notion of freedom and its paradoxical invisibility. If one could not touch upon freedom to violate it, neither could one grasp it in order to nurture, establish or institutionalize it. This proved a quandary not for theoretical or philosophic reason alone. History had taken up the Kantian problematic, and as the progress of the Revolution through ‘the Terror’ indicated, made its solution most urgent. (shrink)
Kant, Fichte, and the Legacy of Transcendental Idealism contains ten new essays by leading and rising scholars from the United States, Europe, and Asia who explore the historical development and conceptual contours of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy.
Hegel's first major philosophical work is one of philosophy's true masterpieces. Despite its notorious difficulty, it is one of the most influential philosophical works ever written. The Phenomenology is not only the first presentation of Hegel's system; it also is an account of the historical development of Geist from Greek tragedy to the triumph of philosophy as science in Hegel's own time. This volume of essays offers an interpretation of the spirit of Hegel's Phenomenology as well as a concise reading (...) of the main text. It discusses also the historical and philosophical background of Hegel's main work and takes note of its reception. Since the essays were written by philosophers from different countries—both established Hegel scholars and promising young researchers—this volume presents the reader with an international overview of recent Hegel research. The main goal of the collection is to offer students a hermeneutical tool for the reading of Hegel's masterpiece while opening up new fields of research for those who know Hegel and German philosophy well. The contributors are Christoph Asmuth, Klaus Brinkmann, Paul Cobben, Alfred Denker, Richard Findler, Jeffery Kinlaw, Angelica Nuzzo, Tom Rockmore, Dale Snow, Mike Vater, Ludovicus De Vos, Robert Williams, and Holger Zaborowski. (shrink)
Volume 4 covers a turbulent period in the history of the philosophical scrutiny of religion. Major scholars - such as Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Newman, Caird and Royce - sought to construct systematic responses to the Enlightenment critiques of religion carried out by Spinoza and Hume. At the same time, new critiques of religion were launched by philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and by scholars engaged in textual criticism, such as Schleiermacher and Dilthey. Over the course of the century, the (...) work of Marx, Freud, Darwin and Durkheim brought the revolutionary perspectives of political economy, psychoanalysis, evolu-tionary theory and anthropology to bear on both religion and its study. (shrink)
This volume contains the papers delivered at the International Schelling Conference in Zürich, 1979, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Schelling’s death. The theme of the conference, as enunciated by the editor, was “taking Schelling seriously.” It is Hasler’s view that our age, which has learned by experience that both idealism and materialism are dead-end world-views, has much to learn from the philosopher who early in his career insisted that the human is just as much a natural being (...) as a spiritual one, and who late in his career attempted to make human freedom the determinative power in history, both on a human and on a cosmic scale. Accordingly, the conference was organized around two themes, nature and history, and was divided into three colloquia, the first considering Schelling’s early philosophy of nature, its relation to empirical science, and its philosophical significance. The second colloquium considered the large theme of Schelling’s view of history, and discovered three crucial transitions in his career-long meditation on that theme, a turn from the interpretation of freedom as human reason to a scheme wherein freedom pertains to divine history, the territory of mythology and revelation, a turn from an idealistic approach to history towards a materialistic one, and a general transition from absolute philosophy to a philosophy of finitude. A third colloquium, devoted to Schelling’s political philosophy, confined itself to the period of his collaboration with Hegel in Jena. While Hasler acknowledges the superiority of Hegel’s political philosophy, especially in his concrete grasp of economics, jurisprudence and politics, he notes that both philosophers entered upon the path of philosophy through their respective attempts to criticize religion as an ideological power. I will mention here only those articles which state new views in Schelling scholarship or which would be particularly of interest to students of Hegel. (shrink)
Russon suggests a pedagogy of cross-cultural awareness that can be derived from taking chapters of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as a pattern for solving contemporary problems involving racial, ethnic, cultural and religious conflict.
Schelling used the word ›construction‹ to indicate an account that located a phenomenon within the whole, and thus explained it from the whole. This paper considers the place of nature within Fichte’s original system - as expounded in the 1794 Foundations of the Whole Theory of Science and the 1795 Outline of the Distinctive Character of the Theory of Science - and raises the question of the explanatory function of nature within transcendental idealism. Nature is deduced, or ›constructed‹ in Schelling’s (...) term, in section four of the Foundations, the theoretical part of the Theory of Science. That deduction furnishes us the concept of nature as necessary and independent of us, but shows how it is permeated by lawfulness, which is the work of mind. Nature is the object correlated with intelligence, the I as dependent on the not-I. (shrink)
This paper explores Paul Tillich’s use of the Friedrich Schelling’s philosophy in his explorations of the relevance of historical forms of Christian belief to contemporary culture, where human experience is marked by anxiety and guilt, and where the search for ultimate meanings seems to dead-end in meaninglessness. For Tillich as for Schelling, religion points to metaphysics. The only literal or nonsymbolic truth about God is that God is the affirmation of being over against the possibility of nonbeing, a divine Yes (...) that is an overcoming of a prior No or self-inclusion. The ambiguity of existence as current human beings experience it is itself religious experience. (shrink)
The tendency in recent Schelling studies has been toward massive, all-encompassing interpretations, e.g. Harold Holz’ Spekulation und Faktizität, J.-P. Marquet’s Liberté et existence, and M. Veto’s Le Fondement selon Schelling. Werner Marx, in the three essays collected here, chooses to focus on two important turning points in Schelling’s speculative career - the System of Transcendental Idealism of 1800 and the 1809 Essay on Human Freedom. The narrow focus is motivated not by historical interest alone, but by Marx’s assessment of the (...) situation of philosophy today. Says Marx. (shrink)
This paper explores the question of the unity of Transcendental Idealism at the end of Eighteenth Century German philosophy, given that it circulated in different versions, Kant’s Critique [of humans’ rational powers] and Fichte’ System of Science [Wissenschaftslehre]. Both thinkers take the transcendental turn. They base conceptual investigations not on facts or empirical evidence, but on the possibility of a situation; they are idealists since they look inward to the spontaneity of the agent/knower for explanation, not the environment, stimulus, or (...) sensory given. Reason can fathom only what it has constructed. (shrink)