By Professor Lara Ostaric
This publication is the 1st selection of essays on Schelling in English that systematically explores the old improvement of his philosophy. It addresses all 4 sessions of Schelling's concept: his Transcendental Philosophy and Philosophy of Nature, his approach of identification [Identitätsphilosophie], his approach of Freedom, and his optimistic Philosophy. The essays research the constellation of philosophical principles that prompted the formation of Schelling's notion, in addition to these later ones for which his philosophy laid the root. They for that reason relate Schelling's philosophy to a extensive variety of systematic matters which are of significance to us this day: metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, our glossy conceptions of person autonomy, philosophy of background, philosophy of faith, political philosophy, and theology. the result's a brand new interpretation of Schelling's position within the background of German Idealism as a creative and effective philosopher.
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What this outline makes clear is that in the Ich-Schrift Schelling is moving the project initiated in the Form-Schrift forward in several important respects, beyond simply adding detail to the overall project. First, in distinguishing between the unconditioned in knowledge and the unconditioned in being and then in arguing that the two must coincide, Schelling is adding complexity to the position expressed in the Form-Schrift, which did not invoke such a distinction and thus could not contain an argument establishing their coincidence.
Given such an interpretation, Schelling would not be able to draw on Kant’s position. However, as we have seen above, Kant does not hold that we cannot think the unconditioned, which makes it possible that he could in fact be an important inﬂuence for Schelling. 1 The early Schelling on the unconditioned 23 and that is required for the existence of all conditioned things (even if Kant qualiﬁes this commitment signiﬁcantly). Third, it is true that Schelling draws a distinction between the form and content of the ﬁrst principle and argues that both must be unconditioned in a way that one cannot ﬁnd in Kant (unless one identiﬁes the form and content with the logical and real uses of reason), but these diﬀerences reﬂect a deeper kind of Kantian inﬂuence, for what Schelling is doing is taking the kind of conditioning relation that Kant had emphasized and attempting to establish not only that the ﬁrst principle is unconditioned, but also that its essential components are unconditioned as a way of ensuring the unconditioned status of the principle that has such a form and content.
The important point is simply that one is in a position to infer the existence of the unconditioned. However, such “short arguments” to the unconditioned, as attractive as they may seem in principle, run the risk of overlooking important possibilities. 45 Perhaps there are several diﬀerent unconditioned causes of a given state of aﬀairs rather than a single cause. Or, more interestingly, if one distinguishes between diﬀerent kinds of real conditioning relations, it is possible that an object that currently exists in the world is conditioned causally by an unconditioned being that exists distinct from it while also being conditioned compositionally by the parts that compose it.