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Schelling

Schelling

[shel-ing]
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von, 1775-1854, German philosopher. After theological study at Tübingen and two years of tutoring at Leipzig, he became in 1798 a professor at Jena, where he helped found the romantic movement in philosophy. There he was closely associated with August and Friedrich von Schlegel and J. G. Fichte, from whom he drew apart when he left Jena for a professorship at Würzburg in 1803. He later taught at the Univ. of Berlin. Schelling's early essays were a development of the Fichtean science of knowledge, though in Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature (1797, tr. 1988) he had already differed somewhat in holding that nature cannot be subordinated to mental life. The difference between the forces of nature and mind must be only a matter of degree or level, and the problem of knowledge is absorbed in the ultimate unity of mind and matter in the Absolute. In his later period, Schelling maintained that history is a series of stages progressing toward harmony from a previous fall and that differences are aspects of this development. He argued that God also partakes of this process of development; that deity, to have personality, must hold within itself the limiting factors that define personality. Schelling's essay Of Human Freedom (1809, tr. 1936) anticipated existentialist themes, including that of individual freedom seen as the capacity to determine one's own essence. Among Schelling's other works is Die Weltalter (1854; tr. by Frederick Bolman, The Ages of the World, 1942).

See E. D. Hirsch, Wordsworth and Schelling (1971); A. White, Schelling: An Introduction to the System of Freedom (1983); W. Marx, The Philosophy of F. W. J. Schelling (1984).

(born Jan. 27, 1775, Leonberg, Württemberg—died Aug. 20, 1854, Bad Ragaz, Switz.) German philosopher and educator. Inspired by Immanuel Kant, in his System of Transcendental Idealism (1800) he attempted to unite his concept of nature with the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He held that art mediates between the natural and physical spheres when the natural (or unconscious) and spiritual (or conscious) productions are united in artistic creation. His view that the Absolute expresses itself in all beings as the unity of the subjective and the objective was criticized by G.W.F. Hegel. In Of Human Freedom (1809), he declared that mankind's freedom is real only if it is freedom for both good and evil, a position that forms the basis of his later philosophy. A major figure of post-Kantian idealism, Schelling had an important influence on Romanticism. Seealso Immanuel Kant; Kantianism.

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(born Jan. 27, 1775, Leonberg, Württemberg—died Aug. 20, 1854, Bad Ragaz, Switz.) German philosopher and educator. Inspired by Immanuel Kant, in his System of Transcendental Idealism (1800) he attempted to unite his concept of nature with the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He held that art mediates between the natural and physical spheres when the natural (or unconscious) and spiritual (or conscious) productions are united in artistic creation. His view that the Absolute expresses itself in all beings as the unity of the subjective and the objective was criticized by G.W.F. Hegel. In Of Human Freedom (1809), he declared that mankind's freedom is real only if it is freedom for both good and evil, a position that forms the basis of his later philosophy. A major figure of post-Kantian idealism, Schelling had an important influence on Romanticism. Seealso Immanuel Kant; Kantianism.

Learn more about Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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