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Friedrich Schelling

German philosopher (idealism)
How both the objective world accommodates to presentations in us, and presentations in us to the objective world, is unintelligible unless between the two worlds, the ideal and the real, there exists a pre-determined harmony.

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (January 27, 1775August 20, 1854), later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor prior to 1800, and Hegel, his former university roommate and erstwhile friend.



System of Transcendental Philosophy (1800)Edit

System des transcendentalen Idealismus (1800).

  • If there is to be any philosophy at all, this contradiction must be resolved – and the solution of this problem, or answer to the question: how can we think both of Presentations as conforming to objects, and objects as conforming to presentations? is, not the first, but the highest task of transcendental philosophy.
  • It is easy to see that this problem can be solved neither in theoretical nor in practical philosophy, but only in a higher discipline, which is the link that combines them, and neither theoretical nor practical, but both at once.
  • Wie zugleich die objektive Welt nach Vorstellungen in uns, und Vorstellungen in uns nach der objektiven Welt sich bequemen, ist nicht zu begreifen, wenn nicht zwischen den beiden Welten, der ideellen und der reellen, eine vorherbestimmte Harmonie existiert. Diese vorherbestimmte Harmonie aber ist selbst nicht denkbar, wenn nicht die Tätigkeit, durch welche die objektive Welt produziert ist, ursprünglich identisch ist mit der, welche im Wollen sich äußert, und umgekehrt.
    • How both the objective world accommodates to presentations in us, and presentations in us to the objective world, is unintelligible unless between the two worlds, the ideal and the real, there exists a pre-determined harmony. But this latter is itself unthinkable unless the activity, whereby the objective world, is produced, is at bottom identical with that which expresses itself in volition, and vice versa.

On University Studies (1803)Edit

On University Studies, translated by E. S. Morgan, edited by Norbert Guterman, 1966 (Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums, "Lectures on the Method of Academic Study," 1803 (delivered summer 1802)).
  • Alle Regeln, die man dem Studieren vorschreiben könnte, fassen sich in der einen zusammen: Lerne nur, um selbst zu schaffen.
    • All rules for study are summed up in this one: learn only in order to create.
    • On University Studies (1803), Third Lecture. Cited by Patrick Dunleavy, Authoring a PhD (Basingstoke: Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. vi.
  • Die Scheu vor der Spekulation, das angebliche Forteilen vom bloß Theoretischen zum Praktischen, bewirkt im Handeln notwendig die gleiche Flachheit wie im Wissen. Das Studium einer streng theoretischen Philosophie macht uns am unmittelbarsten mit Ideen vertraut, und nur Ideen geben dem Handeln Nachdruck und sittliche Bedeutung.
    • The fear of speculation, the ostensible rush from the theoretical to the practical, brings about the same shallowness in action that it does in knowledge. It is by studying a strictly theoretical philosophy that we become most acquainted with Ideas, and only Ideas provide action with vigour and ethical meaning.
    • Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums (Seventh Lecture), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schellings sämmtliche Werke, V, 1859, p. 277.

Quotes about SchellingEdit

  • In one of his earlier writings, the System of Transcendental Idealism; which we shall consider first of all, Schelling represented transcendental philosophy and natural philosophy as the two sides of scientific knowledge. Respecting the nature of the two, he expressly declared himself in this work, where he once more adopts a Fichtian starting-point: “All knowledge rests on the harmony of an objective with a subjective” In the common sense of the words this would be allowed; absolute unity, where the Notion and the reality are undistinguished in the perfected Idea, is the Absolute alone, or God; all else contains an element of discord between the objective and subjective. “We may give the name of nature to the entire objective content of our knowledge the entire subjective content, on the other hand, is called the ego or intelligence.” They are in themselves identical and presupposed as identical. The relation of nature to intelligence is given by Schelling thus: “Now if all knowledge has two poles which mutually presuppose and demand one another, there must be two fundamental sciences, and it must be impossible to start from the one pole without being driven to the other”. Thus nature is impelled to spirit, and spirit to nature; either may be given the first place, and both must come to pass. “If the objective is made the chief” we have the natural sciences as result, and; “the necessary tendency” the end, of all natural science thus is to pass from nature to intelligence. This is the meaning of the effort to connect natural phenomena with theory. The highest perfection of natural science would be the perfect spiritualization of all natural laws into laws of intuitive perception and thought."
    • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) Lectures on the Philosophy of History Vol 3 1837 translated by ES Haldane and Francis H. Simson) first translated 1896 p. 516-517

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