Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

In writing this book, I hope to contribute to the growing effort to decipher one of the most complex and enigmatic thinkers of German Idealism, F. W. J. Schelling. Like the wines of a challenging domain in Bordeaux, the life and ideas of this philosopher have been often overlooked as we reach for the now widely available and thus familiar vintages of a Kant, Fichte, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

This book would never have appeared if it were not for the support and guidance of Manfred Frank. He has time and again demonstrated an uncompromising commitment to the principles of friendship and the discipline of philosophy. His learning inspires both respect and a certain wistfulness, in that our current culture no longer values the symphonic ...

Notes on Sources and Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xviii

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1: Life as the Schema of Freedom: Schelling’s Organic Form of Philosophy

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pp. 1-38

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the German philosopher F. W. J. Schelling. One major reason for this renewed attention lies in the symphonic power of this thinker’s work, the expanse and complexity of which provides a robust alternative to the anemic theorizing one encounters in contemporary academic philosophy. Too ...

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2: Beginnings: Theosophy and Nature Divine

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pp. 39-68

We begin at ground zero. To engage in an immanent reconstruction of the inner dynamic of Schelling’s philosophy we must first attempt to bring to light the background from whence his ideas emerged. This exercise will prove all the more worthwhile since in this chapter we survey a cast of figures whose passions and beliefs do much to solve ...

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3: The Question of Systematic Unity

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pp. 69-102

The problematic quest for a common ground to Kant’s system runs parallel to all three critiques. Within the framework of the first and second Critiques, it appeared as if the absolute causality of freedom would provide the necessary capstone required to transform his “aggregate” of faculties and elements into a...

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4: The Timaeus Commentary

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pp. 103-136

The subject matter we now turn to is contained within two notebooks Schelling compiled during his first two years as a student at the T

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5: On the Possibility of a Form of All Philosophy: The Form Essay

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pp. 137-176

Schelling’s first philosophical publication, On the Possibility of a Form of Philosophy in General, is traditionally read as the youthful work of a follower of Fichte.2 At first glance, such a reading appears to be justified. He does make ample use of some of Fichte’s central ideas, most notably the absolute positing...

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6: Freedom and the Construction of Philosophy

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pp. 177-222

We have argued that the Form Essay presents Schelling’s synthesis of Plato’s triad of divine causes and Kant’s dynamic categories, articulated through Fichte’s formula ‘I=I’, understood as a statement of disjunctive identity. The goal of this strategy is to advance an organic form of unity that will overcome the debilitating dualities established by the regressive methodologies of reflective...

Appendix

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pp. 223-224

Notes

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pp. 225-276

Index

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pp. 277-282