The origins of Schelling’s Naturphilosophie and its relation to his transcendental philosophy have for a long time intrigued historians of philosophy. For one, Schelling’s philosophy of nature seems wholly at odds with his earlier transcendental philosophy. Furthermore, the claims that Schelling makes in the Naturphilosophie are not only complex but also, from the perspective of transcendental philosophy, appear to be highly problematic. In attempting to understand the relation between Schelling’s philosophy of nature and his earlier writings, historians of philosophy have thus emphasized a break in his development. For this reason, Schelling’s writings before 1797 are considered to bear little or no relation to his writings on Naturphilosophie. The goal of this paper is to revise the common view of Schelling’s development, by showing that his first systematic works offer significant insights into the way in which he comes to understand the meaning and goal of his philosophy of nature. In particular, I show that Schelling’s appropriation and critique of Kant’s table of categories provides an essential step toward the development of his Naturphilosophie.


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pp. 113-134
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