[Lecture Three]
Friedrich Joseph Schelling (Jan. 27, 1775­Aug. 20, 1854)


On Jan. 27, 1775, Schelling was born in Leonberg In Baden-Würtenberg, the son of a minster of a Lutheran church there. Schelling, like Fichte, was known as a wunderkind since an early age. Having completed his Abitur (High School Diploma), Schelling was accepted to the Theological Seminary (Tübinger Stift) adjunct to the University of Tübingen in 1790 (when he was 15!), studying there until 1795. During this period, Schelling got acquainted with Hegel and Hölderlin (a great Classic poet) as his close friends, both of whom were older than he by five years. Schelling studied Philosophy, Theology and Classic Philology and obtained his Ph.D. in 1792.
In 1795-1798, Schelling further studied mathematics and natural sciences at Leipzig University while making his living as a tutor for a wealthy family's offspring. In the meantime, Schelling went to Jena and heard Fichte's lectures, but it is said that he was not too impressed by Fichte's philosophy at that time. In 1796-97 Schelling became a bureaucrat to two Barons of Eidesel.
Schelling wrote and published his first opus, Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur (1797)
With Goethe's strong recommendation, in 1798 (at the age of 23!) Schelling obtained an associate professorship at Jena University. Schelling taught together with Fichte at first (who later lost his position due to n atheism controversy) and was very popular, also together with Fichte, among the students. He taught there from 1978 to 1803, exercising great influence on many students.
In Jena, Schelling became a close friend of Fichte, Schiller, Goethe, August Wilhelm Schlegel (a Romantic poet who translated Shakespeare's plays into German; his brother was a scholar of Indian Studies) and his spouse, Karoline, who acted as a brilliant and intellectual hostess of their salon of Romanticism. Karoline Schlegel was not only a beautiful and intellectual woman but was always the center among the Jena intellectual circles. Upon encountering Karoline, Schelling immediately fell in love with her, although (or because?) Karoline was 12 years older than he. Karoline was also deeply attracted to Schelling as a person and his highly gifted intellectual brilliance. Soon she divorced August Wilhelm Schlegel and married Friedrich Schelling in 1803.
Because of this incident (it was, of course, considered a great scandal then), Schelling and Karoline were not able to stay in Jena and moved to Würzburg. The books Schelling wrote during his Jena period are:

System des transzendentalen Idealismus
Bruno, Ein Gespräch
[Bruno, A Dialogue> (1802)
Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums
(1803, his lecture notes during 1802)
In 1801, Hegel came to Jena, met Schelling again and was deeply influenced by his brilliant, creative philosophical inspirations. Together with Hegel, Schelling edited and published a few articles in the following Philosophical Journal whose title was:
Kritische Journal der Philosophie
Although all the articles were published anonymously, according to present philological scholarship, the majority of the articles in them are considered to have been written by Hegel, representing Schelling's philosophy.
At Würzburg, Schelling taught for three years (1803-06).

When Schelling was 32 years old (1806), he moved to Munich to become a member of Die Akademie der Wissenschaft (The Academy of Science) and lived there for 14 years.Three years after Friedrich and Karoline moved to Munich, sadly, Karoline died (1809). In that year, Schelling published:

Philosophische Untersuchungen über das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit.
In 1812 Schelling re-married Pauline Gotter and in 1815 he published:
Über die Gottheiten von Samothrake (eine Beilage zu den "Weltaltern")
(1815)--This was an allegorical interpretation of Gods enshrined in Samothrake,i.e., Axieros (=desire), Axiokersa (=the natural world), Axiokeros (=the spiritual world), Kasmilos (=the mediator).
Then Schelling moved to Erlangen University, where he taught from 1820-27. In 1827 a new university was founded in München and he was invited there, teaching from 1827-41.
When Schelling was 66 years old (in 1841), he was invited to Berline as a member of the Academy of Sciences in Prussia. Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the then Prussian ruler, had a strong affinity with Romanticism and wanted to counterbalance Prussia's academic world against the Hegelianism which was still dominant there at that time (after Hegel's death in 1831).
At the University, Schelling gave a series of lectures called Mythology and Revelation in 1843. At some point during this period, Schelling's lecture notes were published without his permission and against his will. So Schelling was upset and quit lecturing at the University.
On Aug. 20, 1854, Schelling died at the age of 79 in Ragarz, Switzerland.


1) Theological Papers
De prima malorum humanorum origine (1792)
Über Mythen (1793)

2) On Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre
Wissenschaftslehre (1793)
Über die Möglichkeit einer Form der Philosophie (1794)
Vom Ich als Prinzip der Philosophie (1795)
Briefe über Dogmatismus and Kritizismus (1797)

3) Philosophy of Nature
Idee zu einer Philosophie der Natur (1797)
Von der Weltseele (1798)
Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie (1799)
Allgemeine Deduktion des dynamischen Prozesses oder der Kategorien der Physik, die Zeitschrift für Spekulative Physik (1880)

4) Transcendental Philosophy
System des transzendentalen Idealismus (1800)
Philosophie der Kunst, Jenaer und Würzburger Vorlesungen (1802-1805)

5) Philosophy of Identity
Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophie, Die Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik (1802)
Fernere Darstellungen aus dem System der Philosophie, Die neue Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik (1802)
Bruno oder über das göttliche und natürliche Prinzip der Dinge (1803)
Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums (1803)
Aphorismen zur Einleitung in die Naturphilosophie, Jahrbuch für Medizin (1806)
Aphorismen Über die Naturphilosophie, Jahrbuch für Medizin (1806)
Zusätze zur zweiten Auflage der "Ideen" (18032)
Darstellung des wahren Verhältnisses der Naturphilosophie zur verbesserten Fichteschen Lehre (1806)

6) The Mystical Theory of Freedom
Philosophie und Religion (1804)
Philosophische Untersuchungen über das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit (1809)
Denkmal der Schrift von den göttlichen Dingen des Herrn Jacobi (1812)
Antwort an Eschenmayer (1813)

7) Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation
Über die Gottheiten von Samothrake (eine Beilage zur den "Weltaltern") (1815)
Vorrede zu Huber Beckers Übersetzung einer Schrift Victor Cusins (1834)
Erste Vorlesung in Berlin (1841)
Vorrede zu Steffens' nachgelassenen Schriften (1846)
Frauenstädt, Schellings Vorlesungen in Berlin (1842)
Pauls, Die endlich offenbar gewordene positive Philosophie der Offenbarung (1843)
Der Weltalter (Nachlaß)
Philosophie der Mythologie (Nachlaß)
Philosophie der Offenbarung (Nachlaß)

I. Philosophy of Nature and Transcendental Philosophy

A. Philosophy of Nature

Idee zu einer Philosophie der Natur (1797)
Von der Weltseele (1798)
Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie (1799)


The basic characteristics of Friedrich Schelling's philosophy:
1) Schelling's philosophy was characterized as Romantic, aesthetic, creatively imaginative, non rational, intuitive.
Foremost, Schelling's philosophy is a most vivid representative and advocate of the philosophy of Romanticism.
Secondly, as a consequence, his philosophy was not based upon reason as the principle of reality nor that of its philosophical understanding (as in the case of Kant), but Schelling's philosophy was deeply shaped by the power of phantasy or creative Imagination (a clear deviation from traditional European Reason).
Although Fichte considered that reason was still the principle of "reality," reason was seen from the ethical, practical point of view (as Will) rather than the epistemological one. As a result, Fichte made an unconscious move of taking "Will" and it activities as the principle of reality, thus the emphasis was shifted from the coginitive reason to will or volition in the sense of practical reason. This departure from cognitive reason to something else (volition in the case of Fichte, creative intuition for Schellilng and Creative Absolute Spirit with Hegel) symbolizes the new departures from the tradition of Reason in the history of Western philosophy.
Instead of Fichte's and Hegel's logical rigor, however, Schelling possessed an innovative and vivid power of intuition by which he was able to grasp reality with profound empathy. Behind this, there is of course Schelling's conviction that reality cannot be comprehended by reason (through the rational cognitive method of "reflection," as the philosophy of Enlightenment had thought), but he demonstrated that reality including the human-being is far more elusive and dynamic and could only be properly grasped by creative imagination. In other words, Schelling was the first 19th century Western philosopher who was able to get out of the frame of self and consciousness ( and of course Reason) and discover an immediate affinity and identity with nature itself in his philosophical imagination.
Schelling attempted to see the unity of the universe, the affinity and the relations between nature and spirit instead of delving into the analysis of reason, rational knoweldge and mechanical causes.
2) From time to time Schelling's philosophy changed a great deal. Easily accepting influences from without, Schelling often re-molded his philosophy almost completely.
During his Tübingen period, Schelling was well acquainted with the philosophies of Leibniz (positively influenced), Kant, and Fichte (Schelling was critical of their philosophies as the philosophies of reason and reflection) and then later was influenced by those of Herder, Spinoza and Giordano Bruno. At his later stage, Schelling was influenced by Neo-Platonism, Jacob Böhme, Aristotle and such philosophers of Gnosis as Basilides and Valentinus.

a) Organic View of Nature
b) Aesthetic Idealism, Beauty is the centre of his philosophical inquiry
c) Philosophy of Identity (Everything is ssen by means of unity)
d) Liberal Mysticism (His philosophy depends upon creative intuiton)

e) Positive Philosophy (This is often related to Existential Philosophy of the 20th century)

Schelling agreed with Fichte in that philosophy is the science (=philosophy) of the conditions of possibility of consciousness, that is, the transcendental philosophy in Kant's sense and the science of knowledge in Fichte's sense. Such a philosophy should be able to answer the question of what must "happen" in order for knowledge to arise. In other words, such conditions for the possibility of knowledge are, according to Schelling, the necessary activities or products of the autonomous, primary Ground, which is in itself not yet the conscious Self, but is becoming such a one.
Also, Nature or the material world is, according to Schelling, a product of such a Self or, to be more exact, one of the stages of development by this autonomous, primary Ground or principle (=the Self). That Nature exists because Self prelimarily was nature and so to speak arises from one stage (Nature) to the other (Self). In this respect, Schelling accepted Fichte's thought: The self and its activities (the direction is opposite to that of the activities of Fichte's Self) are the primordial for reality.
On the other hand, according to Schelling, although Fichte recognized the purpose of Nature which assists intellect to obtain its being, he did not recognize the value of nature itself. In other words, Fichte, deprived of Nature's independence, saw only the import of subjectivity, which Schelling called Kant's and Fichte's philosophy the Philosophy of Reflection (consciousness has priority over Nature and philosophical inquiry is to be pursued by "reflection."): In Fichte's philosophy, every life, every productive power in Nature is treated as a dead implement, the passive, simply posited non-I. Fichte treated Nature as the mere means for the activities of practical (ethical) Self.
Schelling disagreed with Fichte on that point. According to Schelling, Nature resembles the lowest step of a "rudder" or the primary step from which Self or Spirit ascends to Itself. Spirit (which Schelling did not mean Reason as Kant and Fichte did, but he understood it in a much wider and primordial sense of the active Ground as Nature) develops itself from nature. Nature is not simple objectivity, but already contains something spiritual. Following Leibniz, Schelling considered that Nature, in other words, a sleeping, unconscious, hardened Self, Spirit or Intellect. Even in nature Schelling tried to see the power of Self-Position or of Subjective Being.
Fichte established three principles:
1) infinite, primitive, pure activities of I
2) Nature or objectivity established as non-I
3) individual Self or Subjectivity as an equally divisible I as Nature.

Schelling also recognized these three principles.
In Schelling's case, however, the subject of infinite, primitive activities is not called Pure Self. Instead, it is called Nature. i) Nature, according to Schelling, is not dead, but is fundamentally primordial and active in itself.
This Nature is thus:

I) productive Nature, i.e., natura naturans. This is Primary Nature.
ii) Secondary Nature is natura naturata, creatures.
iii) By examining the relationship of both, Schelling attempted to "deduce" the Self as the Third Nature.
In other words, we may say that Schelling attempted to show that subjectivity arises from objectivity, that the representation or the idea arises from being, and that Self arises from Nature, although the latter is by no means inorganic, but active, alive and organic in itself (as natura naturans=productive nature).
Schelling viewed objective nature (=produced nature, i.e., creatures) as the product of productive Ground (=natura naturans, creator). The highest among the products as objective nature is the human being, in which the conscious spirit arises and in the conscious spirit, nature (natura naturans) evidences itself.
Here we must clearly note that in Schelling's philosophy, the most primitively fundamental is not merely being, but also activity.
While in Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre (the science of knowledge) such a principle as the most primitive Ground was considered an ethical power, the pure activities of Self in Schelling's philosophy of Nature were viewed as a more comprehensive, primordial physical power.
Despite this difference, both Fichte and Schelling sought the primacy of philosophy not in knowledge, but in something else, and its principle in something other than cognitive Reason. As mentioned above, Fichte saw it in will or pure activity of self (although, under Kant's influence, Fichte's will was still viewed as European Reason), while Schelling saw it in the creative power and activity of reality (which he called Nature).
The basic characteristics of 19th century philosophy may be briefly summarized:

This attempt of 19th century European philosophy to view the primacy in cognition or cognitive reason (which had been the European philosophical tradition from Descartes on, or even from Parmenides to Kant, as the means of knowing nature) was abandoned at the turn of the 19th Century in Western philosophy. Instead, the principle of philosophy both in reality and in faculty is sought in other than cognition, i.e., in will or volition (Fichte and Schopenhauer, although they conceived it differently), in creative imagination (Schelling), in power (Schelling and Nietzsche) and in Spirit in the sense of the comprehensive, synthesizilng Spirit (which is subjective, objective and absolute) in its development as well as in faith (Kierkegaard). (E.Shimomissé)

Another important difference between Fichte and Schelling consists in the fact that, according to Fichte, Nature or objectivity as the second moment was ultimately posited as the non-I or non-spiritual by the I, while in Schelling's philosophy of nature, Nature (natura naturata) is viewed as one stage of the developing process in which Spirit evolves itself to Itself.
Nature attempts to become Intellect by reflecting upon itself, namely this attempt did not succeed at the stage of non-conscious nature, but at the stage of human being. Nature is the life of Spirit's embryo, thus Schelling contends that Nature and Spirit are essentially one and the same.

What is posited outside of consciousness is essentially identical with what is posited within consciousness.

Nature is not opposite to Spirit, but it is one of the earlier stages of Spirit itself. It was Herder's thought that recognizes the parallel between the series of idea development and the series of that of reality. Picking up this thought of Herder, Schelling introduced it into transcendental philosophy and established his philosophy of Nature. While the Kantian-Fichtean moralism viewed nature and spirit as its opposition, such an opposition was "limited" by Herder's naturalism for developing Schelling philosophy of Nature.
Following Leibniz, Schelling conceived that Nature was a priori, and everything in Nature is "pre-determined" (not by efficient causality, but teleologically) by the totality of Nature, i.e., the notion of Nature as such. Therefore, various forms of Nature may be "deduced" from the notion of Nature itself. The philosopher "recreates" Nature and constitutes it.
Speculative physics regards Nature as subjectivity, becoming and productive power, while the natural sciences view Nature as objectivity, being and the products.
Thus speculative physics does not employ reflection and analysis, but intuition. The productive Nature like the Fichtean absolute I, possesses two opposite activities, repulsion and attraction and provides the basis for Nature's polarity. While the absolute productive power (die absolute produktive Kraft) goes to the infinite production: It does not attain its goal because the product cannot arise without opposition (Hemmung). In order for some object of cognition to arise, an opposition or hindrance (eine Hemmung) to the absolute, productive power must be provided at a certain place. Therefore, all the products of Nature are products of the two opposing powers, the positive, advancing, evolving and universalizing power on the one hand and the negative, limiting, delaying and individualizing power on the other. Nature's will to produce is inexhaustible and is successively productive. The characters of various things are the places where universal Nature was hindered (gehemmt).Total Nature is a process of development with a structure (einer Zusammenhang). Everywhere in the process are governed by the dualistic principles of the promoting power and of the delaying power, both of which are rooted in the basis of Nature. Besides these two powers, there must be a third power, which mediates them as the copula. From this, there are three divisions in Schelling's philosophy of Nature. According to Schelling, the magnet is a primordial model for Nature, because the magnet has the unification of the opposing magnetic powers.
Schelling divided Nature into three "stages," namely organic nature, inorganic nature and universal Nature. This universal Nature underlies the other two and may be called the World Soul (die Weltseele), as it defines the organic and inorganic nature and establishes thereby a pre established harmony between them.
Therefore, universal Nature may be viewed as and is often called "the organizing Nature." In Schelling's philosophy of Nature, as in Leibniz' philosophy of nature, the concept of Life is dominant such that the organic is more primordial than the inorganic. The inorganic nature is to be explained by the organic nature. The organic nature becomes the inorganic nature by extinguishing its life, provided that Schelling did not recognize some magical power of life, but at the same time he opposed the mechanistic explanation of life by means of chemical reactions. The lifeless, mechanistic, chemical power is a mere negative condition for the power of life. As the positive condition for it, the life stimulus must be there as well. The Life activity consists in the "struggle" between the opposing activities. There must be something which stimulates such a struggle for the life process. While the chemical process is striving for equilibrium, life is constantly striving to hinder such an equilibrium. This stimulus or hinderance comes from the "organizing Nature." In principle, the organic nature or the principle of life primarily governs nature.
In the organizing Nature as the primary Ground, there are three primordial powers or potencies (Potenzen), by means of which Schelling attempted to explain all natural phenomena.

Heavy (Schwere)
"Weight" or "heavy" as gravitation does not signify a sensory quality, but this "weight" is the principle for the corporeality (Leiblichkeit) which is the synthesis of attraction and repulsion.
And this results in solid, gas and liquid as three different sets, namely it results in the principle of indefinite, qualitatively same matter with various differences in density.
Light (Licht)

This "Light" cannot be confused with actual light, rather this is the cause and principle of actual light. This is the principle of spirit.
Everything spiritual comes from Light. Light is the primary subjectivity in Nature. Light in the empirical world results in the dynamic processes, namely magnetism and electricity and chemism.
Life (Leben)
Life is the higher unity of "Weight" and "Light" is the connection between them. Life is the principle of the organic, the principle of corporeality (Heavy) which has spirit (Light).
In corporeality with spirit, there are three processes:
a) Reproduction (Plants): Nutrition, growth and propagation
b) Irritability (Animals) : Electricity
c) Sensibility (Humans) : Chemical reactions:
Male (Light)
Female (Heavy)

When Nature attains its purpose it becomes intelligence by sensibility being awakened. Differences among organisms are determined by the proportion of the three potencies.Thus we may differentiate plants, lower animals and higher animals, but all the species of organism are unified by a common life. Each level of organism is no other than the degree of hindrance to the primordial power. In short, Schelling's philosophy of Nature is very dynamic.

B. Transcendental Philosophy :Philosophy of Spirit (in opposition to Philosophy of Nature)

System des transzendentalen Idealism (1800)
Philosophie der Kunst (Vorlesungen zu Jena 1802-1803)

Philosophy of Spirit or Transcendental Philosophy
According to Schelling, philosophy of Nature attempts to teleologically comprehend the products of nature and to "deduce" them from the concept or task of Nature (note the elimination of mechanical causality as the explanatory principle from Schelling's philosophy). Schelling tried to understand teleologically the products of nature by means of the task of nature and its fulfillment, i.e., teleological causality. Instead of the mechanical causality of "How," the task or purpose ("For what") became the central operative concept of understanding Nature.
Schelling's philosophy of Spirit asked a similar question to that of Fichte's regarding spirit, regarding intellectual phenomena, moral phenomena and aesthetic phenomena. Schelling directed his interest to the significance of psychic phenomena and their teleological meaning, instead of searching for the mechanical nature and mechanical causal explanation of our spiritual life. He intended to pursue construction of the psychology of life, going beyond Fichte's philosophy and the history of consciousness. And yet, in many ways Schelling made Fichte's approaches his examples.
In this respect, too, 19th century philosophy was to retore the meaning and significance of teleological causality of Aristotle and tried to do away with mechanical causality as the principle of reality.
The major difference consists in the fact that in Schelling's philosophy of Spirit, the moral elements are taken over rather by the aesthetic elements.
In order to investigate the question of knowledge and truth, there are two distinct approaches. Since in general truth is conisdered coincidence between the idea and its object, or knowledge is viewed as the identity of the subjective element and the objective element, the one approach starts with nature or objectivity to understand how the intellect confirms the object. This is called Naturalism (which is sometimes called empiricism in epistemology or materialism in ontology).
The transcendental approach, on the contrary, considers subjectivity as the primary and investigates how the object coincides to the subject or is conformed to the subject. Thus, transcendental philosophy begins with subjectivity as the absolute and tries to deduce objectivity from subjectivity. This approach, considering subjectivity in its purity, denies the independence of the outer world or the world of nature (objectivity) in a certain sense.
By immediately ascertaining the fact "cogito, ergo sum" (that I think, therefore I am) as absolutely certain, transcendental philosophy then attempts to deduce the necessity of presupposing the existence of the outer world (objectivity). This approach is normally called Idealism.
According to Schelling, to accomplish this task it is necessary for the philosopher to have Intellectual Intuition (die Intellektuelle Anschauung). While Kant did not admit intellectual intuition to finite human-beings (cf. Critique of Judgment), Fichte was the first to admit the necessity of intellectual intuition.
Our normal consciousness, being immersed in its own products, cannot be conscious that our (transcendental) self (subjectivity) primordially posits objectivity. In order to recognize such primordial activities of self (subjectivity), Schelling considers that it is necessary to exercise Intellectual, vivid and live Intuition, while Fichte thought it could be accomplished by reflection on our subjectivity and its activities.
Transcendental Philosophy is, according to Schelling, divided into three portions, namely the theoretical portion (metaphysics and epistemology), the practical portion (ethics and politics) and the aesthetic portion (philosophy of arts).
Transcendental Philosophy

i) Theoretical portion‹metaphysics and epistemology
ii) Practical portion ‹ethics and politics
iii) Aesthetic portion ‹philosophy of arts

i) Theoretical Philosophy:
The philosophy in this domain (=epistemology) attempts to investigate and grasp objective reality by means of pure self consciousness. Within self consciousness, the ideal power is in opposition to the real power. The ideas of reality give rise to the fact that these two powers determine each other in gradation, i.e., step by step. This theoretical philosophy pursues the development of Spirit or Subjectivity. The development of Spirit reveals itself in the process in which Spirit, being first in the limitations and confinements at the beginning, gradually liberates itself as a freer concept and ultimately discovers itself in absolute freedom as the activity of Will. In this, theoretical intellect turns into practical intellect.
This process of Spirit's development may be divided into three epochs:

ii) Practical Philosophy
In Practical Philosophy, Will develops through three stages:

1) Drive (Trieb). The most primitive will or that of the lowest level, appears as drive. When will encounters objectivity and feels contradiction between the objectivity and the ideal, it is a Drive.

2) At the second stage, will splits itself into natural Drive and Moral Law.

3) At the final stage, Free Will (die Willkür) comes into being. Here is the stage where action according to Moral Law and action following natural Drive are possible. That some action ought to be done is limited by the consciousness that an other action can be done. Free Will is the freedom of choice between two opposing actions. It is the condition for the phenomenon of the Absolute Will that freedom appears as a form of Free Will (Die Willkür).

Schelling discussed in Practical Philosophy the Jurisprudence, the State and History. By the law, any action against the law is forced (by blind necessity) to act its opposite. The Law was considered by Schelling as the natural order. Thus, the State came into being by nature as the opposite drive to reckless human actions. The purpose of History is actualization of the mondial lawfulness. In History, individual action is subordinated to the unconscious goal determined by World Spirit. Each one of us is unconsciously participating in the theatre called World History.
Schelling divided History into three phases:
a) The first epoch is the period of fate (das Schicksal) or the tragic period. The divine power is felt as the force of fate.
b) The second epoch is the period of nature or the mechanical period. The divine power appears as the mechanical force.
c) The third epoch is the period of providence or the religious period. God reveals Himself as Providence.

While God is becoming in the first and second epochs, He is at the third epoch.

3) Aesthetic Philosophy
Schelling made use of Kant's philosophy of organic nature in his philosophy of nature such that the organism produces itself through mutual interaction between the whole and its parts so that the organism itself is viewed as self-purposive (the growth in an organism is understood as teleological).
In aesthetic philosophy, Schelling also employs Kant's Theory of Beauty. Art is the third of the higher order in such a way that, in art the opposition between Theoretical and Practical action is eliminated, i.e., that in art, the opposition between Subjectivity and Objectivity is sublimated, where knowledge and action, conscious action and unconscious action, freedom and necessity, are all harmonized. The ultimate problem of Transcendental Philosophy concerns genuine identity of the real and the ideal.
Since in the case of Beauty, the infinite is expressed in the finite, the Aesthetic creation reveals in sensory phenomena, the solution of the philosophical problem of the identity of the real and the ideal is evident in aesthetic creative activities and the products of their creative activities. In this sense, art is the genuine organon of philosophy and its "document." Art reveals the most sacred of reality to philosophy. Schelling contends that Poetry and Philosophy, therefore, resemble each other most. The artist's aesthetic intuition and the philosopher's intellectual intuition resemble each other most. In ancient myths, they were indeed one and the same. In the near future, such a period should come in which once again aesthetic intuition and philosophical intellectual intuition is unified. Schelling's philosophy is most unique in his treatment of Aesthetic Philosophy in his transcendental idealism.
Thus, while they call Fichte's transcendental idealism as ethical idealism, Schelling's transcendental idealism is characterized as aesthetic idealism, and Hegel's philosophy as logical idealism, although these characterizations are rather oversimplified.

II. Philosophy of Identity

Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophie (1801)
Bruno, ein Gespräch (1802)
Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums (1803)

While in his previous period, Schelling had contended that in principle, nature and spirit are one and the same, in the second period, this thesis was further radicalized into the principle purporting:

The Absolute which underlies nature and spirit is the unity of the ideal and the real.

In this period the Absolute is no longer used to explain the rest, but is elevated to the ultimate object of philosophical inquiry, and besides the Philosophy of Nature and the Philosophy of Spirit, the Philosophy of Identity was added as the third, and higher philosophical discipline. This provides the foundation for Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Spirit.
Imitating Spinoza's geometrical demonstration in Darstellung meines Systems der Philosophie, Schelling divided knowledge into two sorts, also following Spinoza: knowledge of reason and the confused knowledge of imagination. Corresponding to these two kinds of knowledge, Schelling divided two forms of being,

Infinite Being of the Absolute in unity
Finite beings which appear as the individual's multiplicity and generations.

The multitude of things which are developing in the phenomenal world exist separately due to our way of looking at things as distinguished, do not have actual reality, but are rejected as illusory by speculative thinking. As an inadequate idea, a thing appears as a particular, but the philosopher views it sub specie aeternitatis (=under the eternal viewpoint), sees it in itself, in its unity, in its identity and in ideality. To constitute a thing is to describe it as if it were to exist in God.
In Absolute (=God), however, everything is one and the same, i.e., identical. In the Absolute, therefore, everything is also eternal and infinite in itself. Hegel called Schelling's Absolute the dark night in which all the cattle were black. (cf. Hegel, Phänomenologie des Geistes, Vorrede, which will be discussed in more detail in Hegel's philosophy).
The Ground of the universe (=the Absolute) or the Principle of the World (der Weltgrund) appears as both nature and spirit, and yet in itself it is neither nature nor spirit. Der Weltgrund (=the Principle of the World), being the unity of nature and spirit, of course, transcends all the opposition and all the distinctions, i.e., is the absolute indifference of subjectivity and objectivity.
While in finite things, Self Identity of the Absolute is split into particular individual beings, the unity of the Principle of the World in itself, however, is not lost even in the phenomenal world of individual beings. On the other hand, each individual being is an expression of the Absolute; as a consequence, the concrete individual maintains the character of identity. Such identity of the individual is of lesser degree and is mixed with the difference.

Der Weltgrund ist eine absolute Identität, eine absolute Totalität,
während das Individuum nur eine relative Identität, eine relative Totalität hat.
while the individual has only a relative identity, a relative totality.>

This individual is neither merely subjective, nor merely objective. Every individual has both subjective elements and objective ones, in which either the subjective elements or the objective elements, are dominant. Such difference resulted from the dominance of either of the two different kinds of elements Schelling called the quantitative difference (die quantitative Differenz). Any natural phenomenon or any spiritual phenomenon is the unity of the real and the ideal, but in actualilty a concrete individual is either more natural or more spiritual. In the natural phenomenon, the real elements are more dominant: In the spiritual phenomenon, the ideal elements are more dominant.
In detail, Schelling's description of Philosophy of Identity, according to the traditional interpretation, seems to vary depending upon his writings.

a) In his early writings, Schelling thought of the Neo-Platonic "medium" between the Infinite and the finite, namely the Absolute Knowledge or the Self Knowledge of Identity. Self Knowledge of the Absolute is the Form of the Absolute. While in the Existence or Essence of the Absolute, the objective and the subjective are simply one and the same, in Its Form, they are not. In Self Knowledge of the Absolute as Its Form, the objective and the subjective are really (reell) identical, while they are ideally (ideell) in opposition.

b) In his later period, Schelling considered that such distinction exists only in reflection, while in Rational Intuition, such a difference does not exist. In his Bruno, Schelling emphasized the Simplicity of the Absolute in that the Absolute is not only the unity of the opposites, but also the unity between the unity and the opposition, i.e., the Identity of the Identity.

c) Later, the Absolute is called the Identity of the Infinite and the finite. The finite are considered as the real or beings, while the Infinite is considered as the Ideal or Knowledge Itself. Here Schelling saw also the interpretation of the trinity in unity. In the Absolute or in the Eternal, the finite and the Infinite are equally Absolute:
i) God as Father is Eternal. God as Father is the Unity of the finite and the Infinite.
ii) The Son is the finite in God.
iii) The Holy Spirit is the Infinite, the Return of the finite to Eternity.

Das Endliche, Das Unendliche und das Ewige sind drei Möglichkeien Gottes.

On the basis of the Absolute, the real series (nature) and the ideal series (spirit) develop. The construction of the real series, Schelling repeated the content of Philosophy of Nature.
Nature as the real series is to bring the Infinite into the finite, to bring simplicity into multiplicity, essence into form. Contrary to this, Spirit as the ideal series is to bring the finite into the Infinite. In the domain of the Spirit, the Three Divine Primary Potencies are working, while in actuality one of them is dominant.
Schelling divided Spirit into:
a) Intuition (die Anschauung)
In Intuition, the finite are dominant and the Infinite and the Eternal are subordinated to the finite.
b) Thought (das Denken) or Understanding (der Verstand)
Here the Infinite is dominant, to which the Eternal and the finite are subordinated.
c) Reason (die Vernunft).
Reason understands everything under the Form of the Absolute. In Reason, the Eternal is dominant, to which the finite and the Infinite are subordinated.
In short, Intuition is finite cognition, Thought is infinite cognition, and reason is the eternal cognition.
Intuition is further divided into Sensation (die Empfindung), consciousness (das Bewußtsein) and intuition (die Anschauung) in the narrower sense.
i) Sensation
ii) Consciousness
iii) Intuition in the narrower sense
Thought or Understanding is further divided into concept (der Begriff), judgment (das Urteil), and inference (der Schluß).
Thought or Understanding
i) Concept
ii) Judgement
iii) Inference (or Argument)

The knowledge of Understanding does not reach the domain of the knowledge of Reason. Speculation as the knowledge of Reason starts with unifying opposites and is beyond the limit of popular logic based on the principle of contradiction.
While in the domain of reality, there were three potencies established, the three stages from matter , motion to organism, in the domain of ideality, there are three steps established, science (die Wissenschaft), religion (die Religion) and arts (die Künste). In the domain of reality, nature attains its height in humanity, while in the domain of ideality, spirit attains its height in the state. Philosophy as Reason is to recover Identity, and is nothing but the Absolute returns to Itself.
Reality (at its height: Human-being) Ideality (at its height: State)
Matter Sciences
Motion Religion
Organism Arts

Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums is Schelling's Encyclopedia of philosophical sciences, according to which philosophy is the presupposition for all the special sciences.
The task of the university is to properly hold the balancing relationship between the absolute knowledge and special knowledge.
Philosophy as absolute knowledge
Special Sciences
1. Medicine (Natural Sciences: The Sciences of Organism) deals with the real and the finite
2. Jurisprudence (HIstory) deals with the ideal or the Infinite
3. Theology deals with the Eternal

Faculty of Arts which is Philosophical Faculties in the traditional sense. It is the Science of the Absolute.

III. The Doctrine of Freedom

Philosophische Untersuchungen über das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit (1809)
Denkmal der Schrift von den göttlichen Dingen des Herrn Jacobi (1812)
Antwort an Eschenmayer (1813)

Following Spinoza, Schelling divided the world into two, the True World of the Absolute Identity on the one hand and the illusory world consisting of different, varying individuals on the other.
Schelling attempted to reduce the latter to the former as the foundation for the latter. However, unlike Fichte, Schelling did not try to "deduce" the latter from the former.

Where do multiplicity and changes of the universe come from?
Where do the imperfection or the evil of the world come from?

These become important problems for Schelling.
Spinoza's pantheism as (mechanical) causal determinism denies human Freedom of will and action. It also denied the existence of Evil and yet could not explain the problem of the Evil at all.
Now Schelling, holding on to pantheism, tries to explain evil and finitude.
It became necessary to modify the pantheistic doctrine of the Absolute in order to be able to explain Evil, the unique existence of finite beings and their freedom.
There is another opus by Schelling which dealt with the similar problem, though not yet in detail.
Philosophie und Religion (1804)

The work was written under the influence of Eschenmayer. In his opus, Die Philosophie in ihrem Übergang zur Nichtphilosophie (1803) , Eschenmayer argued that, because it is an unintelligible mystery for human thinking that the ideas (= things) come from God and due to this fact, philosophy must give its place to theology.
According to Schelling in his Philosophie und Religion, the origin of the sensory world can only be thought of as a rupture, a leap and an apostasy (ein Abfall). It is this apostasy or "Abfall" by which Spirit, grasping Its own Self in its Selfhood, subordinates its Infinity to the finite, and ceases to be in God. It is through a free act or deed that the (finite) world comes from the Infinite. This is a factum which can only be described and cannot be comprehended or deduced as necessary. It is by Creation (die Schöpfung) that the things becomes independent (from God), and the awareness of itself in contrast to Creation is History in which the world goes back to its origin.
The relationship between the creation and history corresponds to that between the Fall or the original sin (der Sündfall) and resurrection (die Erlösung) of humanity.
Here there are three phases when it is viewed from God.
That is,

to dispose of the world,
to recover the world and
the development inbetween.
These three are necessary for God Himself to become the authentic God. Therefore, God develops Himself through the world. Not only it was Eschenmayer's influence, but also Schelling's reading Jacob Böhme that brought Schelling's thought into this direction. In addition to this, Kant's thought of transcendental freedom and of its intelligible character affected Schelling's thought. In this manner, Schelling's mystical doctrine of Freedom came into being. Sometimes, people calls it Theosophy.

The Opposition in God
The basic thought of Schelling's Doctrine of Human Freedom may be summarized as follows:

i) In order not to fall into Spinoza's Causal Determinism, we must recognize something in God which is not God Himself.
ii)It is to distinguish God as Existing from the Mere Ground for the Existence of God.
iii) This Mere Ground for God's Existence is called "The Nature in God" (die Natur in Gott) following Jacob Böhme.

The Opposition in Nature and Human-being
The world reveals itself not only as the expedient order and beauty, but also as a rupture and disorder. What is perfect, rational, harmonious and expedient in the world is the product of Understanding. Contrary to this, such irrational residues as rupture, irregularity, deformity, illness and death have their origin in the dark Ground. Everything has within itself these two principles.
The egocentric will (der Eigenwille) is rooted in the Nature within God or the dark Ground, while the universal will comes from God's Understanding.
In God, the dark principle and the bright principle are inseparably unified, while in the human being, these two principles are separated.
Out of these two principles, the freedom of human volition makes the human independent.
The human-being can move from truth to falsity, can bring one's own egoism to dominance, and can lower the spiritual within oneself to the mere instrumentality.
Or with God's help, the human can remain intrinsic and can subordinate a particular love (desire) to the universal will of love.
The (morally) good is to overcome one's opposition. For everything is revealed in its opposites. If the human was overcome by temptation, it is one's own free choice and is a sin.
The (morally) evil is not a mere absence or non-existence of the (morally) good. The evil is something positive in itself.
The evil is to make the egoism independent, i.e., to reverse the proper order between the particular will and the universal will and separate the one from the other. The possibility of separation of those two wills exists in God's dark Ground. Namely, the potentiality of the evil exists in the Divine Dark Ground, and yet the actuality of the evil is the free act of the creature. Schelling also construed freedom in the same sense as Kant did and used the concept of "intelligible freedom" (die intelligible Freiheit). Freedom, according to Schelling, is not only far from compulsion, but also is clearly distinguishable from contingency or arbitrariness. The human being chooses his /her own intelligible essence beyond time. At the outset of creation, i.e., since Eternity, the human-being pre-destines (prädestinieren) himself/herself. Therefore, the human being is responsible for his/her own action in the sensory world, which is the necessary result of the free primary action.

The Opposition in History
Just as in nature and the individual, so in the human history, the two primary principles are in strife.

a) At the beginning, there was the innocent Golden Age. This period was such that the humans did not have any awareness of sin, so this period was neither good nor evil.
b) This second period was the Age of the Dark Nature. This Nature,which is the Ground for Existence, governed everything at this period. It was after the appearance of the Spiritual Light in the form of the individual in Christianity, however, that the Dark Nature applied as the real evil. Since then, the strife between the good and the evil began, and God reveals Himself as Light.
c) At the final Age, evil is "reduced" to the state of potency and the Spirit governs everything. In other words, through the development, the Perfect Identity of The Ground for Existence and God is accomplished.

Indifference, Opposition and Identity
Prior to the state mentioned above, namely prior to the state in which the two mutually opposing moments of God are ultimately harmonized, according to Schelling, there existed the situation where those two moments were primordially unified. This primordial, undeveloped unity of those two principles, namely the "God prior to God," is called by Schelling "Indifference" or "Non-Ground" (Ungrund). In distinction from this, Schelling called the God finally attained through the development, i.e., the Ultimately Developed, More Valuable Unity, "Identity" or "Spirit." While in this Developed, Absolute Identity, there exists no longer such an Opposition, there existed not yet Opposition in "Non-Ground" which would develop and split into two principles, namely Nature and Light, Aspiration and Understanding. These two split principles were unified by Love and were separated for the Absolute to ultimately develop to the Personal God. Therefore, it is said that God develops from Indifference through Opposition to Identity. Identity is no other than the unification of the Opposite by Love, the Love which the Personal God alone possesses.
It is said that in this manner, Schelling attempted to unify and harmonize Pantheism and Theism.

IV. Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation

Über die Gottheiten von Samothrake (1815)
Vorrede zu Victor Cousin über französische u. deutsche Philosophie (1834)
Erste Vorlesung in Berlin (1841)
Die Weltalter (nachlaß) (Posthumous Work)
Philosophie der Mythologie (Nachlaß)
Philosophie der Offenbarung (Nachlaß)

At his later years, Schelling emphasized the Irrational. Philosophy is the Science of Being (die Wissenschaft des Seienden = Ontology or Metaphysics). According to Aristotle, two moments are to be distinguished in Being:

1) ee eeee (quid sit), Was, essentia, Wesen - essence, potential being.
2) ee (quod sit), Daß, existentia, Existenz - existence, actual being.

Although it is the task of Reason that grasps the essence of being in the concept, Reason has no access to the existence of being. The rational philosophy could only recognize the universal, the possible and the necessary truth. In other words, what is rational is something not unthinkable (das nicht-nicht-zu-Denkende)! The particular, the concrete individual, cannot be comprehensible by the rational philosophy. Reason is short of the concrete, actual existence! Indeed, what the rational philosophy can deal with is 'If something exists, then it must subsume itself to a so-and-so law.' According to Schelling, Hegel completely disregarded such a crucial distinction between the essence‹ "what" and the exitence‹"that" of being! Schelling also conceded that his Philosophy of Identity is also merely rationalistic after all. Thus, the rational philosophy is no other than a Negative Philosophy. As the supplement of this, there must be the Positive Philosophy, i.e., Philosophy of Existence.
According to Schelling, what is positive in Positive Philosophy is Positive Religion, Religion given through History. This positive Religion is called by Schelling Transcendent Positive and Positive Philosophy, Metaphysical Empiricism. Positive Philosophy is ultimately his Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation.

Negative Philosophy
Positive Philosophy and Negative Philosophy are complementary to each other. The former shows the universal "What" (the essence) as the form necessary for being, while the latter reveals the "That" (the existence) as its actuality. The former deals with the sine qua non of being, while the latter is concerned with positive creation.
Negative Philosophy is restated in new light as the Doctrine of the Divine Potencies, which would dialectically evolve:

a) das Seinkönnende - What can be Subject - Father "minus"

b) das rein Seiende - What purely is Object - Son "plus"

c) das als solches gesetzte Seinkönnende Subject-Object "plus and minus"

‹What is the unity of potential being and pure being‹
= der Geist - such a unity is only possible in Spirit.

According to Schelling, there is the Absolute which is the root of each mentioned above. This Absolute exists in each as its predicate and is encompassing all the three as Totality. This unity of potency would break, because "What can be" would become independent (= actual) from the potential state. This creates a tension to the other two potencies and "What purely is" would try to bring the former back to the original potential state as well as would together with the third potency bring all three back to the original unity.
In creation, the above three potencies take the following forms:

a) Seinkönnen Möglichkeit causa materialis Indefinite Being
- can-be possibility material cause

b) Seinmüssen Notwendigkeit causa efficiens Determined Being
- must-be necessity efficient cause

c) Seinsollen Zweck causa finalis Self-determined Being
- ought-to-be purpose (value) final or teleological cause

Positive Philosophy
On the basis of his Doctrine of Divine Potencies, Schelling now elucidates Positive Philosophy which is to be revealed as Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation. Philosophy of Mythology refers to pagan religion as natural religion, while Philosophy of Revelation deals with Christianity as the revealed Religion. The relation of the former to the latter is the relation of the imperfect to the perfect religion. The divine revelation in the wider sense may be found in the natural religion. The difference between natural religion and revealed religion consists in the fact that revelation is made perfect in revealed religion. Therefore, when we see the difference between natural religion and revealed religion as the difference of degree, then both can be dealt with in Philosophy of Revelation.

Trinity in Unity
The most primordial form of religion of all is monotheism. However, the genuine monotheism does not reject the plurality of Person among God. Every being is the Divine revelation, the three primary Divine potencies are contained in God. According to Schelling, Trinity in Unity may be found in religions other than Christianity. Because the above three primary Divine potencies are contained in God, many forms of polytheism also arise. Various religions are no other than Divine Revelations. Schelling attempted to show the trinity in other religions:

in Egypt Typhon Osiris Horos
in Persia Ahriman Ormuzd Mithrass
in India Brahman Shiwa Vischnu
in Greece (Dionysos) Zagfreus Bakchos Jakacos

Der Sünfall (Fall of Sin)
According to Schelling's Philosophy of Revelation, the temporal sensory World arose from human original sin. Namely because a human committed the original sin, the world came into being. Der Sünfall ( The Fall by the original sin) is the beginning of history. It is die Urtatsache (the primordial Fact), der Urzufall (the primordial Accident) and fortuna primigenia. It is das sein und nicht sein Könnende (what can and cannot be).

We could only say that it IS, not that it necessarily is.

This primordial Fact was committed by human free will and yet is an unavoidable Fate (unabwendliches Schicksal). Since we cannot think of or imagine that which was prior to it, it is also called unvordenkliches Verhängnis (the destiny which could not be predicted). The original sin in Philosophy of Revelation that Eve took and ate the fruit of knowledge corresponds to the fall in Philosophy of Mythology that Persephone ate Zakuro in Hades.

The nucleus of religion is resurrection. The resurrection may be found in the other pagan religions. For example, Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, and her mother Demeter searched all over to discover her in the Netherworld and having already eaten the fruit, i.e., she had became Hades' wife. Nevertheless, due to the infinite motherly love, Demeter "resurrects" Persephone.Thus the pagan resurrection is evidenced in the Eleusian Mystery which was concerned with worship for Demeter and Persephone. Needless to say, in Christianity, the Resurrection is possible by the death of Jesus Christ.

The Church
Schelling views the development of the church as the means of resurrection in three stages:

a) Substantial Unity Roman Catholicism represented by St. Peter
b) Ideality of Freedom Protestantism represented by St. Paul
c) Unity of Both Future Church represented by St. John

Schelling's philosophy has been succeeded by many philosophers of today. For example, Driesch ‹ Philosophie des Organischen, Ravaisson - De l'havitude, Bergson‹L'évolution créatrice, and Whitehead‹The Concept of Nature have developed Schelling's concept of organic nature. Aesthetic Idealism may be found in Ravaisson‹La philosophie en France au XIXe siècle and Becker‹Von der Hinfälligkeit des Schönen und der Abenteuerlichkeit des Künsters. Regarding Positive Philosophy, Schelling's successors are Kierkegaard, Cassirer‹Philosophie der symbolishen Formen, Jaspers‹Die Philosophie der Existenz and Die Geistige Situation der Zeit, Heidegger‹Vom Wesen des Grundes, etc.
Here we enumerate Philosophers who are close to Schelling's Philosophy.

The Romantics
Friedrich Schlegel (August Schlegel's younger brother),
Friedrich von Hardenberg, Novalis
Solger (who introduced the notion of irony into aesthetics)
The Philosophy of Nature
Henriik Steffens, Lorenz Eucken, Karl Gustav Darus
The Philosophy of Religion
Franz Baader
Schleiermacher (apart from his Philosophy of Religion, he founded Hermeneutics which were further developed by Dilthey and Heidegger)
Friedrich Krause