Schelling and the End of Idealism

By Dale E. Snow

Subjects: Hegel
Series: SUNY series in Hegelian Studies
Paperback : 9780791427460, 271 pages, January 1996
Hardcover : 9780791427453, 271 pages, February 1996

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Table of contents



1. The Enlightenment under Attack

I. Kant's Early Reception

II. Jacobi and the Pantheism Controversy

III. Faith or Reason?

2. The Knowledge of Reality

I. The Problem of the Thing in Itself

II. Fichte: The Self as First Principle

III. The Early Schelling's Concept of the Self

IV. How Is Knowledge of Reality Possible?

V. Genius: The "Sunday's Children"Problem

3. The Philosophy of Nature

I. The Essential Role of the Philosophy of Nature

II. Arguments against the Mechanistic Model of Nature

III. The Development of the Concept of Matter

IV. Necessity and Scientific Objectivity

V. On the World Soul

VI. Dynamism, Polarity, and the Philosophy of Organism

4. Metaphors for Nature

I. From the Philosophy of Nature to the System

II. Metaphors of Dominance and Control

III. Kant

IV. Fichte

V. Hegel

VI. Schelling

5. The Emergence of the Unconscious

I. The Purpose of the System

II. A Clash of Paradigms

III. Paradoxes in the System

IV. Aesthetic Idealism

6. Of Human Freedom

I. The Idealism of Freedom

II. Difficulties

III. The Introduction: A Redefinition of Freedom

IV. The "Real and Vital Conception of Freedom"

V. "Man's Being Is Essentially His Own Deed"

VI. An End of Idealism?

7. Beyond Idealism? The Ages of the World

I. Schelling's Later Philosophy

II. The Doctrine of the Fall

III. The Historical Character of Reality: The Philosophy of Time

IV. Gottsein and Dasein: The Ontology of What is Not

V. The Controversy of 1811—12 and Beyond

VI. Conclusion


Selected Bibliography


This comprehensive, general introduction to Schelling's philosophy shows that it was Schelling who set the agenda for German idealism and defined the term of its characteristic problems.


Schelling is finally beginning to emerge from the long shadow cast by the eminence and influence of Hegel. This book demonstrates that, far from merely forming a step on the royal road to Hegel, it was Schelling who set the agenda for German Idealism and defined the terms of its characteristic problems. Ultimately, it was also Schelling who explored the possibility of idealistic system-building from within and thus brought an end to idealism

Dale E. Snow is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola College.


"It gives a very clear account (in relatively brief compass) of a long series of extremely difficult and obscure texts." — H. S. Harris, York University

"The book is remarkably clear and straightforward. This is particularly impressive in the field of Schelling scholarship, given the notorious obscurity of Schelling's works. Dr. Snow has obviously taken great pains to report only what she thoroughly understands, and that is certainly enough to provide the reader with a comprehensive general introduction to Schelling's philosophy. There is, moreover, a definite need for such an introduction. One must recall that in virtually every country outside of England and the United States, Schelling has long been recognized as Hegel's equal, if not his philosophical superior. The project of introducing his philosophy here is an important one." — Joseph P. Lawrence, Holy Cross College