Schelling's Practice of the Wild

Time, Art, Imagination

By Jason M. Wirth

Subjects: German Idealism, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Religion
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438456782, 298 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438456799, 298 pages, July 2015

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Table of contents

Part I. Time
1. Extinction
2. Solitude of God
Part II. Thinking with Deleuze
3. Image of Thought
4. Stupidity
Part III. Nature of Art and Art of Nature
5. Plasticity
6. Life of Imagination
Appendix A. Schelling’s Answer to Eschenmayer [The Letter to Eschenmayer] (1812), translated with commentarial notes by Christopher Lauer and Jason M. Wirth
Appendix B. Schelling’s Unfinished Dialogue: Reason and Personality in the Letter to Eschenmayer by Christopher Lauer

Reconsiders the contemporary relevance of Schelling’s radical philosophical and religious ecology.


The last two decades have seen a renaissance and reappraisal of Schelling's remarkable body of philosophical work, moving beyond explications and historical study to begin thinking with and through Schelling, exploring and developing the fundamental issues at stake in his thought and their contemporary relevance. In this book, Jason M. Wirth seeks to engage Schelling's work concerning the philosophical problem of the relationship of time and the imagination, calling this relationship Schelling's practice of the wild. Focusing on the questions of nature, art, philosophical religion (mythology and revelation), and history, Wirth argues that at the heart of Schelling's work is a radical philosophical and religious ecology. He develops this theme not only through close readings of Schelling's texts, but also by bringing them into dialogue with thinkers as diverse as Deleuze, Nietzsche, Melville, Musil, and many others. The book also features the first appearance in English translation of Schelling's famous letter to Eschenmayer regarding the Freedom essay.

Jason M. Wirth is Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University. He is the translator of The Ages of the World by Schelling; the author of The Conspiracy of Life: Meditations on Schelling and His Time; and the coeditor (with Patrick Burke) of The Barbarian Principle: Merleau-Ponty, Schelling, and the Question of Nature, all published by SUNY Press.


"...a welcome addition to the burgeoning field of Schelling-studies and more general discussions on art, stupidity, religion and imagination … a gripping engagement with Schelling's philosophy beyond the often dry exegeses of his philosophical work. Jason Wirth is particularly capable of making Schelling relevant for contemporary discussions and Schelling's Practice of the Wild will undoubtedly become a vantage point to assess and discuss the fertility of Schelling's thought for a variety of subjects." — Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger

"By thinking with and through Schelling on contemporary issues, Wirth is at the heart of the renaissance underway of Schelling's philosophy … In his magisterial work, Schelling's Practice of the Wild, Wirth brings this renaissance to a greater flowering by taking Schelling's thinking elsewhere, even beyond where it might have gone had it been the beneficiary of a century of criticism. In this respect, Wirth's book advances our philosophical heritage." — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews