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Schelling: The I And Its Ground

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Chapter Summary

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling has been called an absolute idealist. The idealistic conception of the Absolute can be understood as the synthesis of three theses: 1. monism, "the universe consists in not a plurality of substances but a single substance;" 2. vitalism, "the single universal substance is an organism, which is in a constant process of growth and development;" 3. rationalism, "this process of development has a purpose, or conforms to some form, archetype, or idea". This chapter discusses how Schelling's idealism matches this characterization. It also discusses whether the Absolute should be viewed as an I or a not-I form. The chapter looks at the real side of Schelling's attempted system of philosophy: the philosophy of nature. It elaborates on transcendental philosophy and the system of identity.

Keywords: Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling; idealism; transcendental philosophy



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