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19th Century Philosophers

Go BackFriedrich von Schelling 1775 - 1854
German Idealism and Philosophical Romanticism

 

Full name, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, German philosopher, is famous for what came to be called the 'Romantic Circle' and the various, sometimes conflicting and confusing tenants and claims of 'Philosophical Romanticism' after Kant and Fichte. Schelling wanted to understand the laws of nature in living, organismic terms as opposed to a mechanical interpretation, culminating in the mind as reflections and results of (an embodied?) reason, even to the point where the cultural dimensions of human life -- art, morality, politics, the goals of historical development and the unfolding truths of philosophy -- find their origins in the fundamental dynamics of the unconscious workings of nature.

Schelling is interesting, too, because he came to believe that even though the being of nature can be seen as a rational system, he was forced to make some type of leap of faith to explain why nature exists at all. That human beings begin in a state of unknowing was a way for Schelling to explain how it can be that there is irrationality and evil in a world created by God. The world with its dark, even absurd, abysmal aspects, is actually in an historical, progressive movement towards realizing or returning to a rational world, a world that reflects God's true nature, a world where everything is good.

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