- Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von
- (1775–1854)The principal philosopher of German Romanticism . Schelling was born in Leonberg, and educated at Tübingen, where he was a contemporary of Hegel and the poet Friedrich Hölderlin. Schelling became professor at Jena in 1798, and for some years collaborated with Fichte . In 1803 he married Caroline, the divorced wife of August Schlegel, to whose daughter (who died, possibly because of Schelling's attempts at medicine) he had previously been informally engaged. In keeping with the spirit of Romanticism Schelling's early work, particularly the System des transzendentalen Idealismus (1800), stresses force, self-consciousness, the unfolding dynamic spirit inherent in all things, and the moral striving after unattainable ideals. It is in the emphasis on art and aesthetics that Schelling is at his most impassioned: it is in art alone that abstraction is put aside, nature and history reconciled, and full self-consciousness attained. The ‘philosophy of identity’, expressed in Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums (1803), holds the absolute identity of nature and intelligence, knower and known, and is an important bridge between Kant and Fichte on the one hand, and Hegel on the other. After Caroline died in 1809, Schelling produced no more books, but turned his attention more to mythology and religion. In the final phase of his life he voiced a mystical, personal, and sombre philosophy recognized as anticipating similar notes in existentialism.
Philosophy dictionary. Academic. 2011.