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Metaphysical Motivation: Crime and Punishment in the Light of Schelling

Gardner, S; (2019) Metaphysical Motivation: Crime and Punishment in the Light of Schelling. In: Guay, R, (ed.) Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment: Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

A defining characteristic of classical German philosophy is its preoccupation with the concept of freedom. One central moment in the post-Kantian debate concerning the metaphysical conditions of human freedom is Schelling’s assertion, in his 1809 essay, that these include the reality of evil. Human freedom is meaningful, Schelling argues, only if it comprises a choice between good and evil. On this basis Schelling rejects as inadequate the conception of autonomous agency found in Kant and Fichte, and restores human freedom to a theological setting. My aim in this chapter is to explore Schelling’s intriguing and provocative idea in the context of Crime and Punishment—in which, I suggest, Dostoevsky tries to show how and why autonomous agency, conceived in familiar late modern “Kantian” terms, discovers itself to have need of, and is forced to retrieve, a conception of evil that modern ethical thought takes itself to have surpassed.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Metaphysical Motivation: Crime and Punishment in the Light of Schelling
ISBN-13: 9780190464011
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190464011.003.0005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190464011.003.0005
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: motivation, Schelling, evil, freedom, Dostoevsky
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057046
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