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The Metaphysics of Human Freedom: From Kant's Transcendental Idealism to Schelling's Freiheitsschrift

Gardner, S; (2017) The Metaphysics of Human Freedom: From Kant's Transcendental Idealism to Schelling's Freiheitsschrift. British Journal of the History of Philosophy , 25 (1) pp. 133-156. 10.1080/09608788.2016.1198305. Green open access

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Abstract

Schelling’s 1809 Freiheitsschrift (Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom), perhaps his most widely read work, presents considerable difficulties of understanding. In this paper, I offer an interpretation of the work in relation to Kant. My focus is on the relation in each case of their theory of human freedom to their general metaphysics, a relation which both regard as essential. The argument of the paper is in sum that Schelling may be viewed as addressing and resolving a problem which faces Kant’s theory of freedom and transcendental idealism, deriving from the challenge posed by Spinozism. One major innovation in Schelling’s theory of human freedom is his claim that it presupposes the reality of evil. I argue that Schelling’s thesis concerning evil also provides a key to the new and highly original metaphysics of the Freiheitsschrift. The relation of Schelling’s theory of freedom to his general metaphysics is therefore complex, for it goes in two directions: the metaphysics are not simply presupposed by the theory of freedom but are also in part derived from it. These new metaphysics also, I argue, allow Schelling to resolve a problem which his own earlier Spinozistic system had left unresolved.

Type: Article
Title: The Metaphysics of Human Freedom: From Kant's Transcendental Idealism to Schelling's Freiheitsschrift
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09608788.2016.1198305
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2016.1198305
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy on 3 Jan 2017 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09608788.2016.1198305
Keywords: Freedom, Kant, German idealism, Schelling, Spinozism
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/1517838
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