PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE NATURE OF HUMAN FREEDOM - by Friedrich Wilhelm Josef von SCHELLING
An outstanding study of the philosophy Human Freedom, as eloquent in its mode of expression as it is incisive in argumentation. One of Schelling's more accessible works. The final significant work he published over a long career.
"The whole of knowledge has no status if it is not supported by some thing which maintains itself by its own power, and this is nothing but that which is real through Freedom. The beginning and end of all philosophy is - Freedom." F.W.J. von Schelling
About this Book: Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling's 'Philosophical Investigations' is one of the most stimulating and incisive studies of Human Freedom ever written. The 'Investigations' are essential reading for all students of the Romantic movement and of Post-Kantian thought, and of particular interest when read in conjunction with Arthur Schopenhauer's 'On the Freedom of the Will' with which this work so completely disagrees in its philosophical standpoint. Von Schelling's work will be of especial interest to students of Jakob Böhme (Jacob Behmen), whose idea of the "Groundless" has manifestly had a very significant influence upon this author.
Contents of this Book: Although von Schelling's essay is a continuous whole, the editors of the present translation have made obvious divisions of the text so as to improve the reader's comprehension of the argument. These sectional divisions have been given titles which indicate their essential theme of discussion, and they are as follows : Opening Remarks / Regarding Pantheism / The Philosophy of Nature / On the Basis of Evil / The Nature of Freedom / The Freedom of God / The 'Groundless' / Concluding Remarks
Special Features of this Edition: A Publisher's Note which provides summary details about the life and work of thinker Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (by Historian of Thought, Edouard d'Araille); an Introduction by American Philosopher Josiah Royce; an Author's Foreword, in which von Schelling anticipates the topics of his discussion and defends his personal standpoint; full Textual Annotations by von Schelling, which clarify the text; 3 Portraits of von Schelling (both young and old).
Extract from this Book (by von Schelling) from 'Introductory Remarks': "Philosophical investigations into the nature of human freedom may, in part, concern themselves with the correct conception of the term; for though the feeling of freedom is ingrained in every individual, the fact itself is by no means so near to the surface that merely to express it in words would not require more than common clarity and depth of perception. In part such investigations may be concerned with the relation of this concept to a whole systematic world view. But here, as indeed everywhere, these two sides of the investigation coincide, since no conception can be defined in isolation, and depends for its systematic completion on the demonstration of its connections with the whole. This is especially the case in the conception of freedom, for if it has any reality at all it cannot be a merely subordinate or incidental conception but must be one of the dominant central points of the System. To be sure, according to an ancient but by no means forgotten tradition, the idea of freedom is said to be entirely inconsistent with the idea of system, and every philosophy which makes claim to unity and completeness is said to end in denying freedom. It is not easy to dispute general affirmations of this sort; for who knows what restricting notions have already been attached to the word "System" itself, so that the assertion declares something which, to be sure, is very true but also very commonplace. Or if the opinion be advanced that the concept of freedom contradicts the concept of System altogether and inherently, then it is extraordinary that some sort of system must be present and coexist with freedom at least in the divine understanding. For individual freedom in some manner or other has a place in the universe...".