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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Already indications of Schelling's subsequent standpoint


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already indications of Schelling's

subsequent standpoint, in its expressly affirming the unity of all knowledge, the necessity that in the end all the different sciences shall become merged into one. In the "_Letters on Dogmatism and Criticism_," 1795, Schelling combatted the notions of those Kantians who had left the critical and idealistic standpoint of their master, and fallen back again into the old dogmatism. It was also on the standpoint of Fichte that Schelling published in Niethammer's and Fichte's Journal, 1797-98, a series of articles, in which he gave a survey of the recent philosophical literature. Here he begins to turn his attention towards a philosophical deduction of nature, though he still remains on the standpoint of Fichte when he deduces nature wholly from the essence of the Ego. In the essay which was composed soon after, and entitled "_Ideas for a philosophy of Nature_," 1797, and the one "_On the World-soul_," 1798, he gradually unfolded more clearly his views. The chief points which are brought out in the two last named essays are the following: The first origin of the conception of matter springs from nature and the intuition of the human mind. The mind is the union of an unlimited and a limiting energy. If there were no limit to the mind, consciousness would be just as impossible as if the mind were totally and absolutely limited. Feeling, perception and knowledge are only conceivable, as the energy which strives for the unlimited becomes limited through its opposite, and as this latter
becomes itself freed from its limitations. The actual mind or heart consists only in the antagonism of these two energies, and hence only in their ever approximate or relative unity. Just so is it in nature. Matter as such is not the first, for the forces of which it is the unity are before it. Matter is only to be apprehended as the ever becoming product of attraction and repulsion; it is not, therefore, a mere inert grossness, as we are apt to represent it, but these forces are its original. But force in the material is like something immaterial. Force in nature is that which we may compare to mind. Since now the mind or heart exhibits precisely the same conflict, as matter, of opposite forces, we must unite the two in a higher identity. But the organ of the mind for apprehending nature is the intuition which takes, as object of the external sense, the space which has been filled and limited by the attracting and repelling forces. Thus Schelling was led to the conclusion that _the same absolute_ appears in nature as in mind, and that the harmony of these is something more than a thought in reference to them. "Or if you affirm that we only _carry over_ such an idea to nature, then have you utterly failed to apprehend the only nature which there can be to us. For our view of nature is not that it accidentally meets the laws of our mind--(perhaps through the mediation of a third)--but that it necessarily and originally not only expresses,


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