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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Schelling's transcendental idealism is


_The reciprocal determination of the organic and inorganic world_, is made clear by what has already been said. The result to which every genuine philosophy of nature must come, is that the distinction between organic and inorganic nature is only in nature as object, and that nature, as originally productive, waves over both. If the functions of an organism are only possible on the condition that there is a definite external world, and an organic world, then must the external world and the organic world have a common origin. This can only be explained on the ground that inorganic nature presupposes in order to its existence a higher dynamical order of things, to which it is subject. There must be a third, which can unite again organic and inorganic nature; which can be a medium, holding the continuity between the two. Both must be identified in some ultimate cause, through which, as through one common soul of nature (world-soul), both the organic and inorganic, _i. e._ universal nature, is inspired; in some common principle, which, fluctuating between inorganic and organic nature, and maintaining the continuity of the two, contains the first cause of all changes in the one, and the ultimate ground of all activity in the other. We have here the idea of a universal organism. That it is one and the same organization which unites in one the organic and inorganic world, would appear from what has already been said of the parallel gradations of the two worlds. That which in universal
nature is the cause of magnetism, is in organic nature the cause of sensibility, and the latter is only a higher potency of the former. Just as in the organic world through sensibility, so in universal nature through magnetism, there arises a duality from the ideality. In this way organic nature appears only as a higher stage of the inorganic; the very same dualism which is seen in magnetic polarity, electrical phenomena, and chemical differences, displays itself also in the organic world.

2. TRANSCENDENTAL PHILOSOPHY.--Transcendental philosophy is the philosophy of nature become subjective. The whole succession of objects thus far described, becomes now repeated as a successive development of the beholding subject. It is the peculiarity of transcendental idealism, that so soon as it is once admitted, it requires that the origin of all knowledge shall be sought for anew; that the truth which has long been considered as established, should be subjected to a new examination, and that this examination should proceed under at least an entirely new form. All parts of philosophy must be exhibited in one continuity, and the whole of philosophy must be regarded as that which it is, viz., the advancing history of consciousness, which can use only as monuments or documents that which is laid down in experience. (Schelling's transcendental idealism is, in this respect, the forerunner to Hegel's _Phoenomenology_, which pursues a similar course). The exhibition of this connection is properly a succession of intuitions through which the Ego raises itself to consciousness in the highest potency. Neither transcendental philosophy nor the philosophy of nature, can alone represent the parallelism between nature and intelligence; but, in order to this, both sciences must be united, the former being considered as a necessary counterpart to the other. The division of transcendental philosophy follows from its problem, to seek anew the origin of all knowledge, and to subject to a new examination every previous judgment which had been held to be established truth. The pre-judgments of the common understanding are principally two: (1) That a world of objects exist independent of, and outside of, ourselves, and are represented to us just as they are. To explain this pre-judgment, is the problem of the first part of the transcendental philosophy (_theoretical philosophy_). (2) That we can produce an effect upon the objective world according to representations which arise freely within us. The solution of this problem is _practical philosophy_. But, with these two problems we find ourselves entangled, (3) in a contradiction. How is it possible that our thought should ever rule over the world of sense, if the representation is conditional in its origin by the objective? The solution of this problem, which is the highest of transcendental philosophy, is the answer to the question: how can the representations be conceived as directing themselves according to the objects, and at the same time the objects be conceived as directing themselves according to the representations? This is only conceivable on the ground that the activity through which the objective world is produced, is originally identical with that which utters itself in the will. To show this identity of conscious and unconscious activity, is the problem of the third part of transcendental philosophy, or the science of ends in nature and of art. The three parts of the transcendental philosophy correspond thus entirely to the three criticks of Kant.

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