Price: $80.00 
Hardcover - 
304 pages

Release Date: February 2011

Price: $80.00 
Electronic - 300 pages
Release Date: January 2011


Locates in Schelling a new understanding of our relation to nature in philosophy.

F. W. J. Schelling’s prescient warning that the subjectivism of modernity threatens the “annihilation of nature” frames this provocative new reading of this most enigmatic and challenging thinker. In claiming that “life is the schema of freedom,” Schelling announces an organic form of philosophy to combat this threat of destruction. Pursuing what William James called the “live option” offered by Schelling’s thinking, Matthews argues forcefully for a shift from an egological to an ecological way of doing philosophy. He shows how an organic form of philosophy supports a “decentered Self” whose “disjunctive logic of identity” resolves the tension between nature and human history by delivering a powerful conception of human freedom situated within a dynamically conceived nature, thereby overcoming the interminable “freedom-versus-determinism” debate. In his careful treatment of how Plato and Kant influenced his earliest writings, Matthews not only disproves the standard reading of the young Schelling as Fichte’s novice, but also delivers an understanding of Kant that is a good deal more interesting than the Kant typically presented by contemporary scholars in that field.


Bruce Matthews is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bard High School Early College. He is translator of Schelling’s The Grounding of Positive Philosophy: The Berlin Lectures, also published by SUNY Press (SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy; SUNY Series in Hegelian Studies)

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Schelling's Organic Form of Philosophy
Life as the Schema of Freedom

Table of Contents

Notes on Sources and Abbreviations

1. Life as the Schema of Freedom: Schelling’s 
Organic Form of Philosophy

Subjectivism and the Annihilation of Nature
Immanent Reconstruction
Kant and the Categorical Imperative of Unity in Reason
Plato’s odos and the Eternal Form of Philosophy
Organic Unity and Nature’s Redemption
Ideas in situ: Embedded Thought

2. Beginnings: Theosophy and Nature Divine

The Acculturation of a Prophet of Nature
The Discipline of Language and Actuality of the Past
The Tradition of Pietism: Freedom as the Unmediated 
Experience of the Divine
Halfway between Tradition and the Enlightenment: Theosophy and the Divinity
      of Nature
Oetinger’s Genetic Epistemology and the Unmediated Knowing of
       the Zentralerkenntnis
Divinity as Freedom in Nature: The Priority of Freedom over Wisdom
Schelling’s Eulogy and the System of Philipp Matthäus Hahn (1739–1790)
A Theology of Life
Procreative Logic: Hahn’s “ordo generativus
Systema Influxus: The Immanent Harmony of the Trichotomy of Body, Soul,
      and Mind
Life in the Anticipation of the Eschaton: The Prophet of Freedom and
      Nature Divine
Schelling’s Eulogy of Hahn (1790)and the Passing of the Flame of Prophecy 
Prophet of the New Religion of Nature: Matter Spiritualized 

3. The Question of Systematic Unity 

Systematic Unity and the Urform of Reason 
Life Is the Schema of Freedom: The Will of Desire and the Causality of Freedom
The Antinomy of Aesthetic Judgment 
The Unity of the Ideas of Reason and the Transcendental Ideal as the Form
      of Forms
Transcendental Modality: Unity as Grundsatz of Reason
Weltbegriffe and Naturbegriffe: The Limits of a Mathematical World in the
      Face of the “Absolute Selbsttätigkeit” of Nature
The Urform of Reason
The Logical Visage: The Prinzipien of Unity, Manifoldness, and Continuity
The Idea of the Maximum as the Analogon of the Schema for the “Prinzipien
      der Vernunft
The Transcendental Ideas: The Figurative Guarantors of Reason’s Extension
Aesthetic Ideas, the Sublime, and the Internal Intuition of the Supersensible
Genius: Autoepistemic Organ of Nature?

4. The Timaeus Commentary 

To Seek the Divine in Nature
Schelling’s Commentary on the Timaeus 
The Divine Ideas of Reason to kalon as the Ideal of Unity and Completeness 
The World Soul as “The Ideal of the World”: Organic Life as a Principle of
      Systematic Unity
Immanent Preestablished Harmony: The Condition of Possibility of Einheit 
The Ideas: Existence Is Not a Predicate
The Threefold Form of All Knowing
Plato’s Urform 

5. On the Possibility of a Form of All Philosophy: The Form Essay

Schelling’s Original Insight 
The Urform of All Forms 
Kant’s Progressive Method: The Removal of the Time Condition as the Condition
       of Comprehending an Absolute Magnitude
Reciprocal Establishment of the Urform 
The Progressive Method of Disjunctive Identity 
The Urform of Relation 
Philological Justification 
Epistemic Positionality and the Removal of the Time-Condition 
Form of Being Unconditionally Posited: ‘I = I’
Form of the Conditioned: NichtIch = Nicht Ich (Nichtich  Ich)
Form of Conditionality Determined by Unconditionality = Consciousness 
Disjunctive Identity 

6. Freedom and the Construction of Philosophy

The Dynamic Process: Producing the System of Identity 
The Self Versetzt: Freedom as the Postulate of Philosophy 
The Method of Construction: Einbildung as the In-Eins-Bildung of Duality 
Problematic: All Philosophy Is Construction 
An Aesthetic Philosophy 
The Construction of the Self: Theoretical Philosophy and Unconscious Nature
First Epoch: Productive Intuition of Sensation through the Restriction of the Past
Second Epoch: Transition from Blind Intuition to Reflection through the Restriction
       of the Present
Third Epoch: From Reflection to the Absolute Act of the Will 
The Derivation of the Categories from Time 
Transition to Practical Philosophy: The Absolute Act of the Will 
Time and Historicity 
The Tense of the Absolute: Futurity 
The Endless Process 

Appendix “Eulogy Sung at Hahn’s Grave” 




The Grounding of Positive Philosophy: The Berlin Lectures

The first English translation of Schelling’s final “existential system.”The Grounding of Positive Philosophy

The Berlin lectures in The Grounding of Positive Philosophy, appearing here for the first time in English, advance Schelling’s final “existential system” as an alternative to modernity’s reduction of philosophy to a purely formal science of reason. The onetime protégé of Fichte and benefactor of Hegel, Schelling accuses German Idealism of dealing “with the world of lived experience just as a surgeon who promises to cure your ailing leg by amputating it.” Schelling’s appeal in Berlin for a positive, existential philosophy found an interested audience in Kierkegaard, Engels, Feuerbach, Marx, and Bakunin.

Despite a strong resurgence of interest in his philosophy, Schelling’s final Berlin lectures have remained unavailable to English-reading audiences. At long last, in Bruce Matthews’s able hands, this lacuna has been remedied. This is a strong and rigorous translation of the inaugural lectures, which, along with Matthews’s compelling and informative introduction, not only provides readers with a taste of these remarkable and unduly neglected lecture courses, but also provides an overview of Schelling’s final project of positive philosophy and philosophical religion. These lectures are critical to a full appreciation of Schelling’s accomplishments.” — Jason M. Wirth, author of The Conspiracy of Life: Meditations on Schelling and His Time 

Price: $29.95                               Paperback - 242 pages
Release Date: June 2008



The Grounding of Positive Philosophy: The Berlin Lectures

Table of Contents


Editorial Apparatus and Standard Abbreviations

Translator’s Introduction

The Singularity of F. W. J. Schelling
Expectations in Berlin
An Existential System of Philosophy
The Grounding of Positive Philosophy
Schelling’s Negative Philosophy
Existence as the Inverted Idea
Hegel Critiqued
Abduction as the Method of Positive Philosophy
Towards a Philosophical Religion
Translator’s Note

The Grounding of Positive Philosophy: The Berlin Lectures

1. On Philosophy
2. On the Academic Study of Philosophy
3. Metaphysics before Kant
4. Kant, Fichte, and a Science of Reason
5. The Difference between Negative and Positive
6. History of Negative and Positive Philosophy
7. Metaphysical Empiricism
8. The Grounding of Positive Philosophy





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Monday, August 08, 2011 05:58:06 PM