Sunday, May 10, 2009

47 Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Let me quote Wikipedia, the English version:

"Schelling's thought has often been neglected, especially in the English-speaking world. This stems not only from the ascendancy of Hegel, whose mature works portray Schelling as a mere footnote in the development of Idealism, but also from his Naturphilosophie, which positivist scientists have often ridiculed for its "silly" analogizing and lack of empirical orientation. "

It made me smile, for this is almost a piece of personal history. When I was 18 I was in the 6th grade of the gymnasium and my history teacher somehow noticed my philosophical interest.

He invited me to give a lesson on philosophy for my class and I accepted the invitation. The class was flabbergasted and I had to continue the next lesson. My subject: Kant - Fichte - Schelling - Hegel...for heavens's sake. I did it...^_^

It really is worth a smile, for in no time in my second year at the university I sold my soul to the positivists. I loved empiricism...loved Locke and Hume...and then all those friends..Wittgenstein, Russell, Ayer, Carnap, Popper and so on.

And here I am...lecturing on German Idealism again. It is worth a smile. But I have to be fair and give Schelling a chance. His ideas and way of thinking, which is the case with all philosophers, with whom you disagree, still can stimulate your own creativity and bring you new insights.

Schelling, what was his program? I think it is closely related to an issue that has my attention too. When I say I am thinking about myself, I am in the first place the subject, but in the second place I make myself to an object of contemplation too.

Does this mean that I can exist as subject and object at the same time. That is what Schelling fascinated. As a rationalist he undrstood Descartes, his dualism, the mind and the external world.

Like Kant he concluded that the mind without an external world is empty and an external world, not perceived by a mind is nothing. So mind and external world are a kind of creating eachother, tho one cant live without the other.

In accordance with Kant he made the distinction between what was called transcedental philosophy, which deals with the fundamental elements of cognition and sensory experience, and philosophy of nature, which deals with the science of the external world.

Schelling's program was to reconsil the subjective and the objective. A kind of attempt to prove that both are two aspects of one all-embracing truth.

I understand the problem he saw: the mind and the existence of an external word....and the big question are they related. And as a follower of Kant, his problem of the impossiblility to know the world as such.

It is a serious epistemological problem: the proof of the existence of a reality outside our mind. However, the way Schellng tries to tackle this problem is not my thing...

To give you an example...According to Schelling there exists something like the Absolute. the "Worldsoul", expressed in the dualistic aspects of nature and mind. All that exists is part of the One. The universe is a complete entitty, which deploys itself in time, it is absolute, with which Schelling means, that everything is part of nature.

This really is not my kind of philosophy. I am inclined to regard this kind of metaphysical theorizing as some kind of theology.Looking at the quote from Wikipedia, I wont ridicule these kind of metaphysical theorizing....just wait till you have met Hegel or Heidegger.....

Kant perfected the dichotomy between the mind and the appearances. he showed that the mind molds the sensory input, so that the real world as such stayed unknown. Schellng continued in this line of thinking trying to unite the two again, the subject and the object.

Eventually he wasnt successfull in his project. he never formulated a coherent metaphysics, which answered the question.

The Discussion

[13:18] Herman Bergson: So far on Schelling..:-)
[13:18] Herman Bergson: If you have any questions...plz feel free to ask
[13:19] Adamante Rossini: good evening every body
[13:19] hope63 Shepherd: hmm.. somehow i feel from what you said that he was closer to "truth" than many others..
[13:20] Herman Bergson: I am not sure what you mean Hope, he just developed a metaphysical theory
[13:20] AristotleVon Doobie: I can see the mind and the world as paralell but not identical
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: a soon as you started talking about the absolute one i saw the connection to religion
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: and knew it would come up
[13:21] Herman Bergson: Yes Gemma....all the time God is introduced..Kant did it ..Schelling did it too
[13:21] Siena Masala: does the belief in the 'Ghia Principle' describe this metaphysical theory?
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:21] hope63 Shepherd: wel.. i see the question of subject -object.. and from some latest researches i have unfortuantely not read.. the mind. subject- reacts to the object contemplating it..
[13:21] hope63 Shepherd: sorry.. i stop here.. have to dig deeper..
[13:22] hope63 Shepherd: give me 10 years.. -as for kant lol
[13:22] Herman Bergson: You mean the gaia Principle, Siena?
[13:22] Siena Masala: if the universie is absolute why is it degrading - ? yes herman
[13:23] Siena Masala: gaia by any other name is the principle :)
[13:23] Osrum Sands: is it degrading or mererly changing form - but thats off the subject I think
[13:23] hope63 Shepherd: gaia?
[13:24] Herman Bergson: I am not too familiar with it but you could trace it back to Spinoza...who saw man and the wolrd as one
[13:24] Herman Bergson: gaia is greek for Earth
[13:24] hope63 Shepherd: so what can that be as a principale in the universe..:?
[13:24] Siena Masala: we as humans degrade and if the two are dependent upon each other in a symbiotic relationship - ero the universe must also be degrading -
[13:25] Osrum Sands: modern science tells us that all our bodies atoms etc were created in the universe many years ago
[13:25] Osrum Sands: so in a sence we are all part of the one thing
[13:26] Siena Masala: the material world yes
[13:26] Osrum Sands: yes
[13:26] Herman Bergson: Well...the german Romantic loved such ideas...
[13:26] hope63 Shepherd: as atoms we ARE part of the whole..
[13:26] hope63 Shepherd: herman,.. the romantics to my knowledge started a bit later..
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: OK Schelling would have us believe that the subject and the object are one....but there is a single object and you and I both have a subject?
[13:27] Mickorod Renard: are we degrading? as a one with the universe?
[13:27] Osrum Sands: which brings us back to that brain - mind dychotomy
[13:27] Herman Bergson: No Hope....Schelling and Goethe were good friends
[13:27] hope63 Shepherd: goethe was not romatic.. sturm and drang.. and classicism..
[13:28] hope63 Shepherd: fantane started die blaue blume.. -- well amongst others..
[13:28] Herman Bergson: Ok..let's see what we have got...
[13:29] Herman Bergson: some methaphysical theory....about subject and object
[13:29] Herman Bergson: a theory far away from the empiricist tradition
[13:29] hope63 Shepherd: why should that be metaphysical.. subject.object..
[13:30] Siena Masala: ~Schelling considered himself - using the subject and object - but both aspects were using the mind
[13:30] Herman Bergson: It offers little gunpowder for a good debate, in my opinion..
[13:31] hope63 Shepherd: ok fellow philosophers.. get at your
[13:31] Siena Masala: bang
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I can see that all material things are made of the same 'stuff' but the mind has no substance
[13:31] Siena Masala: the mind is the only 'reality'
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: yes 'I AM'
[13:32] Siena Masala: the mind is the creative substance
[13:32] Osrum Sands: Herman, with due respect, I wonder if that might possibly be because you appear to totally discount the possibility of the existance of the 'other side' / God or what ever
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: I see you point Siena but still you should be able to touch substance
[13:33] Siena Masala: but I stray into spiritual waters
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Yes, I agree Osrum...
[13:33] Osrum Sands: ok
[13:33] Herman Bergson: I do
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: My mind is the only spirit I have
[13:33] hope63 Shepherd: s...t.. about 4 weeks ago i asked what my illuminous fellow students understand when they say "mind".. spirit? geist? esprit?
[13:33] Osrum Sands: Herman to a philosophical inquirer does that suggest the possibility of a closed mind
[13:34] Herman Bergson: fact is that a lot of philosophers who we discussed used a concept of god to solve their problems, be an answer to their ultimate questions
[13:34] hope63 Shepherd: i accept to be rebuked again lol
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: that has certainly been true of many we discussed
[13:34] AristotleVon Doobie: Well I think that is to anwer the unknown
[13:34] hope63 Shepherd: tight ari.. a word .. for the unknown..
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: and I feel that is a 'cop out'
[13:35] Herman Bergson: yes...of course Aristotle, but it is like a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat
[13:35] Siena Masala: the unknown principle is a scientific tool which must not be discounted
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: ah Manoly:-)
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: I think they hit a road block and merely drive around it
[13:35] Mickorod Renard: thiss is the prob outside simple observational statements
[13:35] Siena Masala: hhahahha
[13:36] Osrum Sands: sure much thought around God or that ever you might call it / him / her is a case of weak thinking or an undiciplined mind
[13:36] AristotleVon Doobie: instead of clearing the roadway
[13:36] Osrum Sands: agree Aris
[13:37] Osrum Sands: but that does not mean the other does not exist !
[13:37] hope63 Shepherd: there was a time when philosophy accepted the fact that anything we can think of is possible.. but seems to me now we believe that what science cannot prove is not true..
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: can not prove it doesnt exist anyway
[13:37] AristotleVon Doobie: Hello Manoly
[13:37] Manoly Demina: hi all
[13:37] Sophianne Rhode is Online
[13:37] hope63 Shepherd: issaiac..ah manoly..
[13:37] Osrum Sands: or 'prove' it does
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: it was my understanding that we would avoid this discussion among our selves at class!!!!!!!!!
[13:38] Mickorod Renard: yeh we may prove it one day
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: yes
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:38] Herman Bergson: I dont think it is just the matter, that science should give proof for something..
[13:38] Manoly Demina: hello aristotle von ,herman ,hope ,Gemma
[13:38] Manoly Demina: hi osrum
[13:38] Herman Bergson: I just want to hear convincing arguments
[13:38] Osrum Sands: Hope I think that much state of the art science acknowledges the possibility of a 'god' power
[13:39] Osrum Sands: fair enough Herman
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: hmm.. einstein did..
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: if Schelling is correct then we are all gods
[13:39] Osrum Sands: but to Einstien God was not as in any christian / religious concep[t
[13:40] Herman Bergson: I see the introduction of god into an epistemological discourse to answer questions and solve problems as a cultural phenomenon..
[13:40] Osrum Sands: rather some unifying power
[13:40] Mickorod Renard: maybe we all have some part of God in us yes
[13:40] hope63 Shepherd: right.. but he didn't exclude the idea of a force absolute directing all..
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: surely there exists nothing but the same 'stuff' that made us all
[13:41] Osrum Sands: Folks the thought of God raises way more questions then it ever answers
[13:41] Herman Bergson: even great scientists can be mistaken
[13:41] Osrum Sands: to me
[13:41] jaynine Scarborough is Offline
[13:41] Osrum Sands: and Philosophers
[13:41] Mickorod Renard: maybe only some are aware of the God bit
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: mick. if we accept it,.. we ^must accept that for all of nature.. and not just for humans as the philosophers did..
[13:41] herman Bergson smiles
[13:41] Manoly Demina is Offline
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: Of course in the sudy of philosophy, teology answers no questions
[13:41] Siena Masala: did Scheling in his theory consider 'self-reflection as an act of creation ?
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: theology
[13:42] Herman Bergson: I wouldnt know Siena
[13:42] Mickorod Renard: yes, maybe i go along with that hope
[13:42] Osrum Sands: I disagree Aris / but my understanding is limited
[13:42] Siena Masala: have you just contemplated yourself herman
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: Do you know if he did say think this Sienna?
[13:42] Osrum Sands: I think theology does answer questions as to meaning purpose etc
[13:42] Osrum Sands: but not fully to many
[13:43] Osrum Sands: who want to go beyond s symply ansewr
[13:43] Herman Bergson: yes Osrum and that are the philosophers, who want to do that
[13:44] Osrum Sands: thank God
[13:44] Osrum Sands: for that
[13:44] Osrum Sands: or what ever
[13:44] Siena Masala: the lecture notes say :So mind and external world are a kind of creating eachother,
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: he he he
[13:44] Anuska Loon is Online
[13:44] Osrum Sands: sorry pun
[13:44] Herman Bergson: lol
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: That is interesting Sienna
[13:44] Herman Bergson: Yes Siena,,,Schelling had some kind of theory on that...
[13:45] Osrum Sands: surly the universe is in a constant state of creation
[13:45] Siena Masala: Is Schelling saying that by 'contemplation' we create the object
[13:45] hope63 Shepherd: i think that schelling understood that regarding the world is not possible without understanding that the world is regarding us.. and that influences our understanding of the world..
[13:45] Osrum Sands: you could say that even decay is a form of creation
[13:46] Mickorod Renard: Voltaire said ' if God did not exist we should have to invent him'
[13:46] Siena Masala: decay is a release of resources
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: right os.. the compost in my garden proves it..
[13:46] Osrum Sands: hahah Mick
[13:46] Osrum Sands: again Einstine matter is neither created or destroyed just changes form
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: voltaire wasn't joking..
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: sure, there is nothing new under the sun
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: it just changes shape
[13:47] Mickorod Renard: yes matter just recycles
[13:47] Siena Masala: are new atoms coming into existence or is it just the re - cycling of a finite numb er
[13:47] Herman Bergson: That is an interesting question Siena....
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: or the combination of others
[13:48] Herman Bergson: never thought about that..:-)
[13:48] Osrum Sands: in the furnace of the sun new atoms are being created
[13:48] Osrum Sands: also in the cooling of lava
[13:48] Mickorod Renard: black holes may be big drains
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: siena.. we concentrate on atoms.. but what about phenomenas which are noit linked to material..
[13:48] Siena Masala: him the process is transformation not creation
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: Well then the sun must be where god is
[13:48] Osrum Sands: Aris , stop that
[13:49] Siena Masala: hahaha he doesnt show up much in england then
[13:49] SALDOG Brezoianu: quarks
[13:49] hope63 Shepherd: ari.. send him my mail (to os)
[13:49] Osrum Sands: haha
[13:49] Herman Bergson: Well.. a lot of religions saw the sun as a god
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: I like it myself
[13:49] hope63 Shepherd: may i ask why..
[13:49] Osrum Sands: I would rather say the Big Bang is where God is
[13:49] Osrum Sands: not the lesser suns
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: without the sun we would not exist
[13:50] Herman Bergson: true
[13:50] Osrum Sands: or the big bang the sun
[13:50] Siena Masala: i would rather say that God created the world out of 'nothing'
[13:50] Siena Masala: he brought into existance -
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: ah the eternal question is 'when was nothing?
[13:51] Herman Bergson: Well my friends..time to collect our findings on Schelling
[13:51] Osrum Sands: I can get my head around no time like before time but not no space
[13:51] SALDOG Brezoianu: What put God there to put the matter there for the Big Bang
[13:51] Herman Bergson: for on this subject we can discuss forever..
[13:51] Osrum Sands: what did the big bang explode into ?
[13:51] Siena Masala: it is a dimensional thing Os
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: waiting on Hermans conclusion
[13:51] Osrum Sands: understand that
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: herman thinks the big bang is a myth..
[13:52] Osrum Sands: but think about it
[13:52] Osrum Sands: science tells us that with the big bang time and space were created
[13:52] Siena Masala: how can a finite mind understand the infinite lol
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: invented by stephen hawkins..
[13:52] Osrum Sands: on you Hope
[13:52] Siena Masala: sorry herman you were saying?
[13:53] Herman Bergson: the big bang theory is a pragmatic model to explain phenomena...just a postulate nothing more
[13:53] SALDOG Brezoianu: big bang exploded into an infinite expansion of space with a finite amount of matter that can change shape and form
[13:54] Siena Masala: but space is matter - so it would have to be brought into existence also
[13:54] Osrum Sands: there are cosomologists who claim to have the evidence of the Big bang being the real think
[13:54] Herman Bergson: HOLD ON...:-)
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: its obvious, we become so intelligent in the future we become God and we go back in time and create the universe for ourselves
[13:54] Osrum Sands: thing
[13:54] Herman Bergson: ok..:-)
[13:54] Siena Masala: hahahah Mick
[13:54] Herman Bergson: new rule in class...
[13:54] hope63 Shepherd: l will calm down.. none of us is a specialist on the big bang.. so we reduce it to the enssential of philosophy.. what we can know?
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: can
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: and how?
[13:55] Herman Bergson: when I say HOLD capitals...I would appreciate it if everyone stopped talking
[13:55] Rasana Destiny: bye all
[13:55] Manoly Demina: i don't agree with u mickorod
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: oh ok
[13:55] Siena Masala: yes Herman - I am sorry
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: that is not a new rule we decided a long time ago to not get inot this aspect of discussion do you not remember!!!
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: we get into the same back and forth over and over
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: I shall respect that rule!
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: go back and see the discussions months ago
[13:56] Herman Bergson: that gives me the opportnity to get a discussion back to its focus...where is Schelling here...disappeared with a big bang...^_^
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: i shall respect gemma:9
[13:56] Siena Masala: shhhhh
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: repeats of the same
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes Gemma you are right
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Yes GEmma...and that is what I want to prevent...
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: i know!!
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: but it is the same people with the same arguments
[13:57] Siena Masala: ok Gemma take a bow
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: OK talk to us Prof
[13:57] Herman Bergson: we end up as a debating club yelling generalisations
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: exactly!!!!
[13:57] Siena Masala: :)
[13:57] Herman Bergson: Well...
[13:58] Herman Bergson: To be honest..Schelling has little to offer in our philosophical quest...
[13:58] Herman Bergson: this is to some extend due to my personal philosophical position, but not completely
[13:58] hope63 Shepherd: our?
[13:58] Herman Bergson: in this period german philosophy seems to dominate the scene in Europe..
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: he is not even in the encyclopedia of philosophers
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: had to go to wiki
[13:59] Herman Bergson: They are big system builders in metaphysics...
[13:59] Siena Masala: well I feel that his description of the subject and the object was an important philosphical question
[13:59] Herman Bergson: We still have to deal with Hegel.....:-S
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: oh oh
[14:00] Herman Bergson: Yes Siena..the problem of regarding myself as subject AND object of contemplation is an interesting issue
[14:00] itsme Frederix: Schiller & Schelling - tubinger stift - a wicked time of philosophy
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: but doesnt this lend reason to objects?
[14:01] Herman Bergson: Hey Itsme!! ...yes..:-)
[14:01] hope63 Shepherd: hey itsme.. careful.. i spent 4 years at tuebingen..
[14:01] Herman Bergson: So we noticed Hope....^_^
[14:02] itsme Frederix: I missed a lot, but the german king/emperor had his own university in stutgard/tubingen - his rules were important
[14:02] hope63 Shepherd: lol.. so you understand why i have so many
[14:02] itsme Frederix: Great Hope, I've visited twice Tubingen - nice place
[14:02] Siena Masala: are you addressing Hegel next Herman? I would like to know so that I can read up on it - i know very little of the philosphers
[14:02] hope63 Shepherd: itsme.. look up wikipedia.. no kings.
[14:02] itsme Frederix: fichte first I hope
[14:03] Gemma Cleanslate: have to leave now sorry i will be here next Tuesday i hope!! thanks herman
[14:03] Herman Bergson: Yes...Hegel next time....
[14:03] Siena Masala: bye Gemma
[14:03] AristotleVon Doobie: fare thee well Gemma
[14:03] Herman Bergson: For today..class dismissed...^_^
[14:03] SALDOG Brezoianu: bye Gemma
[14:03] Manoly Demina: bye gemma
[14:03] Mickorod Renard: bye gemma
[14:03] Herman Bergson: Bye Gemma
[14:03] Siena Masala: Thank you Herman for an interesting lecture
[14:03] itsme Frederix: Herman do you skip Fichte?
[14:03] Herman Bergson: Yes I do...:-)
[14:04] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes thanks Heram!
[14:04] Siena Masala: and students for enlightening contributions
Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-03-07 03:57:13

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