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Nature and Realism in Schelling’s Philosophy

Emilio Carlo Corriero
Andrea Dezi

Schelling’s Moral Argument for a Metaphysics of Contingency

Alistair Welchman

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Schelling’s middle period works have always been a source of fascination. They mark a break with the idealism (in both senses of the word) of his early works and hence with the Fichtean and then Hegelian tradition while not being weighed down by the reactionary burden of his late lectures on theology and mythology. But they have been equally a source of perplexity. The central work of this period, the Essay on Human Freedom (1809) or Freiheitsschrift takes as its topic the moral problem of freedom, but spends much of its time telling a mystical-metaphysical story about the creation of the world that attempts to paint a picture of a kind of irreducible metaphysical contingency in nature. What is the relation between the moral and the metaphysical elements of the Freedom essay?

It has never been obvious. But some recent Anglophone scholarship suggests an answer. In her Freedom and Reason in Kant, Schelling and Kierkegaard Michelle Kosch1 presents a strong case for the view that Schelli...


Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is interested in questions of naturalism and materialism, especially, but not exclusively in relation to French and German philosophy since Kant. In addition he has translated Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation (for Cambridge) and Maimon’s Essay on Transcendental Philosophy.