The Berlin lectures in The Grounding of Positive Philosophy, appearing here for the first time in English, advance Schellings final existential system as an alternative to modernitys 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. Schellings appeal in Berlin for a positive, existential philosophy found an interested audience in Kierkegaard, Engels, Feuerbach, Marx, and Bakunin. His account of the ecstatic nature of existence and reason proved to be decisive for the work of Paul Tillich and Martin Heidegger. Also, Schellings critique of reasons quixotic attempt at self-grounding anticipates similar criticisms leveled by poststructuralism, but without sacrificing philosophys power to provide a positive account of truth and meaning. The Berlin lectures provide fascinating insight into the thought processes of one of the most provocative yet least understood thinkers of nineteenth-century German philosophy.
About the author
Bruce Matthews is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bard High School Early College.
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