Idealism and the Endgame of Theory: Three Essays

Three seminal philosophical texts by F. W. J. Schelling, arguably the most complex representations of German Idealism, are clearly presented here for the first time in English.

Included are Schelling’s “Treatise Explicatory of the Idealism in the Science of Knowledge” (1797), “System of Philosophy in General” (1804), and “Stuttgart Seminars” (1810). Of these texts, the “Treatise” constitutes the most comprehensive critical reading of Kant and Fichte by a contemporary thinker and, as a result, proved seminal to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s efforts at interconnecting English Romanticism and German speculative thought.

Extending his early critique of subjectivity, Schelling’s “System of Philosophy in General” and his “Stuttgart Seminars” launch a far more radical inquiry into the notion of identity, a term which for Schelling, increasingly reveals the contingent nature and inescapable limitations of theoretical practice.

An extensive critical introduction relates Schelling’s work both to his philosophical contemporaries (Kant, Fichte, and Hegel) as well as to the contemporary debates about Theory in the humanities. The book includes extensive annotations of each translated text, an excursus on Schelling and Coleridge, a comprehensive multi-lingual bibliography, and a glossary.

Table of Contents

Editorial Apparatus and Standard Abbreviations
Critical Introduction by Thomas Pfau

Chapter 1. Identity as the Provocation and Crisis for Theory: [Re]Introducing F. W. J. Schelling
Chapter 2. Conditioning the Transcendental Subject: Synthesis, Imagination, and Time in Kant’s Critique
Chapter 3. Mediated Immediacy: Production, Recognition, and the Affective Grounds of the Self in Fichte
Chapter 4. Identity Before Subjectivity: Schelling’s Critique of Transcendentalism, 1794-1810

Three Essays by Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Treatise Explicatory of the Idealism in the Science of Knowledge (1797)
System of Philosophy in General and of the Philosophy of Nature in Particular (1804)
Stuttgart Seminars (1810)

Appendix: Excursus: Schelling in the Work of S. T. Coleridge

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