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Reason and the Real

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2015

John W Burbidge*
Trent University
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Symposium on Andrew Bowie's Schelling and Modern European Philosophy
Copyright © The Hegel Society of Great Britain 1993

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1 See chapter 4 of Book II of his Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature, trans Harris, E E & Heath, P (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) pp 171178 Google Scholar.

2 Hegel's, Gesammelte Werke, Volume 7 Google Scholar. Only the Logic and the Metaphysics have been translated: G W F Hegel, The Jena System, 1804-5: Logic and Metaphysics, ed Burbidge, J W & di Giovanni, G (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1986)Google Scholar.

3 The disagreement was already implicit in those early days. Schelling relied almost exclusively on the three-fold pattern which repeated itself at various levels of complexity. Hegel insisted in prefacing his philosophies of nature with a consideration of logic and metaphysics. To be sure, his thinking also tended to fall into a three-fold pattern; but at each stage this followed from the specific content of the terms being analyzed; it was not imposed as an a priori schema.

4 See Spelling's, Werke, II/1, 388 Google Scholar for the former use; II/3, 163 for the latter.

5 Here, then, we have an example of how Bowie establishes an analogy with modern philosophy only by abstracting from the reasoning that justifies Schelling's position.

6 It is this appeal to will that Kierkegaard rejects in Philosophical Fragments, when he writes: It is easy to see, then…, that faith is not an act of will, for it is always the case that all human willing is efficacious only within the condition”, trans Hong, H V and Hong, E H, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985) p 62 Google Scholar. This was written shortly after SK had become bored in Schelling's lectures.

7 The only reference to this crucial term from the positive philosophy in Bowie's book is contained in a quotation from Theunissen (p 166). The comment then made is cryptically puzzling: What is it that is incontrovertible? And why does it invalidate Schelling's theology?

On Schelling's use of reasoning per posterius, see my Contraries and Contradictories: Reasoning in Schelling's Late Philosophy,” The Owl of Minerva, XVI, 1 (Fall, 1984) 5568 Google Scholar; reprinted in Hegel on Logic and Religion, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992) pp 5570 Google Scholar.

This late system echoes Schelling's earlier philosophy Just as the a priori deduction of the structures of intellectual intuition is seen to correspond to the information one receives from the natural sciences (properly understood), so the a priori constructions of what is required for the Unconditioned Existent to be the origin of conditioned existence are confirmed by the way they conform to the history of mythology and revelation (properly understood).

8 That the logical method is also self-correcting can be seen when one compares the two editions of the larger “Doctrine of Being” (1812 and 1831) and the three editions of the Encyclopaedia Logic (1817, 1827 and 1830). Compare my On Hegel's Logic, (Atlantic Highlands: Humanities, 1981, 1994)Google Scholar and Hegel on Logic and Religion, cited above.

9 Enz. §244. The Encyclopaedia Logic, trans Geraetz, T F, Suchting, W A, and Harris, H S, (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1991) p 307 Google Scholar.

10 Vorrede zu einer philosophischen Schrift des Herrn Victor Cousins,” 1834, Werke, I/10, pp 212–3Google Scholar.

11 Werke, II/3, 89 Google Scholar. It is interesting to note Kierkegaard's account of these lectures. After citing Hegel from the larger Logic as saying “the absolute turns into a principle from which all of the preceding now proceeds,” Schelling adds: “If Hegel had done this and not only talked about it, he would have achieved the positive philosophy and recognized the first as negative philosophy”. [From Schelling's Berlin Lectures,” in Kierkegaard, S, The Concept of Irony, trans Hong, H V and Hong, E H, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989) p 351 Google Scholar.] Compare the Munich Lectures on Modern Philosophy, I/10, 154; On the History of Modern Philosophy, trans Bowie, A, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) p 155 Google Scholar. A fine exposition and critique of Schelling's criticism of this move can be found in Burkhardt, Bernd, Hegels “Wissenschaft der Logik” im Spanmmgsfeld der Kritik (Hildesheim: Olms, 1993), especially pp 34-47 and pp 483523 Google Scholar.

12 I have, however, written a commentary on how this process functions with respect to chemistry (which may in due course be published).

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