Single Idea 22073

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self]

Full Idea

The highest principle of all philosophy is the Self insofar as it is purely and simply Self, not yet conditioned by an object, but where it is formulated by freedom. The alpha and omega of all philosophy is freedom.

Gist of Idea

The basis of philosophy is the Self prior to experience, where it is the essence of freedom


Friedrich Schelling (Letters to Hegel [1795], 1795 02 04), quoted by Jean-François Courtine - Schelling p.83

Book Reference

'A Companion to Continental Philosophy', ed/tr. Critchley,S/Schroeder,W [Blackwell 1999], p.83

A Reaction

A common later response to this (e.g. in Schopenhauer) is that there is no concept of the Self prior to experience. The idealists seem to adore free will, while offering no reply to Spinoza on the matter, with whom they were very familiar.

Related Idea

Idea 4166 A consciousness without an object is no consciousness [Schopenhauer]