Ideas from 'Letters to Hegel' by Friedrich Schelling [1795], by Theme Structure

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16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self
The basis of philosophy is the Self prior to experience, where it is the essence of freedom
                        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.
                        From: Friedrich Schelling (Letters to Hegel [1795], 1795 02 04), quoted by Jean-François Courtine - Schelling 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.