The Suspension of Reason in Hegel and Schelling by Christopher Lauer

By Christopher Lauer

In this rigorous old research, Lauer demanding situations conventional readings that experience lowered of German idealism’s most vital thinkers to opposing caricatures: Hegel the uncompromising systematist unaware of the newness and contingency of human existence and Schelling the protean philosopher interested in all demeanour of pseudoscientific charlatanry. Bringing jointly contemporary scholarship that's simply starting to appreciate Schelling’s centrality within the overthrow of metaphysics and Hegel’s openness to range and innovation, this ebook exhibits that either thinkers could be learn as contributing to the Kantian venture of revealing either the utter necessity and the restrictions of cause.

In readings of texts spanning every one thinker’s profession, Lauer indicates that animating a lot of Hegel and Schellings' such a lot passionate paintings is their popularity of the necessity neither for a canonization of cause nor for its overthrow, yet for its ‘suspension’. Their lifelong willingness to revisit either their definitions of cause and their bills of its function in philosophy provide those discussions a energy and intensity that few within the heritage of philosophy can fit.

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The world for mere reflection is one in which categories are not only natural, but absolute. By separating spirit from the phenomenal world, reflection ‘fills the intelligible world with chimeras, against which, because they lie beyond all reason, it is not even possible to fight. It makes that separation between human being and the world permanent, because it treats the latter as a thing in itself, which neither intuition nor imagination, neither understanding nor reason, reach’ (S 2: 14). By cancerously magnifying reason’s grounding urge, reflection cancels the urge of identity, and thus kills the striving of reason entirely.

But I do not think that the invocation of humanity here shows anything essentially problematic about the foundations of Schelling’s Nature Philosophy. Immediately after introducing this separation, Schelling states that it also appears as the separation of object from intuition, of concept from image, and of the human being from himself (S 2: 13). By the next page, Schelling has dropped his references to humanity altogether and states simply that reason, as the primary movement of philosophy, is grounded in ‘the original separation’ (S 2: 14).

Whereas the understanding may see striving as a complex of forces, reason may see it as a longing for return to identity. Since both reason and the understanding are inexhaustible, any such generalizations about the content of the interpretation of striving would be inadequate. With the introduction of the organic into our accounts of the structure of reason and the understanding, we risk privileging reason, since only it can grasp the teleology of organic life. Yet conversely, by interpreting sickness as a disequilibrium of forces, Schelling actually prioritizes the understanding in weighing the comparative health of these two forms of striving.

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