From a philosophy of self to a philosophy of nature: Goethe and the development of Schelling's naturphilosophie

One of the most significant moments in the development of German idealism is Schelling's break from his mentor Fichte. On account of its significance, there have been numerous studies examining the origin and meaning of this transition in Schelling's thought. Not one study, however, considers Goethe's influence on Schelling's development. This is surprising given the fact that in the fall of 1799 Goethe and Schelling meet every day for a week, to go through and edit what came to be Schelling's most path-breaking work. This paper considers Goethe's influence on the development of Schelling's thought, and argues that it was by appropriating Goethe's idea of metamorphosis that Schelling was able to put forth a conception of nature as independent from the mind
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DOI 10.1515/agph.2010.014
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