Nature and freedom: Repetition as supplement in the late Schelling

Sophia 49 (2):261-269 (2010)
F.W.J. von Schelling’s positive philosophy of mythology and revelation questions how one can move from the natural (the negative or mythology) to freedom (the positive or revelation), i.e. from the natural to the supernatural. The move from nature to freedom surpasses the traditional metaphysics of presence. Being is not simply the presencing of nature but the result of a decisive deed surpassing and supplementing nature. Nature can do nothing other than presence. Freedom, however, could also not be. It could remain in concealment and must not necessarily presence as nature does. The origin is a supplement because an unnecessary excess extraneous to nature. In other words, origins always supplement the natural, i.e. they are supernatural and revelatory. Origins bring something novel, i.e. something original, into being but origins themselves remain in non-being and consequently remain un-revealed. The origin cannot exist, i.e. cannot become present, because it is always qualitatively Past. The origin never was but always already has been . Primal repetition was freedom’s subjection of nature to the Past and a deferral of this deed’s consequences to the indefinite Future.
Keywords Schelling  Nature  Freedom  Repetition  Supplement
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-010-0182-8
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