This book provides the English-speaking world with a comprehensive account of the still largely unknown work of Schelling’s philosophy of mythology and revelation. Its achievement, however, is not archival but philosophical, elucidating the relation between Schelling and onto-theology. It explains how Schelling dealt with the problem of nihilism and onto-theology well before Nietzsche and Heidegger, arguing that Schelling surpasses onto-theology or the philosophy of presence a century prior to Heidegger. Overall, the author provocatively suggests that Heidegger is perhaps Schelling’s genuine (...) heir and by comprehensively interpreting Schelling’s multifaceted late lectures he analyzes issues as diverse as the Ancient relation between thinking and Being, the Medieval debate between voluntarism and intellectualism, the overcoming of modern subjectivism and German Idealism as well as many themes in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
On 6 January 1795, the twenty-year-old Schelling—still a student at the Tübinger Stift—wrote to his friend and former roommate, Hegel: “Now I am working on an Ethics à la Spinoza. It is designed to establish the highest principles of all philosophy, in which theoretical and practical reason are united”. A month later, he announced in another letter to Hegel: “I have become a Spinozist! Don’t be astonished. You will soon hear how”. At this period in his philosophical development, Schelling had (...) been deeply under the spell of Fichte’s new philosophy and the Wissenschaftslehre. The text Schelling was writing at the time was the early Vom Ich als Prinzip der Philosophie, though his characterization of this text would much better fit the somewhat later work which is the focus of the current paper: Schelling’s 1801 Darstellung meines System der Philosophie (hereafter: Presentation). The Presentation is a text written more geometrico, following the style of Spinoza’s Ethics. While Spinoza’s influence and inspiration is stated explicitly and unmistakably in Schelling’s preface, the content of this composition might seem quite foreign to Spinoza’s philosophy, so much so, in fact, that Michael Vater—the astute translator and editor of the recent English translation of the text—has contended that “despite the formal similarities between Spinoza’s geometrical method and Schelling’s numbered mathematical-geometrical constructions, Schelling’s direct debts to Spinoza are few”. The Presentation is an extremely dense and difficult text, and while I agree that at first glance Schelling’s engagement with the concept of reason (Vernunft) and the identity formula ‘A=A’ seems to have little if anything to do with Spinoza (especially since Spinoza’s key terminology of ‘God’, ‘causa sui’, ‘substance’, ‘attribute’, and ‘mode’ is barely mentioned in the Presentation), I suspect that at a deeper level Schelling is attempting to transform Spinoza’s system by replacing God, Spinoza’s ultimate reality, with reason. Though this might at first seem bizarre, I believe it can be profitably motivated and explained upon further reflection. It is this transformation of Spinoza’s God into (the early) Schelling’s reason that is the primary subject of this study. I develop this paper in the following order. In the first part I provide a very brief overview of Schelling’s lifelong engagement with Spinoza’s philosophy, which will prepare us for my study of the 1801 Presentation. In the second part, I consider the formal structure and rhetoric of the Presentation against the background of Spinoza’s Ethics, and show how Schelling regularly imitates Spinoza’s tiniest rhetorical gestures. In the third and final part I turn to the opening of the Presentation, and argue that Schelling attempts there to distance himself from Fichte by developing a conception of reason as the absolute, or the identity of the subject and object, just as the thinking substance and the extended substance are identified in Spinoza’s God. (shrink)
F.W.J. Schelling, one of the essential thinkers in the development of German Idealism, formed his own thought not only in a critical dialogue with Kant's and Fichte's transcendentalism and Hegel's earlier conception of thinking, but also in an intensive discussion with Plato and Aristotle. Over and above that, Neoplatonism - especially Plotinus, Proclus and the Christian Dionysius the Areopagite - played a decisive role in Schelling's reception and transformation of ancient philosophy.Selecting the manifold aspects which could be reflected on in (...) this field, I want to make plausible as a transcendental analogy to Plotinus' concept of self-knowledge Schelling's requirement for a raising-up and transformation of the finite 'I' into the form of the Absolute, whose central features converge with the goal of the Plotinian self - transformation of thought into a timeless self-thinking and its ground.A main part of this paper discusses Schelling's and Plotinus' concept of nature as a dynamic process constituted by an immanent 'creating theoria'. Furthermore we find in Schelling's theory of the Absolute as the 'utterly One' a union of Plotinus' notion of a pure One beyond Being with that of the reflexive self-presence of nous, so that this Absolute can be understood as an All-Unity which grounds and embraces all actuality - because it is in itself the most unifying self-affirmation or self-mediation. What follows is a reflection on the anagogical function of art, especially from the viewpoint of Plotinus' non-Platonic rehabilitation of art as an imitation of nature. The last perspectives focus on Schelling's concept of matter and emanation - as different from and at the same time coherent with that of Plotinus - and on Schelling's theory of an absolute self - willing will in connection with Plotinus' Enneads VI.8, 'On free will and the will of the One' as a causa sui. (shrink)
Russian Marxism is the outcome of two distinct traditions, namely, nineteenth-century Russian radicalism and Western European Marxism. In this paper I shall briefly trace its descent from these traditions and try to distinguish those features of it which differentiate it both from the older radicalism and from the Marxism of Marx and Engels. I shall deal in turn with three main topics, the nineteenth-century radical tradition, early Russian Marxism, and finally, Leninism.
F. H. Bradley did not write extensively or systematically on the philosophy of religion, and much of what he did write has the character of either tentative speculation or the pre-emptive rebuttal of potential misinterpretations that might threaten his general philosophical position. ‘I admit that on this subject I never had much to say’ he warns. But such a remark should not discourage us from considering his views on this topic, since the disclaimer is typically Bradleian, and more reflective of (...) his high standards for what is required in order to claim to have something to say about some matter than of any genuine lack of opinion. On closer inspection we find that he has, scattered throughout his work, a great many important things to say about this subject. (shrink)
continent. 1.1 (2011): 52-59. Introduction Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Adam Staley Groves is a poet of thought. I say this with the greatest sincerity. Hence a thorough reading of even this small selection of his work in the length of an introduction is impossible. Such is the diligent reader’s task! Nevertheless, my choice for Staley Groves, like all choices, demands a justification, which I would like to formulate as follows. Staley Groves fits in the heroic tradition of poets that (...) have engaged philosophy on its own terrain, the surface of being. It is of utmost importance for the circulation and development of philosophy that these poets exist and continue to challenge the assumptions and axioms of philosophy, especially in times in which nearly the whole field of thought has fallen prey to irrelevant scholastic disputes. In his first publication, Imaginality, Conversant and Eschaton , Staley Groves clearly states his intentions when he asks of us to "consider surfaces without metaphyics" (22), "this landscape of surface(s) and concentric perfection, history of scribbles, of scribblers, true tauto-scribes—this flat world of ladders blown up and blown down on." (170). A surface without metaphysics is a thought of being with all the ladders of metaphysics flattened. Just like with Wittgenstein, the reader "must throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it." (§6.54). Staley Groves inserts himself in the tradition of poetry hailed by Wallace Stevens in his essay "The Figure of the Youth as Virile Poet" as the "unofficial view of being." Unofficial, but no less serious. And just like Stevens, Staley Groves appeals to the idea of imagination as the place from which both poetry and philosophy originate. At the end of the unpublished collection 33 poems from 2008 he says, "Poetry should agitate the imaginary whose foundation is of the nothing apart and conversant with such." Poetry is, contrary to most metaphysical philosophy, non-exclusive and should be able to imagine what or who imagines the "apart," the exclusions of and from language. This should be done by means of, and I really admire this word, an "aesthtic" reasoning. A reasoning that conflates the categories of ethics and esthetics, "That is the overturning of the structure onto violence / into the transmission of imaginary kalidescopically." The following selection of poems has been made from Staley Groves’s upcoming publication of his first collection of poetry, entitled Poetry Vocare . Fortuitously—and Stevens taught us, every true metaphor is fortuitous—the first poem from the section "galata bridge" deals with the theme of this inaugural issue of continent. : the "greased isthmus" of the Bosphorus, the locus classicus of the East-West divide, a "night’s milk water / between 'worlds.'" Again we encounter Staley Groves’s theme of the "nothing apart" of poetry’s imagination when he concludes that "only aura / only aural sun, / of world / no walls remain / the modern kaleidoscope, crushed in stanbul." The Galata Bridge, connecting the ancient and modern parts of Istanbul, crossing the isthmus between Ottoman Byzantium with the Christian world of merchants, here becomes emblematic of one of the many tasks of poetry. In a broader political perspective: the overcoming of all the real and fantasmatic walls dividing so-called terrorists from enlightened humans, dividing god-sent settlers from invaders, dividing desperate people from luxury swimming pools. This can be done, for in a section from "glass language" he assures us that "Walls hold aspiration." And "gusting plaster wall, hear crumbles, between slats, / crumbs between walls. / Sense prints vacant space." Therefore, Staley Groves is most of all an affirmative poet. A poet who affirms the imaginative power of poetry. "allspeed! back into essence," the first poem from "galata bridge" ends. This is an appeal that speaks to us from within poetry. It is an appeal to "town squares, / integrate circles." Prishtinë, Kosovo October 14, 2010 Staley Groves’s Poetry Vocare will be available from March, 2011 as the first publication of Uitgeverij . Selected Poems from Poetry Vocare Adam Staley Groves from GALATA BRIDGE (in the world alive life in the world) plying wall in summer of “world” sea borne holes, a great catastrophe open your wall have it open, do not withhold Mehmed, Mehmed: stands in steel against the slit Bosporus a globe, at his feet against, facing he’s fac?’d-up, to a murk of, constelling waters, leaky, greased isthmus, open pagination a night’s milk water between "worlds" cisternal nectar, lispy pages bound spine of the wall, brok’d flow peering-in plied fibers in its flex, over ages a crown on hill skull hill of skies in thou , sands drown in fervor move , ment mean unbracketed leaves fallen plans from skies no walls remain, leaves us Now, as it were the fire on skull, only aura, only aural sun, of world no walls remain the modern kaleidoscope, crushed in stanbul allspeed! back into essence. from GLASS LANGUAGE The air fills with glass shreds the lungs. see more closely what designs ‘view’. Not aspect, mere aspection, rationing sight. worm aurora rings fiber, glass fire halo of the philosopher, stealing up shoes, to journey, and meet poet’s wife’s husband put on your hat, lift up your coat, hear the hook bounce gusting plaster wall, hear crumbles, between slats, crumbs between walls. Sense prints vacant space. Walls hold aspiration. Citations of poetry, sensible wall, cited by hanging pictures. hung pictures behind evenings. Philosophers are sperm, poetry erupts sperm and dribbles, philosopher recodes term, to terminate, poet, glass text, ure language, insubstantial aspect love vis-able termination. A glass supposes something dramatic about others: finite torsion of onlooker, seeing their reflection seeing beyond, contorted. And as a circle, circumference, a tower, for the master, for the captured, for the thinker, for the clouds. It was philosopher, whom philosopher picks up, who takes a view of the glass, there: a fly in the glass, that can see beyond, cannot escape, overturned glass. A glass language has nothing to do with speaking, rivulet reflections, atomized filling, nostrilling horns, concentric orders and bursting text of lip’s face. It says much about position, of the fly, and the position, of the philosopher. In deed not simple. from POETRY VOCARE poetry is not vocation, mere vocare , the center evacuated. in poetry evacuation, phlebotomy of the plan: evac au tion, to dislocate, correction: evacuation. venesection. venation, vena, to splice center and centers of the central world. the street dispersal, phlebotomy of venations. voidance and evacuation: carefully splice voi and dance ; call-dance, kehy-dance, dence ? poetry means not plans, mere evacuated and beyond call of poetry the evacuation, phlem-botomy of the throwing to the voice in the dispersal of the street. if you are spilt you are split. it is the rising without view for which streets disperse its centers . poetry vocare , plan in,tense futurist claim in,tense, and return to, tense claim of, the call in the collision, thrown phlegm. in the call after call. the splitter and the drinker are in,circled, but we town squares, integrate circles.  . (shrink)
W. Norris Clarke's metaphysics of the universe as a journey rests on six major positions: the unrestricted dynamism of the mind, the primacy of the act of existence, the participation structure of reality, and the person, considered as both the starting point of philosophy and the source of the categories needed for a flexible contemporary metaphysics. Reflecting on his conscious life and the universe around him, the finite person mounts by a two-fold path to its Infinite source, who, though immutable (...) in His natural being, is mutable in the intentional being of His personal knowledge and love. The personal God is the efficient cause from whom the universe comes and the final cause to whom it returns.Less optimistic than Norris Clarke, John Caputo wonders about his metaphysics of the person. In a hermeneutical interpretation of the human face, the person through whom Being "sounds" discloses an ambiguous Being that both reveals and conceals itself. Far from grounding a casual ascent to God, hermeneutical phenomenology allows us no more than the right to interpret the world and its transcendent source through our own free decision.Although impressed by Norris Clarke's attempt to introduce mutability into God, Lewis Ford still finds Clarke's Thomistic God unacceptable. As a Whiteheadian, he proposes in place of Thomas' God, whose perfection consists in static unity, a God whose perfection consists in a never-ending process of unification. John Smith argues against the traditional dichotomy made between the ontological and cosmological arguments. Rather than opposed methods of proving God's existence, they should be taken as complementary journeys to the divine presence which discloses itself, although diversely, in the soul and in the world. There are parallels between Smith's historical study of two arguments and Clarke's two-fold path to God. Yet Smith is critical of Thomas' cosmological journey to God and does not share Clarke's confidence in its validity. Significant studies in their own right, the three essays as a group challenge Clarke's whole metaphysics of the universe as a journey. Meeting the challenge, Clarke clarifies and refines his own thought.An account of Clarke's philosophy by Gerald A. McCool, S.J. preceds this unified and stimulating philosophical discussion. (shrink)