The Essex Lectures in Philosophy: Peter Dews, Schelling and Hegel

Session 3: Mini-Course, School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex, 3–5 October 2018

  • Thu 4 Oct 18

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Colchester Campus

    Senate Room, 4.722

  • Event speaker

    Peter Dews

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    The Essex Lectures in Philosophy

  • Event organiser

    Philosophy and Art History, School of

The end of German Idealism: Schelling's late philosophy in confrontation with Hegel

Hegel and Schelling, two of the major thinkers of the German Idealist period, have a complex intertwined history. They were schoolmates together at the seminary in Tübingen in the early 1790s, and, in the dawning years of the nineteenth century, they collaborated at the University of Jena, publishing a philosophy journal together. However, Schelling took remarks made by Hegel in the ‘Preface’ to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) as an attack on his system (Hegel never replied to the letter enquiring whether criticism was indeed intended), and their connection broke off.

Hegel died in a cholera epidemic in Berlin in 1831, but Schelling, five years his junior, lived until 1854. After Hegel’s death, Schelling began to present in his lectures a critique of Hegel’s thought, grounded in the new conception of the tasks of philosophy he had started to develop from the late 1820s onwards. Schelling regards Hegel, in many respects, as the culminating thinker of the post-Kantian period. Hence his late grappling with Hegel’s system forms part of his retrospective evaluation of the impetus, achievements, and limitations of the German Idealist movement as a whole, including his own youthful role in its inception and development. In these seminars we will examine, over three days, three major dimensions of Schelling’s late philosophical system, and consider the implications of their divergence from Hegel:

  1. The problem of where and how to begin philosophy
  2. The relation between philosophy and mythological and religious forms of consciousness
  3. Understanding history and the role of human freedom

This is part of a mini-course, hosted by the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex, between Wednesday 3 and Friday 5 October 2018.

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