Schelling's Reading of the Problem of Pantheism Based on the Principle of “Identity”

Document Type : Scientific-research


1 Associate professor of philosophy, Faculty of Theology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

2 PhD Graduated of philosophy, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.


The Philosophical investigations in to the Essence of Human freedom (1809), known as the Treatise on Freedom, is Schelling's attempt to establish a system of freedom. Schelling's main concern in this treatise is to resolve the confrontation between freedom and necessity, which, in his view, is the focus of philosophy. Schelling's main concern in this treatise is to resolve the confrontation between freedom and necessity, which, in his view, is the focus of philosophy. The principle pursued in the fundamental search for the formation of the system and the solution for the conformity of the system and freedom is " identity", which in the true sense means that in pantheism it becomes possible as the only possible system of reason. By proposing and rejecting possible and deterministic interpretations of pantheism, especially in the system of Spinoza and Leibniz, he not only corrects them, but shows that the leading system of pantheism to determinism is the result of a misunderstood ontological understanding. This study shows how, according to Schelling, misinterpretation of this principle allows the incompatibility of system and freedom in different definitions of pantheism. And how Schelling's interpretation of the need to pay attention to "is" leads to an ontological question of the meaning and truth of being in the thought of German idealism. A critical reading of Schelling's attempt to eliminate possible misinterpretations of identity means prioritizing ontological issues over theological issues such as pantheism and explaining a single basic principle for establishing a system as the jointure of the order of being.In order to answer the relationship between pantheism and freedom, we turn to reflection on different interpretations of Schelling's pantheism, this is done by criticizing and examining the errors in Spinoza's and Leibniz's misinterpretations of pantheism. Then, by discussing "is" and showing Schelling's transition from the usual understanding of the principle of identity, we question the true meaning of identity. Finally, we come to the position of answering this question, how does Schelling, with the correct interpretation of the true meaning of "is" in these statements, look for a foundation for the formation of the system and a solution for the compatibility of the system and freedom? Based on Schelling's new understanding of the principle of identity, the leading of a pantheistic system to determinism does not arise from its pantheistic and theological elements, but is the result of ontological misunderstanding and resulting misunderstandings. The wrong context that has become the root of such misunderstandings is the misunderstanding of the meaning of "is" and the role of the conjunction in the sentence. Therefore, the question of pantheism, as a question of the system, leads to the question of "is" and this means changing and transforming the theological question into an ontological question and planning the ontological foundations of the freedom system. Heidegger uses this material to show that the determining element in the question of pantheism is the ontological element, and according to this meaning of the principle of identity, the question of the possibility of a system of freedom is related to the adequate understanding of existence and its fundamental determination, and the question about pantheism is considered He attributes the question about the system to the question of "is" and the way of connecting the jointure of beings.


Main Subjects

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