"The Metaphysics of Evil"; Critique of Schelling's system of freedom and Heidegger's ontological interpretation

Document Type : Scientific-research


1 Associate professor of philosophy at University of Isfahan

2 Isfahan University, Faculty of Literature and Humanities



The Philosophical investigations in to the Essence of Human freedom (1809) is an ontological research about freedom as human nature, which acknowledges the positive and determining aspect of evil in the nature of human freedom. Schelling mentions the ontological distinction of "ground" and "existence" to establish the possibility of freedom (evil) in the totality of beings, as a whole. Heidegger considers this distinction to be one of the innovations of Schelling's philosophy, and in Schilling's treatise on the Essence of human freedom (1936), he calls it "The distinction of being". In his opinion, the position of freedom in Schelling's system is realized in an ontological foundation, and his question of freedom can be transferred to the question of existence, as the fundamental question of philosophy. the important goal of this article is to analyze Heidegger's interpretation of the distinction between ground and existence as an ontological condition for the possibility of evil in Schelling's system of freedom. This research seeks answers to these two questions: How does this distinction pave the way for explaining the ontological basis of the possibility of evil? And why, in order to know these two principles, it is necessary to examine the human spirit and its essence as freedom? We will show how in Heidegger's interpretation of Schelling's reading, despite his accepted proximity to this fundamental distinction, he still fails idealist philosophy, including Schelling's philosophical system, in taking the final step beyond the fundamental structures of metaphysics of will and true liberation from metaphysical tradition.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 19 February 2023
  • Receive Date: 02 November 2022
  • Revise Date: 01 February 2023
  • Accept Date: 19 February 2023