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By Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Von Schelling

Schelling's masterpiece investigating evil and freedom.

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Additional info for Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom (S U N Y Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)

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The word seems to us to sound increasingly archaic in modern American English and, where it does not, to have largely more benign associations than the German may be said to have since, for example, unruliness can refer to children (or, for that matter, mischievous spirits) and, then, in a gently ironic way, one suggesting perhaps some degree of bemused approval. We chose instead to emphasize what we consider the more striking ambivalence suggested by the word “anarchy,” its range of reference both to a terrifying and liberating absence of order.

Idealism provides namely, on the one hand, only the most general concept of freedom and, on the other hand, a merely formal one. But the real and vital concept is that freedom is the capacity for good and evil. 27 The difficulty is no slighter though, if even the most distant connection between God and beings in the world is assumed; for even this connection is limited to a socalled mere concursus [coming-together, coincidence] or to that necessary participation [Mitwirkung] of God in his creatures’ actions, which must be assumed due to the essential dependence of the latter on God, incidentally, even when freedom is asserted.

It might still be open to doubt whether the last-noted determination should even be applicable to Spinoza. For, if besides (praeter) substance, he recognizes nothing but its mere affections, which he declares things to be, then this concept is admittedly a purely negative one that expresses nothing essential or positive. Initially, however, it serves merely to determine the relationship of things to God but not what they may be, considered for themselves. Yet, from the absence of this determination, it cannot be concluded that things contain nothing positive whatsoever (even if always in a derived manner).

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