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On the History of Modern Philosophy (Texts in German Philosophy)

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521402996
ISBN-10: 0521402999
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Editorial Reviews


"...an excellent translation of Frederick von Schelling's lectures on the history of modern philosophy....Schelling's lectures will be of particular interest to historians of nineteenth century philosophy, intellectual historians, and anyone teaching upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in nineteenth century philosophy....a very welcome addition to the growing volume of German philosophy in translation." European Studies Journal

"...a challenging attempt to comprehend modern philosophy, and an intriguing glimpse into the work of a philosopher whose later development as a thinker has evaded translation into English. Bowie's careful and literal-minded treatment of Schelling's thought and difficult prose style should serve as a spur (and as a model) for future Schelling translations." Peter Simpson, Review of Metaphysics

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Series: Texts in German Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (May 27, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521402999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521402996
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,621,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
In this work, Schelling examines philosophy as it existed in his time. He begins with Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, who he criticizes on several grounds and examines his ontological proof. Then, he moves on to Spinoza, Leibniz and Christian Wolff. Schelling looks at the "Pantheism controversy" surrounding Spinoza, and he rejects the philosophy of Leibniz, which he shows breaks into two parts, the monadology and that in the _Theodicy_. All of whose work he examines and provides criticism. Schelling next considers Kant and argues that he is misguided. Finally, Schelling examines his contemporaries, Fichte and Hegel. Schelling criticizes Fichte and his project of Idealism, and shows how this is doomed to failure. He also provides a cogent criticism of Hegel. Schelling also examines "Naturphilosophie" as proposed by Fichte, and demonstrates how his own thought fits into this picture. Lastly, Schelling examines Jacobi, who criticized the project of German Idealism, and Schelling shows the contradictions within his thought. Throughout this work, Schelling reveals himself to be a monist, opposed to Cartesian dualism, argues against the flawed ontological proof, which he sees to be at the basis of Hegel's philosophy, and shows the need for a historically based metaphysics. The work also includes a discussion of theosophy and mysticism (especially as shown in Jacob Boehme) which Schelling rejects, and a pretty funny chapter on the differences between national philosophies (i.e. why German philosophy is superior to French and English philosophy).
Overall this is an important work which demonstrates Schelling's thought. It also is important for its criticism of Hegel, and the contrast between Schelling and Hegel's philosophy. I should add finally, that the introduction by Bowie is excellent and provides a detailed explanation of all the important issues involved.
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