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Freedom and Powers in Schelling's Metaphysics

Alderwick, Charlotte (2015) Freedom and Powers in Schelling's Metaphysics. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This project presents Schelling’s metaphysics as a power-based system and explores its implications for his conception of freedom. I draw parallels between Schelling’s ontology and contemporary pan-dispositionalism, arguing that Schelling’s philosophy highlights problems which apply to all pan-dispositionalist accounts. A power-based ontology provides the space to hold a libertarian conception of freedom but alone is insufficient, as demonstrated by the failure of Schelling’s Naturphilosophie to account for human freedom. This highlights problems with accounting for individuation and control which arise directly from Schelling’s power-based ontology, and will therefore arise for any similar ontology. I take the changes in Schelling’s system as reflecting his attempts to tackle these problems. The reading of Schelling I advance thus identifies a strong continuity: although there are changes in Schelling’s system I argue that these are motivated by his enduring interest in a cluster of problems surrounding the relationship between freedom and system, and his willingness to attempt new solutions to these problems. I provide an account of Schelling’s philosophical progression between the Naturphilosophie and the Freiheitsschrift, drawing attention to the centrality of powers throughout the changes in his system. I then present my reading of Schelling’s Freiheitsschrift, arguing that the dominant interpretations in the literature fail to capture Schelling’s account of freedom here, as they overlook the centrality of reciprocity for Schelling’s philosophy. I demonstrate that by paying careful attention to Schelling’s conception of the natural process we can provide a libertarian reading of the Freiheitsschrift which makes sense of this text as a progression, rather than a break from, Schelling’s previous works. I finish by considering the aspects of Schelling’s thought in the Freiheitsschrift which mean he is able to solve the problems entailed by his previous systems, and discuss the implications of this for contemporary metaphysicians working on similar issues.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Philosophy (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.665013
Depositing User: Dr Charlotte Alderwick
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2015 09:41
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9336

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