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Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura

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Lo Sguardo: Rivista di Filosofia

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Schelling presents the 1809 freedom essay as the idealistic flowering of a vision of system he always held. He is not disingenuous but somewhat perplexing in claiming that the system always was complete in nuce, even though not expounded completely. Tilliette captured the ambiguity nicely in designating Schelling’s oeuvre «une philosophie en devenir». This mid-career essay must be read backwards to the earliest essays republished with it—especially to their views of willing, freedom, and moral responsibility—and simultaneously forward to the late philosophy’s analysis of God’s freedom as freedom from being, even necessary being. I locate Freedom’s fulcrum in the novel anthropology or affective psychology that Schelling brings to the philosophy of will. Material freedom, capacity for good or evil, is assessed by norms of psychological maturation, whether conscious or unconscious forces determine behavior. If ‘moral necessity’ or normativity is the lens for assessing agency, formal self-determination moves from the domain of deliberation to a pre- or unconscious option for good or evil, and one’s character unfolds necessarily.


Published version. Lo Sguardo: Rivista di Filosofia, Vol. 30 (2021): 123-140. DOI. © 2021 Lo Sguardo. Used with permission.

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