Volume 26, Issue 1, Fall 2021
F. W. J. Schelling, Naomi Fisher
Schelling’s Plato Notebooks, 1792–1794
These notebooks were written during the years that F. W. J. Schelling spent as a student at the Tübinger Stift (1790–1795). From dates written by Schelling in the margins, we can surmise that the first portion (AA II/4: 15–28) was begun in August of 1792, and the latter portion (AA II/5: 133–142) was written in early 1794. To this latter portion is appended a substantial work, Schelling’s Timaeus-commentary, which is not included in the present translation. It appeared as “Timaeus (1794)” (translated by Adam Arola, Jena Jolissaint, Peter Warnek) in Epoché 12: 2. These notebooks offer a window into Schelling’s philosophical development and proclivities, in light of his engagement with various Platonic dialogues, most notably the Ion, Theaetetus, Meno, Timaeus, and Philebus. They include discussions of divine power, rapture, and genius, especially as these relate to poetry, prophecy, and ordinary forms of human knowledge. These topics are discussed in the first portion (AA II/4: 15–25). In the latter portion, Schelling discusses myth, its function and relation to human greatness, Socrates’s daimonion, and the authority of tradition (AA II/4: 25–28; II/5: 133–142).