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Idealistic Studies


published on January 9, 2016

Gilad Sharvit

Schelling and Freud on Historicity and Freedom

This article suggests a rereading of Schelling’s theory of freedom in the through Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. Schelling’s philosophy of freedom manifested a latent essentialism of the idealistic formulation of human freedom. In Schelling’s scheme, free was “what acts only in accord with the laws of its own being.” In practice, Schelling theory of freedom was based on an intelligible act in the “beginning of creation” which set an eternal unreachable essence to the subject. I propose to read “Schelling through Freud” as a way to revisit this theoretical structure. I argue that Freud’s theory of early libido formation should be recognized as a naturalistic formulation of the intelligible unconscious act. This allows Freud to restructure Schelling’s unconscious eternal essence. Freud’s shift from the metaphysical to the metapsychological drama suggests a human intervention in place of divine redemption, and, thus transpires as a modern articulation of German Idealism.

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