Volume 48, Issue 3, Fall 2018
Schelling’s Metaphysics of Love
This paper argues that Schelling’s understanding of love more readily captures his notion of unground as a contradictory-producing a priori. Love is a more appropriate term for unground insofar as it conveys the juxtaposition of feelings which motivate the eternal beginning. Self-expression, for Schelling, is born from the tension between God’s longing to be and his freedom. While this antithesis entails that God’s decision to be is only subjectively intelligible, it also implies the element of risk in the decision insofar as it suggests the groundlessness—and, thus, ambiguity—of God’s wanting to be. Indeed, for Schelling, God must decide whether to relinquish his perfection for the sake of an uncertain future. This essay offers a fresh interpretation God’s decision insofar as it introduces love as a means of understanding the attractiveness of God’s risk-taking, while also affirming his freedom to decide if the risk is worthwhile.