Volume 55, Issue 2, June 2015
Translation and Interpretative Introduction of “Treatise on the Relationship of the Real and the Ideal in Nature” (1806) by F. W. J. Schelling
The “Treatise on the Relationship of the Real and the Ideal in Nature, or the Development of the First Principles of the Philosophy of Nature and the Principles of Gravity and Light” is one of the last essays on Naturphilosophie that Schelling wrote. It was a topic that had occupied his attention since 1796, and as such it marks the end of an era. It is distinguished by its unusual approach to the problem of matter, which becomes, in his discussion, the problem of force or energy. Without being able to avail himself of the language of the conservation of energy or mass, it can be argued that Schelling makes a valiant attempt to express that insight, using the terminology of the bond and the entities bound by it. The text reaffirms Schelling’s strong affinities with Spinoza, anticipates Schopenhauer, and continues his quarrel with Fichte.