Schellings Theory of Symbolic Language: Forming the System of Identity

Schellings Theory of Symbolic Language: Forming the System of Identity by Daniel Whistler

By: Daniel Whistler

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This study reconstructs F.W.J. Schellings philosophy of language based on a detailed reading of §73 of Schellings lectures on the Philosophy of Art. Daniel Whistler argues that the concept of the symbol present in this lecture course, and elsewhere in Schellings writings of the period, provides the key for a non-referential conception of language, where what matters is the intensity at which identity is produced. Such a reconstruction leads Whistlerto a detailed analysis of Schellings system of identity, his grand project of the years 1801 to 1805, which has been continually neglected by contemporary scholarship. In particular, Whistler recovers the concepts of quantitative differentiation and construction as central to Schellings project of the period.This reconstruction also leads to an original reading of the origins of the concept of the symbol in German thought: there is not one romantic symbol, but a whole plethora of experiments in theorising symbolism taking place at the turn of the nineteenth century. At stake, then, is Schelling as a philosopher of language, Schelling as a systematiser of identity, and Schelling as a theorist of the symbol.
Publication Date:
28 / 03 / 2013

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