University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Theory and Criticism

Supervisor

Dr. Tilottama Rajan

Abstract

Friedrich Schelling has re-emerged in Anglo-Saxon philosophy as a singularly important figure in Germand Idealism, not as some mediate figure in between Kant, Fichte, and Hegel. Because Schelling's works resist being subsumed into a univocal or systematic articulation, they instead invite a reading, in the sense developed by Jean-Luc Nancy, that itself is transported to the writing of his texts. In order to show the auto-immune character of Schelling's writing, this thesis will turn to Schelling's First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature (1799), the Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom (1809), and the unfinished The Ages of the World (1815). These texts show that the recent resurgence of Schelling in theory and philosophy is not because of philosophy's re-discovery of Schelling, but that Schelling is representative of the crisis in which theory and philosophy currently find themselves, articulating a deconstructive writing avant-la-lettre.