The Mediation of the Copula as a Fundamental Structure in Schelling's Philosophy

Schelling-Studien 2:21-40 (2014)
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Abstract

In the Freedom Essay, Schelling provides four different accounts of the copula, two of which are largely implicit. In this paper, I focus on the first of these accounts, which I call the "mediated account." I argue that this explanation of the copula articulates a fundamental ontological structure in Schelling's philosophy. In the first half of the paper, I analyze the structural features of the account, drawing on Schelling's more extensive treatment in the Ages of the World. In the second half of the paper, I argue that Schelling's fundamental distinction between that-which-exists and the ground of existence exhibits the same structure as the mediated account of the copula. This has implications for understanding the enigmatic relationship of these two principles to the Ungrund. I conclude by briefly suggesting other applications of this fundamental structure in Schelling's philosophy.

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Mark J. Thomas
Central College

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