Rekindling Nature: Freedom, Time, and the In-Itself
In the Freedom Essay, before formulating what he considers to be the central philosophical problem concerning human freedom—the capacity for good and evil—Schelling unpacks some remarks about logic and the uses of the copula as well as a very brief comment on Kant’s use of the concept of the in-itself within the domain of practical philosophy. Schelling’s move from the exclusively human to things, to nature, when it comes to matters of freedom, seems like a direct challenge to Kant, while still pursuing the latter’s most popular motto: “Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding!” (Ak. VIII: 35). Instead of presenting Schelling’s efforts within this enlightened frame of daring and courage, I will try to present it as a matter of care, of asking difficult questions that escape any preconceived answer of thinking the unspeakable that is latent in the present—this is how the task of rekindling nature begins.