Kierkegaard pp 87-97 | Cite as

Schelling’s Conception of Freedom and Identity

Part of the Renewing Philosophy book series (REP)


Heidegger (1985, p. 14) maintains that in the opening pages of his treatise on freedom, Schelling sets as his first task to define the concept of freedom, to the extent that the latter could be considered as a proper concept, and secondly to relate this concept ‘to a whole scientific world view’ (OHF, p. 7). The concept of freedom in Schelling functions in the same way as the concept of anxiety does in Kierkegaard, eluding definition and acquiring a primordial meaning. Anxiety and freedom are thus interwoven in both Kierkegaard’s and Schelling’s philosophies. Arguably, in Schelling’s case ‘the origin of human evil is anxiety before the Good, that is, anxiety before freedom as the source of one’s life and the source of one’s destruction’ (Wirth, 2000, p. xxviii). In this sense, in the context of Schelling’s thought, freedom can also be seen as the ‘pivot upon which everything turns’ (CA, p. 43). In Heidegger’s interpretation of Schelling’s work, the centrality of freedom is rightly accentuated and the latter is seen as being ‘the centre of Being as a whole’ (Heidegger, 1985, p. 20).


Human Freedom Opening Page Proper Concept Scientific World View Great Heroic Poem 
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© Vasiliki Tsakiri 2006

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