Philosophy and the History of Art : Reconsidering Schelling’s Philosophy of Art from the Perspective of Works of Art Article - 2013

Mildred Galland-Szymkowiak

Critical Horizons, 2013, pp. 296-320. ISSN 1440-9917


Schelling’s philosophy of art between 1801 and 1807 can be defined as metaphysics of art. The object of that metaphysics is to deploy the absolute as the being of art and of the arts. Schelling has been criticized on the basis that this metaphysics of art represses the infinite diversity of existing works of art, while overlooking concrete aesthetic experience. Based on Schelling’s definition of the "philosophical construction" of art as an inseparably speculative and historical construction, the aim of this paper is to challenge such assertions. It will show that "historical construction" has to be understood in a twofold manner : first, as a transcendental history of the absolute’s artistic individuation and second, as a cultural history of both the ancient and modern worlds of art. Working within this twofold setting the paper argues that Schelling’s systematic approach, while exhibiting a unifying force, still remains open to the otherness of the real.

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