Himself Nothing Beholds Nothing. On Schelling’s Ontological Isomorphism


  • Henrik Jøker Bjerre


In Schelling’s Weltalter, there are (at least) two different concepts of nothing: A nothing that is there (and is called being), and a nothing that is not there, but nonetheless exerts its effects. In this article, I propose a reading of Weltalter that circles in on these two different conceptions by moving from a Schellingian critique of Kant to a discussion of the implications of Schelling’s alternative. Kant identified the ultimately contradictory nature of reason, but he shied away from drawing the full consequences from this. Instead, contradiction must be embraced, according to Schelling, and by doing this, one is forced to think the concepts of ground and nothingness in much more realist terms than Kant did: Reason, like everything else, carries its own ground within it. Weltalter should therefore not, as is often believed, be read as an anthropomorphism, but much rather as what I call ontological isomorphism. Wallace Stevens’s poem “The Snow Man” is invoked to illustrate this position and to link it to the two issuing conceptions of nothing.


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How to Cite

Bjerre, H. J. (2013). Himself Nothing Beholds Nothing. On Schelling’s Ontological Isomorphism. Filozofski Vestnik, 34(2). Retrieved from https://ojs.zrc-sazu.si/filozofski-vestnik/article/view/3258



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