Now on to the dissertation…


PAF was more than an amazing experience as it forced me to really push myself mentally in numerous ways (as only 15+ hours of presenting your thinking in front of a diverse room of intelligent people can do). This was particularly useful as I am going into my focused dissertation writing stage and I am struggling to outline what exactly I think it is Schelling does and what I think that he can in turn do for contemporary philosophy.

On the third day I tried to outline what I think Schelling’s project is all about which, essentially, outlines the central concerns of my dissertation:

/1/ – Schelling’s Thought

-For Schelling, Nature is skeptically constructed as a dynamics, an activity that produces the apparently inactive through its own self inhibition. Or, in other words, for Schelling philosophy cannot rely on simple being or becoming.

-This self inhibition of Nature occurs because productivity, as such, cannot be a pure productivity or else it would diffuse into nothing.

-This self-inhibition of nature, can also not be absolute and therefore nothing would happen.

-Nature then is an oscillation between inhibition and production and this oscillation we experience as the world of products.

-Our experience with these things suggests to us that they are active (because we can interact with them at all) and therefore we must always look to their activity or beyond the illusion (or schein) of their apparent inactivity.

-This knowledge, or form of experience which itself is active (as productive intuition) leads us to further deaden the object to the extent that I can then extrapolate its potential dynamic activity as well as investigate its potential effects on me.

-Formally, we can say that Nature is the continuous action of the spatial and temporal; a imperfect synthesis (or perhaps asymetrical dialectic)

-This spatio-temporal tension, as discussed yesterday and the day before, is grappled by us as a kind of flux between ground and unground always revealed both through the discovery, intentionaly and unintentionally, of the grounds and ungrounds beneath us.

Unintentional Ungrounding (revelation of deep time)

We discover that our conceptualizations on which we have been operating have a depth we did not expect

Intentional Ungrounding (Extraction or abductive experimentation)

-External Ungrounding (transcendence, as system collapse)

-Internal Ungrounding (immanence, or exploration)

Grounding (or the navigational apparatus)

-Epistemological model of construction (construction of space in the broadest sense)

Construction of fields, or regimes of immanence (biology, physics, chemistry etc) that have a self-sufficency ie our descriptions of them do not exhaust them but our formalization of a particular field (again as a science or even a system of philosophy) holds together, or does not hold together, depending upon the efficacy of operations based on that theory.

Again, this efficacy (as Reza has repeatedly pointed out) cannot be equated with the system’s unquestionable groundedness.

Speculation (Deep Future)

Whether speculation or imagination, one means of testing the solidity of ground (outside of the purely experimental stage, do these theories ‘do work’ ) one can also look more at ungrounding’s relationship to grounding(s) – that is, or in other words, how impossible (or possible), in terms of current theories, is these speculative dreams of construction.


My dissertation is going to try and read Schelling as a realist through these concepts paying particular attention to Schelling’s influence in the hard sciences (esp. physics) in regards to concepts of the continuous. As it progresses I am going to post more and more material up here.


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