Continuing from part one on the introduction of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism (1800).
This preview continues our exploration of Schelling on the mind-world relation: The only thing that explains the apparent harmony between the world and our knowledge of it (and also our will and what we're able to enact in the world via it) is if they somehow come from the same source, which ends up being the self.
In the full episode, we consider whether Schelling is guilty of psychologism, and then further consider what it might mean to impute intelligence to nature. For Schelling, giving a natural account in terms of mechanism and in terms of teleological directedness is one and the same: Saying that nature obeys natural laws is saying both of these things, and Schelling describes the fact that we can use natural laws, which are mental abstractions, to capture nature means that nature "tends towards spiritualization," like nature itself has within it the directedness toward becoming mental. While simple elements of nature obey simple laws (gravity, magnetism, etc.), more complex creations have more detailed plans (like DNA) buried within them to determine their lawlike development, all the way up to humanity which retains animal directedness but by using reason achieves (lawlike) freedom, i.e. the freedom to achieve our own good.
We also discuss a little more about construction of knowledge as an aesthetic act, and start to get into how self-consciousness works. Maybe Schelling was a Sartrean existentialist, in that we all have the freedom to build our world in creative ways.