Mark and Wes conclude with some close reading of Part 6 of System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), section 3: “Relation of Art to Philosophy.”
What exactly is self-consciousness, and how to we achieve it? We try to really figure out Schelling’s story about art in light of his general picture of the function of philosophy as revelatory of the self. Why should that even be the goal of philosophy? For Fichte, the self literally creates everything, but Schelling (and Hegel following him) broke from Fichte in positing that there must be some other ground for the objective, foreign from the self, that then provides the material for us to then reflect back on ourselves. Maybe it’s other people. Maybe it’s things that you work on, which then provide objective material for you to reflect on. And maybe, specifically, it’s art, that (if done well) creates an external representation of your own (universal) feelings and insights so that you can then understand yourself.