An ethics of temptation: Schelling's contribution to the freedom controversy


In the period following the publication of Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and Critique of Practical Reason, there was a wide-ranging debate in German philosophy about the concept of freedom. It drew in not only Kant and the so-called “popular philosophers” of his generation, but also many of those who would go on to be the leading lights of post-Kantian idealism, including Reinhold, Fichte, and Schelling. Building on recent scholarship that brings Fichte's ethics into contemporary discussions of this freedom controversy, this article introduces Schelling's contribution, found in the seventh installment of his “General Overview of the Most Recent Philosophical Literature.” This article first reconstructs the conflict between Kant and Reinhold as Schelling understood it, which forms the background to this text. Then, it outlines the original position he stakes out in this debate, which is termed an “ethics of temptation.”.

Publication Title

European Journal of Philosophy