Interpretation of the First Discussions in Schelling's Treatise

But the question remains whether the appeal to the natural disposition of human reason and its possession of the Ideas constitutes a systematic foundation of the system, whether a systematic foundation is thus laid for it. Kant himself cannot fend off doubts here. Thus, as we can now see, questions suddenly arise in his sketches like this one: "Is the division God and the world permissible" (ibid., p. 5)? If this question of division still exists as a question, then system itself is questionable. Kant also did not succeed in sufficiently clarifying and grounding the kind of knowledge of philosophy as teleologia rationis humanae. Kant did succeed in a critique, that is, at the same time a positive essential determination of knowledge as experience, but he neglected the foundation of the essence of that knowledge which was carried out as critique. The critique as critique was itself not founded. (How is the procedure of the critique as "transcendental reflection" determinable? Compare Critique of Pure Reason, A260 ff. "Reflection" and teleologia.) One could think that such a task could lead into endlessness and, thus, into groundlessness so that "critique" in Kant's sense would not be possible at all. We won't go into a discussion of this question. In this form, it rests on a quite external formalistic consideration. We shall only consider that the noncorresponding foundation of the bases of the critique itself became a motivating force which went beyond Kant. The demand for laying the foundations, however, is a requirement of system.

Young thinkers had trouble with the questionability of the Kantian system as a system of Ideas which were to have only heuristic, but not ostensive, character. Precisely because the Kantian requirement of a system was very much affirmed, one turned away from the path on which Kant wanted to satisfy this requirement.

On the other hand, the new way only became possible through the new determination which Kant had given to the essence of reason and which he calls the transcendental. In this determination reason-in spite of being limited to the regulative-is namely understood as a creative faculty.

We shall briefly summarize once more the essential difficulties which Kant's philosophy leaves behind with regard to system. As the faculty of the Ideas, the leading representations for the knowledge of beings as a whole, reason is in itself oriented toward the totality of Being and its connection. According to Kant, reason is in itself systematic. But Kant didn't show the origin of the Ideas, that is, the ground of system. Even more, as long as the Ideas only have the regulative, indicative character as Kant teaches, as long and as far as they as re-presentations do not present what is meant in them as itself, the totality of the Ideas, system cannot be founded at all in terms of the matter itself, beings as a whole. The ground of system cannot be shown. (Ideas are only directions for finding, but themselves are not found!)

The ground of system is obscure; the way to system is not guaranteed. The truth of system is quite questionable. And on the other hand, the demand for system is inevitable. System alone guarantees the inner unity of knowledge, its