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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 708 pages of information about History of Modern Philosophy.
much less denied, but combined in one with the second (the absolute ego or the moral order of the world) and the one before the last (moral action).  It is incorrect to say that, in his later doctrine, Fichte substituted the inactive absolute in place of the active absolute ego, and the quiet blessedness of contemplation in place of ceaseless action.  Not in place of these, but beyond them, while all else remains as it was.  The categorical imperative, the absolute ego or knowledge is no longer God himself, but the first manifestation of God, though a necessary revelation of him.  Religion had previously been included for Fichte in moral action; now fellowship with God goes beyond this, though morality remains its indispensable condition and inseparable companion.  Finally, how to construe the previously avoided predicate, being, in relation to the Deity, is shown by the no less frequent designation of the absolute as the “Universal Life.”  The expression being, which it must be confessed is ambiguous, here signifies in our opinion only the quiet, self-identical activity of the absolute, in opposition to the unresting, changeful activity of the world-order and its finite organs, not that inert and dead being posited by the ego, the ascription of which to the Deity Fichte had forbidden in his essay which had been charged with atheism, not to speak of the existence-mode of a particular self-conscious and personal being.  Instead of speaking of a conversion of Fichte to the position of his opponents, we might rather venture the paradoxical assertion, that, when he characterizes the absolute as the only true being, he intends to produce the same view in the mind of the reader as in his earlier years, when he expressed himself against the application of the concepts existence, substance, and conscious personality to God, on the ground that they are categories of sense.  The chief thing, at least, remains unaltered:  the opposition to a view of religion which transforms the sublime and sacred teaching of Christianity “into an enervating doctrine of happiness.”

CHAPTER XI.

SCHELLING.

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph (von) Schelling was born January 27, 1775, at Leonberg (in Wuertemberg), and died August 20, 1854, at the baths of Ragatz (in Switzerland).  In 1790-95 he attended the seminary at Tuebingen, in company with Hoelderlin and Hegel, who were five years older than himself; at seventeen he published a dissertation on the Fall of Man, and a year later an essay on Religious Myths; and was called in 1798 from Leipsic—­where, after several treatises[1] in explanation of the Science of Knowledge, he had issued, in 1797, the Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature—­to Jena.  In the latter place he became acquainted with his future wife, Caroline,[2] nee Michaelis (1763-1809), widow of Boehmer and at this time the brilliant wife of August Wilhelm Schlegel.  From 1803 to 1806

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