“Of the I as the Principle of Philosophy, or On the Unconditional in Human Knowledge” was Schelling’s second independent publication. It appeared in 1795, and can be read as an extension of Schelling’s briefer 1794 essay “On the Possibility of a Form of All Philosophy.” The first essay had spoken hypothetically of the possibility of such a form – in “Of the I” it is specified: the self is the form of all philosophy. This turn to the self as explanatory principle is the hallmark of post-Kantian idealism and it is intriguing to see how, even in this early essay, so many of the themes that would distinguish Schelling from Fichte and Hegel are already evident.
Written by Schelling in 1795 when he was twenty years old, it contains, together with the “Philosophical Letters on
Citation: Snow, Dale E.. "Vom Ich als Princip der Philosophie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 June 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16465, accessed 07 December 2023.]