Supplementary Appendix 393b.1

Horst Fuhrmans’s Discussion of Factors prompting Schelling’s
“To the Public,” Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung,
48 (6 May 1805), 417–22

(1) Fuhrmans 3:193–95n1, accompanying his full publication of this declaration.

Since attacks on Schelling had increased beginning in early 1805 — albeit now generally focused not on scholarly matters, but on personal defamation through ongoing missives variously involving “news from Würzburg” — Schelling abandoned his anticipated piece portraying the various “sects” against him, “Darstellung der Secte,” [1] and instead published the present, sharply worded missive “An das Publikum” directed not only against the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung, but also against the repeated “news” from Würzburg in the Zeitung für die elegante Welt, Der Freimüthige (edited by August von Kotzebue), and Der Neue Teutsche Merkur, the latter founded by Christoph Martin Wieland but for several years edited by Karl August Böttiger.

The publications in these various journals exhibit such stylistic and conceptual unity that one can likely assume they came from the hand of essentially one author. Schelling himself assumed that Jakob Salat was behind the ones in Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. [2] Although he is doubtless the author of many of the pieces, on the whole I suspect that the pieces in the Zeitung für die elegante Welt and Der Freimüthige come from H. E. G. Paulus or Franz Berg.

In any event, they came directly from within the intimate circle around Count von Thürheim, and my suspicion is that they were prompted by Paulus’s smoldering hatred, who tried by every possible means to make both Schelling and his philosophy appear impossible before the public — something in which he largely succeeded.

Shortly before Schelling published this declaration (“To the Public”), the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1805) 28 (3 March 1805), 447, 448, published a brief piece that included the remark that,

as is well known, the most recent doctrine of identity is nothing more than an uncommon completion of the . . . common teachings of the Rosicrucians and cabalism. Like Robert Fludd earlier, it views the absolute as the ideal unity of that which manifests itself in the reality of the world. And perhaps it will follow Flood in noting that the entire universe is concentrated in the human being as the microcosm, and in finding the two poles of the cosmos discernibly reflected in the familiar fluid that from time to time separates out from the microcosm, namely, urine, whence he distinguished between urina australis and urina borealis.

The Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung had extracted the latter formulations from the anonymous article “Erinnerung an die Naturphilosophie einiger Aertze, Kabbalisten und Rosenkreuzer aus den vorigen Jahrhunderten,” Neues Museum der Philosophie und Litteratur, ed. Friedrich Bouterwek, 3 (1805) 1, 23–46, here 39–40.

Schelling was, however, probably especially struck by an alleged excerpt from a letter from Würzburg, “Auszug eines Briefes aus Würzburg (19 February 1805),” Der Freimüthige (1805) 46 (5 March 1805), 184:

The Schulzian parody of the Schellingian system [in Bouterwek’s Neues deutsches Museum der Philosophie und Litteratur], about which your journal reported, greatly amused people here. There are even people who basically maintain that Herr Schelling’s system is . . . nothing more than intentional galimatias. [3]

They say that at the very least, he would, if he sincerely believed in his own philosophy of identity, consider identical an empty and full lecture hall, or a smaller and larger honorarium, and thus not have attendees rounded up [4] and then demand they pay an illegal honorarium of 13–15 Gl. The academic student orders are even supposed to serve as his instrument in carrying out the former; etc.

The laudable government, however, now seems seriously intent on bringing to an end certain things that, in the eyes of every reasonable person in Germany, certainly do not serve to enhance the reputation of the university. Word has it that Herr Schelling is to be put on leave at Easter 1805 with 7/10 of his salary, i.e., 840 Gl. Rhein., yet another demonstration of Bavarian generosity, considering that he has only been here a year and a half, and considering that his position, as extremely well-informed people maintain, was merely a trial.

It was allegedly Weiller who put forth the initiative for this trial to come about, and now even Weiller himself is lamenting the results. . . . In the meantime, the journal on medicine and the philosophy of nature is being busily printed that Herr Schelling and medical Rath Marcus are editing [5] (you probably recognize the latter . . . from the well-known Kilian episode).

What followed was then the height of perfidy. Just as in 1802 Franz Berg had brought up the death of Auguste Böhmer and imputed culpability to Schelling, [6] so also did this letter writer bring up the story yet again, this time augmented by a second:

The first issue will allegedly contain the medical history of the late prince bishop [7] and of the deceased Demoiselle Böhmer, a justification of healing methods based on the philosophy of nature as a result of which they died, . . . and a treatise of a certain . . . Professor Döllinger, “On the Speculative Sublimity (!) of Anatomy.” — The general commissar has charged the police . . . with keeping a close eye indeed on young physicians who subscribe to the philosophy of nature.

A typical bit of news was then added: “The public is confident that it might expect . . . the meritorious Professor Paulus . . . to be appointed senior commissar over the schools.”

The article “Bemerkungen aus Würzburg,” Zeitung für die elegante Welt(1805) 7 (Tuesday, 15 January 1805), 53–54, had early included a kind of survey of the overall situation and most recent events. First the dispute between Marcus and Kilian was recounted, then came the following remarks:

Voss did indeed decline solely because of the educational plan; but one cannot say that he rejected his appointment in the strict sense. [8] . . .

Things are going from bad to worse here for Herr Schelling, and both here and in Munich people have realized for a good nine months now that his philosophy is nothing but pure verbal rubbish and the work of a total fantast. He lectures with an extremely poor delivery, reading everything directly from his notebooks the way a monk reads his breviary, monotonously and into his stomach, as it were. [9]

Moreover — in the meantime, things continue to go fairly well with the number of those attending his lectures and with his income, notwithstanding both numbers have severely decreased compared to the first semester, and some of his lecture courses, e.g., the one on aesthetics that was so laboriously trumpeted seeking subscriptions, did not come about at all. [10] Herr Wagner does little to impair him, since he, too, has a terrible . . . delivery, and otherwise serves up the same porridge, merely in a far worse-tasting sauce, which is saying a lot. —

Otherwise certain excesses [11] have prompted our ever laudable Count von Thürheim to circumvent the slow academic process and immediately impose order as chief provincial authority. This . . . will prompt a total reform of the academic constitution.

(2) Fuhrmans 1:324n57, accompanying his abridged publication of this declaration.

The Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung had increased its attacks against Schelling after his arrival in Würzburg in October 1803. In February 1804, an ongoing gloss appeared under the title “Is there such a thing as the philosophy of nature?” Although Schelling’s lectures on the method of academic study were accorded a calm enough review, [12] contempt was heaped on his Philosophie und Religion (Tübingen 1804) in a lengthy August 1804 review, [13] with references to the “hierophant of our new Eleusinian mysteries,” followed then by ongoing pieces on Schelling’s philosophy. [14]

Schelling was particularly upset about Kajetan Weiller’s book Anleitung zur freieren Ansicht der Philosophie, which appeared at Easter 1804 and repeatedly took issue with Schelling’s thought and in fact was introduced as an official text in Bavarian secondary schools. Schelling was making plans to respond publicly as early as September 1804, to which end he requested that Carl Joseph Windischmann send him the 1803 and 1804 volumes of the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung, [15] but the reaction of the government made him reconsider. [16]

Later, however — in March 1805 — he broke his silence with the present declaration. As late as 7 March 1805, [17] Weiller had spoken about the “whip” with which the “north Germans” were currently trying to rule southern Germany, and the preceding issue [18] had published a gloss concerning the “imminent philosophical peace,” declaring that the entire philosophy of identity was nothing but Rosicrucianism and cabalism, and that, considering that one was now finding opposites everywhere, e.g., two poles of the earth etc., one would no doubt also soon start teaching about the two kinds of urine. The important thing was allegedly that such things would now be “transcendentally deduced,” and that the Golden Age of Philosophy was imminent in which all things were deduced a priori.


[1] See Schelling’s letter to Carl Joseph Windischmann on 24 October 1804 (letter 387g). Back.

[2] See Schelling’s letter to the editors of the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung on 9 June 1805 (letter 393g). Back.

[3] Fr., probably from Gk. chalimadzeis, “you are raving,” expression common in literary criticism since Montaigne to refer to “pompous nonsense; balderdash; meaningless, confused prattle.” Back.

[4] After the fashion of Luke 14:23, the parable of the great dinner (here NRSV): “Then the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled'” (Christoph Weigel, Historia von Iesu Christi unsers Heylandes Geburt, Lebenswandel, Wunderwercken, Gleichnußreden, Leiden, Sterben, Auferstehen und Himmelfahrt: Zur Einpflanßung von Jugend auf, und state Unterhaltung Gottseelige betrachtungen auß denen heyligen Evangelisten Mattheo, Marco, Luca, und Johanne, vorgebildet [Augsburg 1695]):



[5] Jahrbücher der Medicin als Wissenschaft. Concerning the journal, see Caroline’s letter to Anna Maria Windischmann on 2 December 1804 (letter 388a), note 2. Back.

[6] See the supplementary appendix on the scandal surrounding Auguste’s death. Franz Berg’s piece was his Encomium for the Most Recent Philosophy, which was reviewed in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Back.

[7] Who had likely been one of Adalbert Friedrich Marcus’s patients in Bamberg. Back.

[8] See Schelling’s letter to Heinrich Karl Abraham Eichstädt on 20 December 1804 (letter 388f), note 9. Back.

[9] See Karl Philipp Kayser’s account of Schelling’s lecturing. Back.

[10] Lectures on the philosophy of art published posthumously. Back.

[11] E.g., the episode involving Christian August Fischer; see Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer’s letter to Hegel on 19 December 1804 (letter 388e). Back.

[12] Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums (Tübingen 1803), reviewed in the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1804) 78 (3 July 1804), 5–11; 79 (5 July 1804), 17–26. Back.

[13] Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1804) 96 (14 August 1804), 289–97; 97 (16 August 1804), 305–12; 98 (18 August 1804), 321–28; 99 (21 August 1804), 337–42. Back.

[14] Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1804) nos. 96, 97; 124, 125; 145, 146.

Concerning the Eleusinian mysteries, see the Harper’s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, ed. Harry Thurston Peck (New York 1897), 578, 582–82 (illustration of various officiants of the Eleusinian mysteries from Eduard Gerhard, Abbildungen zu den gesammelten akademischen Abhandlungen und kleinen Schriften [Berlin 1868], plate 77):

Eleusinia. A title chiefly applied to a festival held by the Athenians in the autumn, in honour of Demeter, Persephone, and Iacchus, consisting of sacrifices, processions, and certain mystical ceremonies. It was one of the most important festivals of Greece. . . .

The most important priest was the Hierophant (‘Ιεροφαντης). In lists of the Eleusinian priests he is put first. He was nominated for life from the Eleusinian family of the Eumolpidae, and was geneerally an elderly man and bound to a life of strict chastity. There was only one Hierophant at a time, and his name was never mentioned. . . . His principal duty was, clothed in an Oriental style, with a long robe and a turban, as his name indicates, to show and explain the sacred symbols and figures — perhaps in a kind of chant or recitative, as he was required to have a good voice. The Daduchus or torch-bearer was inferior to the Hierophant, and of the same rank with the Keryx. . . . His main duty was to hold the torch at the sacrifices, as his name indicates; but he shared with the Hierophant several functions, reciting portions of the ritual, taking part in certain purification . . . and even in the exhibition of the mysteries.

For these two priests, the Hierophant and the Daduchus, who had to be men of tried sanctity, there was a regular consecrtation on their entering office. . . . the sign consisted in placing on the head of the new priest the diadem of purpose and the wreath of myrtle which they wore permanently.



[15] See the letter to Windischmann on 24 October 1804 (letter 387g). Back.

[16] Friedrich Karl von Thürheim to Schelling on 7 November 1804 (letter 387k). Back.

[17] Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1805) 29 (7 March 1805). Back.

[18] Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1805) 28 (5 March 1805). Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott