Letter 393d

393d. Kajetan Weiller “To Herr Schelling” in Würzburg: Munich, 23 May 1805 [*]

To Herr Schelling.

In no. 48 of the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, Herr Schelling treats his adversaries in Bavaria quite according to the spirit of his philosophical system, to wit, by non-differentiating them. [1] Each adversary thereby naturally falls under that particular universal shadow that cannot but arise through accusations of lies, calumny, etc., that Herr Schelling takes the liberty of leveling against him.

As is commonly known, I, too, am reckoned among his adversaries here, and one accordingly cannot but interpret these discreditable accusations as referring to me as well. That notwithstanding, I did indeed declare in no uncertain terms that I oppose solely his system, not him personally, and that I detest any and all attacks on the character of an errant person that aim thereby to refute his error. In particular, on the occasion of a recent anonymous publication that among other things included rather strong passages opposing him, I declared that I contributed to that publication neither directly nor even indirectly.

And yet it seems that Herr Schelling is intent on casting suspicion upon me, too, of having participated in the anecdotal persecution that for some time now has been directed against his character. Hence I am summoning him to explain his meaning more clearly in this regard. I have no objection to the judgment of condemnation leveled against me. I am no person of infinitude, as is he himself. [2]

I must, however, solemnly protest against the suspicion of being one of the masked assailants against him. What I have the courage to write I also have the courage to own. I am thus willing to specify on request all those essays in the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (for elsewhere I have published under the disguise of anonymity — nothing new against him) of which I am the author and that unequivocally attack not him, but rather solely his teaching. [3]

Munich, 20 May 1805

R. Weiller


[*] Source: Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung 18 (1805) 62 (23 May 1805), 989–91. This missive, a public letter dated 20 May 1805, is a response to Schelling’s “To the Public” on 6 May 1805 (letter/document 393b), which was dated “late March.” Back.

[1] Weiller is being sarcastic. “Non-differentation” is a technical term from Schelling’s own philosophy of identity. Back.

[2] Yet another sarcastic remark, playing on Schelling’s philosophy and his use of the concept of infinitude. Back.

[3] In his letter to the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung on 9 June 1805 (letter/document 393g), Schelling responds at length to this missive as well as to that of Jakob Salat in the Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung 67 (4 June 1805) (letter/document 393f). Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott