Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling was born in Leonburg, Germany in 1775. He grew up during the Classical era of philosophy, during a high-point in German culture. At age 16 he began to study at the Tubinger Stift, a seminary school in northern Germany. Schellingâ€™s Romanticist philosophy was greatly influenced by Holderlin and Hegel, two good friends of his.
Romanticism began in 1805, taking the place of Classicism (1786-1805,) and ended around 1835 in Europe. Romanticism influenced the rediscovery of history and the German past; it promoted art, music, literature, folklore, and poetry as the paths to discovery. The Romanticist movement was somewhat religious in the idea that satisfaction and love can only be achieved AFTER death, (Classicists focused on self-actualization in THIS life.) Music was the embodiment of the Romanticist movement and was therefore held in the highest-esteem (as was poetry.).
â€œMobilization of the unconsciousnessâ€ was another big theme in Romanticism. People were beginning to take a larger interest in things like dreams, the occult, hypnotism, and animal magnetism. Folklore was being revived during this time and concepts like â€œloveâ€ and â€œfriendshipâ€ were emphasized by most of the philosophers. Romanticism was about discovering and understanding emotions rather than exploiting them.
Von Schellingâ€™s first published writing was Ideen zur Philosophie die Natur, â€˜Philosophy of Natureâ€™, which he wrote and published in 1797 at age 22. In 1798 he was appointed Chair of Philosophy at Jena University under recommendation of Goethe and Fichte. Soon after, he established contact with the founders of the Romanticist movement and became involved more deeply with it. (Garland, 937).
In 1799, Schelling attempted to follow up on Fichteâ€™s systematic philosophy and published Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Natur Philosophie.