The aim of the present contribution is to explore Schelling’s theory of noble metals within the texts he wrote between 1801 and 1804, especially the System of Würzburg (1804). Schelling’s theory of noble metals and the closely related theory of the relationship between cohesion and specific gravity undergo a change between 1801 and 1804. In the Exposition of my Philosophical System (1801) Schelling places emphasis on the conflict between gravity and cohesion, and he conceives the relationship between specific gravity and cohesion in terms of inverse proportionality. Consequently, in this work he pays very little attention to the noble metals. In the texts that follow (1802-03), however, he refines and, in a certain sense, even revises his conception: since, on the one hand, a particular thing is perfect in the same degree in which essence and form are unified in it, and since, on the other hand, in a particular thing the unity of essence is manifested as specific gravity, and the unity of form as cohesion, Schelling conceives not inverse proportionality but unity as the law that governs the relationship between cohesion and specific gravity, thereby recognizing the particular speculative significance of noble metals, which differ from all other terrestrial bodies on account of their unifying a considerable specific gravity with a considerable cohesion. Finally, in the System of Würzburg Schelling takes up and develops the ideas he had expounded in 1802-1803, presenting them in a new theoretical framework. In his attempt to expound all forms of nature as manifestations of eternal geometrical models, he establishes a correlation between the forms of cohesion and the dimensions of matter, and between the forms of cohesion and the universal forms that mark the transition from the point to the infinite space. He thus deduces the noble metals as different expressions of the same perfect indifference between particular and universal, by conceiving each of them as the indifference between specific gravity and a particular form of cohesion.
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|