Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What's Next?

In the last two weeks, I've completed two major writing projects. The first task was copy-editing Egalitarian Moments. Rereading the text reminded me that I should get more efficient at following up on suggestions that I make in the footnotes, but that I don't pursue in the text itself--those claims preceded by the caveat that pursuing such a claim is beyond the scope of the present study.

Which takes me to the second project, that I haven't really discussed on the blog (though I haven't really discussed much at all this calendar year): a chapter for a forthcoming volume on Rethinking German Idealism, edited by Joseph Carew and Sean McGrath. In Freedom and Nature in Schelling's Philosophy of Art, I suggest, on page 54, that in the Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature, Schelling denies that humans have any moral obligation to animals. My contribution to Carew's and McGrath's volume focuses on Schelling's anthropocentrism as an impediment to the recent renaissance in studies concerning his nature-philosophy.

It's an important article to me, not just because it bridges my work on Schelling with some of the material on animal rights that I teach, but also because it's the first time I've completed an extensive essay on Schelling that either (1) concerns a topic beyond the scope of his philosophy of art or work on mythology*, and (2) that tackles, with some detail, the Human Freedom essay, which has always been (for me) a difficult text to work with. More specifically, a difficult text to write about from a standpoint that traverses the text instead of becoming absorbed in it. Elaborating a critique of Schelling's anthropocentrism allowed me to extricate a critical standpoint from Schelling's dense (and rigorous) argument.

Finally, from a different angle, completing these projects means that I don't have any outstanding deadlines to meet. I've got some ideas for the next book, but for now, I'll be looking at different avenues for bringing them to fruition.

*There are a few that I've started but I've left for whatever might be the 21st century equivalent of the gnawing criticism of mice.