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The Panentheism of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832)

From Transcendental Philosophy to Metaphysics


Benedikt Paul Göcke

The book provides the first analysis of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause’s system of philosophy and his panentheism in English. Karl Christian Friedrich Krause has bequeathed to us a system of philosophy which is little recognised in contemporary philosophy. This is both surprising and unfortunate, because Krause’s philosophical system has much to offer: Through transcendental reflection on the nature of the human, Krause understands God as the one infinite and unconditioned reality, and the ultimate necessary condition of knowledge. God makes humanity, nature, and reason ultimately comprehensible as the essential categories of the divine Essence. God is thus the single, primary, object of science that is already logically presupposed even before His discovery. Science presupposes theology, and theology is best read as panentheism.

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7. The Essence of God as such

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7.  The Essence of God as such

In the analytical-ascending part of science, the fundamental intuition of the ego was used as the immediately certain beginning of science, and by means of the method of transcendental phenomenology the material and formal categories were established. The fundamental intuition of God was also derived: God is the one infinite and unconditioned fact and knowledge principle of science. It was shown that the transcendental categories are, equally, the transcendent categories of all being, and that every item of humanity’s knowledge has, always already, been knowledge in and through God understood as the ultimate principle of everything. This knowledge ends the purpose of the analytical-ascending part and enables the ego to engage in the synthetical-descending part of science, although, from the point of view of whomever has had the fundamental intuition of God, it is obvious that, taken at face value, the conceptual distinction between the analytical-ascending and the synthetical-descending part of science, is now superfluous: ‘As soon as […] the finite mind has arrived at the intuition and at the knowledge of [Orwesen] the analytical and synthetical parts of science cease to be separate parts. […] It is now known that science as such is a whole. And the whole content of analytical science […] is understood being an inner part of the one science’ (Krause 1828: 354). For sake of convenience, however, I will stick to the distinction between analytical and synthetical science.

In the synthetical-descending part of science, then, Krause first specifies the essence of God, as such, or Orwesen inasmuch as this essence is given with immediate certainty in the fundamental intuition of God, as a whole, and only as a whole, irrespective of its constitutive parts: ‘This second main part is called synthetic-deductive, in the sense of the Greek philosophers and mathematicians, under which it was thought that all determinate items are known, one with another, in and through the one whole’ (Krause 1828: 358). Next, Krause argues that the fundamental intuition of God, in so far as God is considered in Himself, that is, in so far as the constitutive parts of God, and their relations amongst each other, and to the whole they constitute, are considered, entails a position that is best referred to as panentheism. ← 99 | 100 → Finally, Krause argues that the organic system of science, as such and in itself, is nothing over and above the fully spelled out fundamental intuition of God considered as the ultimate principle of science, as such and in itself, and whoever engages in science engages in the ‘organic inner formation of the knowledge of Orwesen or God’ (Krause 1828: 356). The one and only genuine object of science is this ultimate principle, and science is concerned with understanding all of the following: the essentialities of this principle as a whole, the essentialities that operate as constitutive parts of the whole, in their different synthesises, their differences, and why there is, in all of this, a unity of these unites and their differences in virtue of the essence of God as a whole.

7.1  Orwesen and the material categories

For science to be possible, it must be shown how the material and formal categories, known in analytical-ascending science, can be deduced from the intuition of God in such a way that ‘every thinkable essentiality is on, or in and under, the essentiality of essence’ (Krause 1889: 290), where Krause assumes that the recognition of the adequacy of the categories is a necessary condition for the intuition of the categories, and therefore the intuition of the categories is a sufficient condition for the recognition of their adequacy. In other words, it has to be shown what this principle is, as such: ‘because, as the intuition of Essence itself shows […], all scientific knowledge must be founded on or in the intuition of Orwesen’ (Krause 1828: 363).

Because Orwesen is the highest principle in virtue of which everything is what it is, because Orwesen, as a whole, in a way to be qualified, therefore is the unity of unity and difference, the first insight Krause can read off of the fundamental intuition of God is that Orwesen is not subordinated to any category, but instead, due to the unity of its being, is identical to each and every of its essentialities, to their unions, and to what distinguishes them. That is to say that according to Krause, in the fundamental intuition of God, God shows himself not only as an ordinary essence but as an essence that, as a whole, is identical with its essentialities.

The methodological background for the clarification of what it is that Orwesen is, therefore, can be stated as follows: ‘Essence is essentiality’ (Krause 1828: 364) or, because ‘God’ and ‘Essence’ are synonyms, ‘God is Godhood [Gott ist Gottheit]’ (Krause 1828: 364). Each essentiality of God, ← 100 | 101 → although different in meaning, denotes ‘that which Essence is’ (Krause 1828: 364), in so far as Essence is identical with this essentiality. God is therefore that which God is, according to His Essence and, in contrast to any finite entity that is subordinated to its essentialities, the difference between His Essence and His essentiality is not a real difference: that which Essence is, as a consequence, is only to be conceptually distinguished from Essence, by highlighting different features of one and the same whole that God, as such, is. Because, according to Krause, Essence is identical to its essentialities, and because Essence is the ultimate, single principle of science, another way to express this insight into the nature of God is as follows: ‘Unity is that which is the fundamental essentiality of essence’ (Krause 1828: 364).

Because, ultimately, that which Essence is is the unity of that which Essence is, the next step in the development of science as an organic system is to clarify just what it is that Essence is. And here, according to Krause, the only essentialities which we can use as candidates for a determination of the nature of Orwesen as a whole are the formal and material categories that have been recognized with immediate certainty in the fundamental intuition of the ego as belonging to the transcendental constitution of the ego.

Let us begin with the material categories selfhood and wholeness. We know that the concepts selfhood and wholeness cannot be defined as material categorial concepts. For this would be to assume that there is something more fundamental than these categories which entailed that, after all, they are not categories. In the fundamental intuition of God, they are, that is, found with immediate certainty as belonging to the essence of Orwesen: ‘These two fundamental essentialities cannot be clarified or defined in such a way that they are related to a higher fundamental essentiality. For they are precisely fundamental essentialities of the whole of Orwesen, as unity. Just as little can they be proven or demonstrated through the principle of sufficient reason. […] They must therefore be intuited as being unconditioned in respect to Orwesen’ (Krause 1828: 365).

However, in the analytical-ascending part of science, we have already seen that they can be heuristically illuminated and that ‘selfhood’ designates the property of being self-same, and ‘wholeness’ the property of being a whole, prior to, and above, its parts. Now, in the synthetical-descending part of science, Krause specifies the two concepts and argues that selfhood denotes unconditionality and that wholeness denotes infinity. The reason ← 101 | 102 → behind this semantic manoeuvre is as follows: the expressions ‘unconditioned’ and ‘infinite’ are mediate negations, that is, negative concepts, which according to Krause, if understood positively, just are synonymous with what selfhood and wholeness denote, only that selfhood and wholeness are positive and immediate denotations for the essentialities of Essence. In relation to selfhood, this means: ‘If we see exactly what is signified by the negation of conditionality [die Verneinung der Bedingtheit] then we find that this is exactly pure selfhood: being purely itself [rein Dasselbe sein], without outer relation, that is unconditionality or unconditionedness [Unbedingheit oder Unbedingtheit]’ (Krause 1828: 366).

In relation to wholeness, we find that infinity, considered properly, is wholeness. For ‘if we negate the finitude [of some essence] then we find that this is the one whole, that it is also itself wholeness’ (Krause 1828: 366). Because Krause is interested to provide the philosophical foundations for science as an organic system by deploying a purely scientific language, that is, by deploying a language as clear and immediately obvious as possible, he argues that in contrast to common usage ‘it is better to use expressions that are not negative: “selfhood” and “wholeness”, instead of the mediate, negative, words: “unconditionality” and “infinity”’ (Krause 1828: 366).

The fact that essence is selfhood means that God is unconditioned, and the fact that essence is wholeness means that God is infinite. It is noticeable here that, for Krause, the names ‘the infinite’ or ‘the unconditioned’ are insufficient as the sole designation of Essence or God. For ‘these names [are] taken from the two fundamental essentialities, selfhood and wholeness. These are designated in a merely mediate and negative way by these words “absolute” and “infinite”’ (Krause 1828: 367). Therefore, whoever identifies God or Essence directly as only being the infinite or the unconditioned forgets that God’s unconditionality (selfhood) and infinity (wholeness) do not exhaust the essence of the principle of science.

Wholeness and selfhood of God are two of the material categories of which we are immediately conscious in the fundamental intuition of God as being adequate terms to denote what God, considered only as a whole, is like: God is selfhood, God is wholeness, is what selfhood and wholeness are all about. However, because God is not reducible to either of these, that is, because neither selfhood as such, nor wholeness as such, exhaust the essence of God, we have to reflect on the unity of the divine being in a way ← 102 | 103 → familiar from the transcendental reflection on the constitution of the ego as such. That is to say, because Orwesen is the unity of what it is, and because what it is is selfhood and wholeness, it follows, in a next step, that Orwesen is itself also the unity of selfhood and wholeness: selfhood-wholeness-unity.

The claim that Orwesen is selfhood-wholeness-unity is Krause’s way of expressing the following: because selfhood and wholeness, which have shown themselves as belonging to Essence, do not stand diametrically opposed to one another – we cannot deny selfhood to God without denying wholeness, and vice versa – it follows that, in a way, they are of necessity united because ‘each is the other as such’ (Krause 1828: 368): everything that is a self-same is necessarily also a whole, and nothing can be a whole if it is not a self-same essence. The selfhood of Orwesen, as the unconditionality of the principle of science, is the wholeness of the infinity of this principle, because we find ‘that selfhood is whole, and wholeness is self-same or, in other words, that as such selfhood has wholeness and wholeness has selfhood. Essence is the whole of selfhood, and: essence is the selfhood-wholeness-unity’ (Krause 1828: 368).

Translated into the language of the unconditionality and infinity of God, this means that God, as the one object of science, is not only unconditioned and infinite but also that God’s infinity and God’s unconditionality are not to be distinguished in fact. For the unconditionality of God is infinite, and the infinity unconditioned. Therefore, it is just as correct to speak of the infinity of unconditionality as of the unconditionality of infinity. They emerge out of the categories of selfhood and wholeness, and are justified with immediate certainty in and through the fundamental intuition of God, as a whole, as being constitutive of His essence.

Orwesen, as the single principle of science, is selfhood, wholeness, and the unity of selfhood and wholeness: ‘In the essence of Orwesen as unity, selfhood and wholeness are together, but distinguished’ (Krause 1828: 365). However, because Orwesen is the unity of what Orwesen is, ‘we distinguish still further the unity of Orwesen itself’ (Krause 1828: 368) from these essentialities. That is to say, the various essentialities, which are what Essence is, as a whole, may not be thought as abruptly juxtaposed. This would only be the case if the unity of the principle as a whole were given up. Therefore, Krause must be explicit about that in virtue of which there is a higher unity of the mentioned distinction of Orwesen. That is, because selfhood and ← 103 | 104 → wholeness, and their union, do not exhaust the unity of God, and because there must be a higher unity beyond the distinction between selfhood and wholeness, the unity of Essence reveals itself as a further category of the being of God. In Krause’s words: ‘Up to this point, we have distinguished wholeness and selfhood within the unity of Essence, and recognised these two as, in turn, distinct from the unity of Essence’ (Krause 1828: 368). Because Krause refers to the higher or supreme by ‘original-’ [Ur-], it follows that ‘the unity of Essence, in its distinction from selfhood and wholeness, is the original-unity-of-essentiality [Ureinheit der Wesenheit]’ (Krause 1828: 368). For, because Essence is the unity of that which Essence is, it must, as a whole, be thought as a higher unity relative to selfhood and wholeness - as original-unity-of-essentiality. If there were no original-unity-of-essentiality, then God would not be the higher unity in relation to that of which He is the unity, and the essence of God would not be one – God as such would not be a whole.

With the analysis of these distinct, yet unified essentialities, it is ensured that there is nothing in Essence that is not part of the unity of that which Essence is. As Krause (1886a: 103/104) says: ‘We distinguish Essence, in so far as it is self-same and whole, from Essence in so far as, like selfhood, it stands over and against [überentgegensteht] wholeness, and also from the unity of selfhood and wholeness. Essence in this distinction from selfhood, wholeness and their unity shall, for want of a better word, be called “original-unity-of-essentiality”.’

7.2  Orwesen and the formal categories

Based on the dialectic of the material categories selfhood and wholeness, ‘that which pertains to the unity of essentiality is structurally fully understood’ (Krause 1828: 369). However, not everything there is to know about Essence as such is described by the material categories. For not only must the material but also the formal categories be known with immediate certainty and analysed in respect to their unity and difference: ‘Now we have once more to search for further progress of the consideration in which we ask what we next distinguish in the unity of Essence. If we see this, then we find that it is the same as, but distinct from, the manner or the form by which Essence is’ (Krause 1828: 370). God is, in other words, ← 104 | 105 → not fully exhausted by His material essentialities, but instead, and in analogy to the reflection on the transcendental constitution of the ego as such, is, in the fundamental intuition of God, also considered as follows: ‘God is the one positive Essence [das eine satzige Wesen]’ (Krause 1828: 371). God is known in the intuition of God as the one positive Essence. Krause’s German here is unusual: it would be more normal to use the passive construction gesetztes Wesen (whose literal sense is roughly a ‘fixed Essence’) rather than satziges Wesen (roughly a ‘fixing Essence’). His reason is that the use of the passive construction would imply that Essence is fixed by a higher principle. In the case of God, Himself being the highest principle of science, such passivity is ruled out: ‘Essence is positive, as one commonly says: “fixed” [gesetzt]. But I deliberately do not say “fixed”, because this expresses a relation of suffering’ (Krause 1828: 370).

The formal categories, already established through the immediately certain fundamental intuition of the ego as such, are directedness (Richtheit) and comprehension (Fassheit). That God is directedness for Krause means that God is directed upon Himself. Because the only familiar case in which it makes sense to say that something is directed upon another thing, or indeed: itself, is the case of consciousness, we can circumscribe directedness in modern terms as a fundamental structure of consciousness itself, because, to be conscious, amongst other things, entails to be intentionally directed upon an object of consciousness which is considered phenomenologically appropriately as ‘a given’. To be directed towards oneself, therefore, means to be the object of one’s own consciousness, to be self-consciousness. That God is directed towards himself, that God is directedness, then, is another way of saying that God is given to Himself as an object of consciousness: God is conscious of Himself as Himself.

That God is comprehension is the complement of God’s being directedness. It can be understood as follows. To comprehend oneself means ‘to catch hold of [zu fassen], to embrace [zu umfangen], to grasp [zu befangen]’ (Krause 1828: 372). The familiar case of comprehension is related to consciousness as well. To actually comprehend something means to understand it completely and fully, to be one with what is comprehended without being identical with the grasped. Comprehension of something therefore refers to an act in which this something is fully grasped without the grasping, as a whole, being reduced to what is grasped. As being comprehension as ← 105 | 106 → such, according to Krause, God is the paradigm of comprehension, is what comprehension is all about. In other words, God comprehends himself completely or, equivalently, fully grasps Himself without being, as a whole, reducible to His act of comprehension.

In the same way in which we had to unite selfhood and wholeness, due to the unity of the divine being, we have to be aware that Orwesen is not reducible to either directedness or comprehension, as a whole, and that directedness and comprehension are not simply next to each other, unrelated as determinations of the highest principle of science: ‘If we now look at these both equally differentiated essentialities, directedness and comprehension, then we, find firstly, that they both are each other, that is, that directedness has comprehension and comprehension has directedness’ (Krause 1828: 372). God, in Krause’s words, is directedness-comprehension-unity (Richtfassvereinheit). The reason is that nothing can grasp itself completely if it is not fully directed towards itself. And nothing can be directed fully towards itself if it does not completely comprehend itself. According to the analysis of the formal categories of God, God’s relation to Himself consists in His grasping his whole Essence, all at once.

Because Essence is the unity of what Essence is, Krause, in a next step, has to distinguish God, as a whole, in so far as God is the unity of what can be distinguished as constitutive of his positivity. One thinks here of the fact that the essentiality of Essence is the unity of the essentiality of Essence. God, in other words, is the higher unity of his positive determinations, is that in virtue of which these can be distinguished and united. Krause refers to this higher unity that God, as a whole, is, as original-unity-of-positivity (Satzheitureinheit).

7.3  Orwesen and the material-formal categories

The fundamental intuition of God enabled Krause to read off or deduce the material and formal determinations of the highest principle of science and to show, for each the material and the formal categories, that they are particular determinations of the divine being that at the same time are distinct, logically equivalent, and in their emerging unities do not exhaust the unity of the principle of science as a whole. Precisely because of the unity of this principle, however, the material and formal categories cannot, ← 106 | 107 → on their own, fully capture the unities of Essence. If these categories were not related amongst each other in a harmonious way, then we had to give up on the unity of the principle of science as such.

According to Krause, though, the fundamental intuition of God enables to see the following: ‘The essentialities […], which are in the unity of positivity and are distinguished from it […] correspond to those which are in the unity of material essentiality and which are distinguished from it’ (Krause 1828: 371). The material categories of selfhood and wholeness are not thinkable without the formal categories of directedness and comprehension and vice versa. For, to think of selfhood without directedness is just as impossible as thinking of wholeness without comprehension.

That is, on the one hand, directedness is related to selfhood ‘in so far as the form of selfhood is precisely that of itself being directed towards itself [die Form des sich zu sich selbst Richtens]’ (Krause 1828: 371). God’s directedness is directed towards the self-same essence which is God Himself. In this, we find before us the unconditionality of God which is unconditionally directed towards itself. On the other, the formal category which corresponds most intuitively to the wholeness of God is comprehension: God’s comprehension embraces the wholeness of Essence, embraces all essentialities of Essence within the one whole of its unity. In this, we find that God completely grasps the infinity of His being. Therefore, whereas the form of selfhood is directedness, the form of wholeness is comprehension. Beyond this it is, furthermore, according to Krause, generally valid that if we think of one category in particular, then all the categories in general are implicitly given with it. For the intuition of the categories is the fundamental intuition of God, and God is the single highest principle of science that is the unity of unity and difference.

The union of the formal and the material categories that are read off the fundamental intuition of God constitutes the formal-material categories, which Krause also refers to as the categories of being. The reason, as was already shown in the analysis of the transcendental constitution of the ego, is that the union of material and formal determinations in a single essence is that in virtue of which an essence actually exists. If an essence is directed upon itself as a self-same essence and if this essence comprehends its wholeness, then this essence, by all means, is an essence that exists. ← 107 | 108 →

Because God is identical to the union of the material and formal categories, that is, because God is fully directed upon Himself as a self-same essence and completely comprehends the wholeness of his essence, Krause is able to refer to God as Being and to argue that Being is not a primitive concept. That is, because, what it means to be, is fully realized in and through the unity of the essentialities of Essence, and because this entails a unity of material and formal categories, the concept of Being is not an immediate concept, for Krause, but another name for the unity of material and formal determinations. Only when we think these together, we obtain the concept of Being (Begriff des Seins) and understand that Essence is both Being – ‘the one Being [das Eine Sein]’ – and ‘the primordial being [das eine Seiende]’ (Krause 1828: 374).

That Being is analysed like this implies that Krause does not understand Being as in other systems of philosophy, as impenetrable per se, or as unthinkable. Instead, Being is accessible in its structure precisely because it is already thought as the synthesis of material and formal categories that can be read off of or deduced from the fundamental intuition of God: ‘The thought of beingness [Seinheit] or being-thereness [Daseinheit] is, firstly, a thought to be distinguished from that of the material essentialities of Essence. For Being is not identical to the material essentiality itself, but only in combination with the positivity of the material essentiality. Therefore, whoever intuits this, finds there that Essence has beingness, in common words, that God is there’ (Krause 1828: 374).

This stance on the being of God has an interesting consequence: on the basis of this, one cannot think of what God is without seeing that God also has Being. Those who first speak of God’s essence and then seek proof that this also entails being, only reveal that they have not intuited God. Or, equivalently, they do not gather together everything consistently what is shown by the fundamental intuition of God: ‘From this it can be seen even more clearly that when one undertakes to think God first through His essence, and after that also to seek His proof, this comes from not intuiting the divine essence properly, that God is there’ (Krause 1828: 375).

The consequence of this, that God’s essence cannot be intuited at all without his beingness, can be expressed as follows: there cannot be any indirect proof of God’s existence: ‘Because of this, all the putative indirect proofs of the being of God are not that but, rather, a means of reminding ← 108 | 109 → oneself of God [Mittel, sich Gottes zu erinnern]’ (Krause 1828: 375). The means to remind oneself, however, is nothing but the principle of sufficient reason, which, according to Krause is, like all knowledge, ultimately only reliable because it is grounded in the essence of the principle of science: ‘For this thought, Essence, or God, as the thought of the one essence, which is unconditioned, infinite, and is in unconditioned existence, cannot be conceived other than according to the concept and principle of sufficient reason [Satz des Grundes], where this principle is itself caused in and through the content of this thought, by Essence, or by God himself’ (Krause 1869: 256).

Now, that Essence is Being means that we can understand the structure of Being out of the unity of the formal and material categories of essence. There are, as seen in the analytical-ascending part of science, two main categories of being: on the one hand, the category of unity-of-difference (Verhaltseinheit) and, on the other, the category of unity-of-determination (Gehaltseinheit). That God, as Being, is unity-of-difference is an insight familiar from the prior reflection on the unity of the essentialities of Essence: the very own being of the principle of science is that in virtue of which unity in difference exists and therefore, is that in virtue of which finite essences can be addressed as particular unities of categories in the first place. If, in God, as the ultimate principle of reality, there were no unity-of-difference, then unity of difference would simply be impossible as a genuine feature of either the realm of nature or the realm of reason: the concept of a whole would be a contradiction in adiecto. Furthermore, at the same time, God is unity-of-determination, that is, God’s very existence as a whole is not exhausted by His unification of the differences between the material and formal determinations of His essence, as if God’s being was a collection of arbitrary categories standing next to each other, but, as a whole, it is also the unity of what each of these determinations per se entails for the determination of the being of God.

Since, due to the unity of the divine being, unity-of-determination and unity-of-difference cannot stand next to each other without being united themselves, this leads to the recognition of another essentiality of the divine being: the union of the unity-of-determination and the unity-of-difference, which can be referred to as unity-of-determination-and-difference. That God is the unity-of-determination-and-difference means that although unity-of-determination prima facie can be distinguished from ← 109 | 110 → unity-of-difference. In fact, both are logically equivalent: whenever there is a unity-of-determination in some essence, then eo ipso there is a unity-of-difference in this essence. We cannot think of an entity other than being both determined by its particular essentialities and by its act of integrating these different determinations in a way that constitutes its unity as a whole. God, therefore, becomes the necessary condition for the possibility of the existence of finite essences and is the exemplar of what it means to be a particular entity.

Finally, as in the case of original-unity-of-positivity and original-unity-of-essentiality, the divine being is not reducible to either unity-of-difference, unity-of-determination, or to their union, but, as a whole, is the higher unity of the difference between these two categories. Krause argues that in contrast to the ego, that is subordinated to this, Orwesen, as the highest principle of science, is the one genuine original-unity-of-being (Seinheit-Ureinheit). Because of this, because Orwesen is the original-unity-of-being, Krause can reinforce the assumption which started the analysis of the essence of Orwesen: that Orwesen is identical to His essentialities, for ‘the distinction between essence and essentiality has remained still uncombined in our thinking’ (Krause 1828: 376). The unity of the distinction between Essence and the essentiality of Essence is nothing over and above the original-unity-of-being of the highest principle of science: ‘It will therefore be intuited here that essence for itself is its essentiality, or: that God is His essentiality’ (Krause 1828: 377).

7.4  Summary

God, Orwesen, or Essence is the principle of science, and, as such, the ultimate principle of fact and knowledge. The analysis of the fundamental intuition of God as providing immediately certain knowledge of Essence has laid open both the formal and the material categories as essentialities with which God, as a whole, as the unity of unity and difference needs be identified and distinguished from, both regarding them as such and their combinations, in respect to the unity of the one divine being. God, as such, is the one infinite and unconditioned Essence, the all-embracing unity, that is purely directed towards Himself, and wholly grasps Himself, and because of this, God is the one Being and the primordial being: ‘Essence, as the ← 110 | 111 → whole besides which there is nothing, is the infinite. And, from the other point of view it is unconditionality, or superior unconditionality: selfhood, the one whole selfhood. And only Essence as pure self-same, which has no external relatedness, is the unconditioned, or the non-conditioned. It is also represented in thought that Essence is infinite, unconditioned, Essence – the distinction of its original essentiality, according to which Essence is, prior to and above the opposition of selfhood and wholeness. Furthermore, Essence is also thought according to formality or positivity, as positive, and indeed infinitely and unconditionally positive […] And as the positivity of Essence is conceived as the positivity of its essentiality, so Essence is also thought as an infinite and unconditioned beingness or existing [unbedingte Seinheit oder Daseinheit]’ (Krause 1869: 224).

Krause’s diagram helps to understand the structure behind Krause’s analysis of what is seen in the fundamental intuition of God.

Let o denote Orwesen. Then, according to Krause, the fundamental intuition of God shows the following regarding the material categories selfhood, i, and wholeness, e. Both are distinct determinations of Orwesen. However, both are united as selfhood-wholeness-unity, ä, because God’s selfhood is not separable from God’s wholeness. Although Orwesen is identical to i, e, and ä, they are not exhaustive of the divine being: Orwesen has to be considered as the higher unity in relation to, and as the principle of i, e, and ä, which in the diagram is symbolized by u. Since, as the higher unity of these determinations, u, Orwesen cannot be in plain opposition i, e, and ä, it has ← 111 | 112 → to be thought of as being united to each of them separately, as ü, a, and ö, which leads to further categories that we did not analyse above. To understand the relation amongst the formal categories, the relations amongst the formal-material categories, and, in general, the relation between any two categories in respect to their unity and difference as well as to the unity of their unity and difference, i and e have to be assigned accordingly.