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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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Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.  The Life of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause

1.1  Krause’s childhood and education

1.2  Krause’s years as Privatdozent in Jena

1.3  The restless years and Schopenhauer as a neighbour

1.4  Krause’s last years in Göttingen and Munich

I.  The Panentheism of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause

2.  Overview: The Panentheism of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause

2.1  The system of science

2.2  The analytical-ascending part of science

2.3  The intuition of God as the ultimate ground

2.4  The synthetical-descending part of science

2.5  Krause’s argument for panentheism: God in Himself

3.  The Method and Structure of Science

3.1  Science as an organic system and the principle of science

3.2  Science and intellectual intuition

3.3  The analytical-ascending part of science

3.4  The synthetical-descending part of science

3.5  Summary

4.  Science and the Constitution of the Ego as such

4.1  The fundamental intuition of the ego

4.2  The material constitution of the ego as such

4.3  The formal constitution of the ego as such

4.4  The material-formal categories of the ego as such

4.5  The immediate certainty of Krause’s intuition of the categories

4.6  Summary

5.  Nature, Reason, and the Ego in Itself

5.1  The ego as body and mind

5.2  The ego as a body

5.3  The ego as a mind

5.4  The ego as a human being

5.5  Nature and reason

5.6  Nature, reason, humanity, and the concept of the world

5.7  Summary

6.  The Fundamental Intuition of God

6.1  Knowledge as a trinary relation

6.2  God as the ultimate ground of all things

6.3  The ubiquity of the formal and material categories

6.4  The fundamental intuition of God

6.5  The coherence of the fundamental intuition of God

6.6  The circularity of arguments for the existence of God

6.7  Orwesen as the one subject and object of knowledge and being

6.8  Summary

7.  The Essence of God as such

7.1  Orwesen and the material categories

7.2  Orwesen and the formal categories

7.3  Orwesen and the material-formal categories

7.4  Summary

8.  The Case for Panentheism

8.1  Unity and difference

8.2  The world as the unity of reason and nature

8.3  The case for panentheism

8.4  Krause’s panentheism and Creatio ex nihilo

8.5  Summary

9.  The Organic System of Science

9.1  The organic system of science as the science of Orwesen

9.2  The infinity of the system of science

9.3  The principal sciences and the system of science

9.4  The non-vicious circularity of the system of science

9.5  Summary

II.  The Importance of Karl Christian Friedrich Krause’s Panentheism

10.  Krause’s Influence on Arthur Schopenhauer

10.1  Historical evidence for Krause’s influence on Schopenhauer

10.2  Systematic evidence for Krause’s influence on Schopenhauer

10.3  Summary

11.  Krause Importance for Philosophy of Religion

11.1  Krause and analytic philosophy

11.2  Concepts of God in philosophy of religion

11.3  The adequacy of Krause’s concept of God

11.4  The importance of Krause’s arguments for panentheism

11.5  The interaction between God and the world on Krause’s panentheism

11.6  Summary

12.  Krause’s Importance for Philosophy of Science

12.1  Concepts of science in philosophy of science

12.2  The plausibility of Krause’s concept of science

12.3  Reductionism, holism and the organic system of science

12.4  Ultimate explanation and intellectual intuition

12.5  Summary

13.  Krause’s Importance for Philosophy of Mind

13.1  Panpsychism in the philosophy of mind

13.2  Arguments for panpsychism

13.3  Arguments against panpsychism

13.4  Krause’s panentheism and panpsychism

13.5  Summary

14.  Closing Assessment