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Comparative Philosophy

Paideia of "Freedom as a Truth" and
Paideia of "Truth as a Freedom"

Mark V. Zhelnov
Moscow State University

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ABSTRACT: This paper traces the development of the idea of Paideia as 'freedom as a truth' in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance to the idea of Paideia as 'truth as a freedom' that characterizes the present and is directed toward the future. It comments on the ideas of Schelling and Heidegger which have contributed toward this transformation.

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W. Jäger (1) ("unitary method") presents "Paideia": both as medicine, and as Goodness, and as bringin-up justice in the state (governers, guards, citizens, women and children). It practically includes all riches of culture. It is possible to argue about definition for a long time. To us the classics is closer. In greek Platon's "Paideia" (IV ad.) a problem about an possibility and limits of attempts to improve man's life was put in a classical form. There are three classical approaches: Education of each separate citizen of a society (sometimes groups of the citizens) directly through introduction of ethical norms, developed by sages. Education of the elite of a society at first in conspiracy from most people, who then will transform a society in general. Or, finally, third "average" approach of the special influence on free activity of the person, with the purpose of understanding him of Truth of the Boon. If, certainly, both Truth and Boon still appreciated by the man of Freedom. Presently the classical statement of a problem has got other form. How will the concept of the Boon and Paideia be transformed, if the relations between Freedom and Truth will considerably change to opposite? In such form the problem is put in the title of the article. Actually before the terms "Freedom" and "Truth" a word "essence" is omitted. Classics talk about "essence of Freedom" and "the essence of Truth". One should remember and mentally "thought" about it. The complete name should sound like: "Ambiguity of Schelling understanding of "essence of Freedom as of a Truth - God" in comparison with ambiguity of Heidegger understanding of "essence of Truth of Being as Freedom" in struggle of philosophical ideas on a problem of con-crete (total specific) "self-development – self-creativity – self-creation" of Paideia. "in a whole" "now-and-here" "in this person" today". The understanding of relations between Freedom and Truth by Schelling appears to be the representation of understanding of relations between Freedom and Truth by Heidegger. Understanding these relations by the last is only a special case of relations between Freedom and Truth representations in deconstructed world of philosophical idea of our days. J. Rawls, (2) for example, has only refracted these ideas to "Paideia of Justice" in conditions of ХХth century.


About adjustment of philosophical aspect of the analysis and appropriate basic concepts. Traditional representations about "World" as " identical distinction " and existing in it "the single man", that together will form "final totality", or in other word "con-crete"(total specific) in age of “Postmodern” (the second half of ХХth century) have been changed significantly. Domination of ideas of " system non-systematization", "total locality" and "self-organization" has resulted in total transformation of a problem of creativity (when "differing identity" is changing) to a problem of its "self-creativity". Under "self-creativity" we understand something "average" between routine "self-development" (when in this or that "system" the tendency to preservation of former changes prevails in comparison with processes of occurrence essentially "new" "from nothing") and being "self-creation" (when, on the contrary, tendency to occurrence new just from "nothing" prevails). Concepts of con-crete (total specific) self-creativity of traditionally distinguished spheres of existence and essence have changed. If after Descartes and Kant the essence was transformed in the new age "subject-matter contents of object ", in epoch of "Postmodern" – in almost former Being. Accordingly, existence - to "the fact of appering of object" before all-seeing subject, and further to the "Existing". Since between self-creativity of Existing and the self-creativity of Being a field of their diverse "mix" was formed, traditional New age concept of "the subject-matter of philosophy" washed out. In understanding of "the subject-matter of philosophy " the following tendencies have come to light. First study of "existing and only existing" within the framework of opposition between subjective and objective. Second, the development of a pair of concepts "existing" and "being" (with an appeal to refuse opposition between subjective and objective for the benefit of uniform Being). And finally washing out (deconstuction) of all traditional concepts in a whole as superfluous (more often sneaky).

We shall specify some other concepts. Modern philosophizing in its developing assumes two moment. Finishing of questions up to catching of a phenomenon "in whole". Under the term "in whole" we shall understand something "average" between routine "in general" (result of simple logic integration of similar attributes of the phenomenon up to ostensibly existing "general") and fundamental being "as a whole" (phenomenological-intentionally caught at once). And also finishing of problems up to understanding of the involving of the asking person himself "of this man" in asking about peoples' life from the point of view of dominant "now-and-here".

Besides the consideration of a problem of the subject and object cognition, and wider a problem "of con-crete (total specific) self-creativity of subjective and objective" are treated not absolutely traditionaly. It has turned out, that subjective (instead of subject) – all are the products of internal and external specific self-creativity of mankind. And certainly "diped" in all objective, that already by its self-creativity "counteracts", and sometimes unexpectedly "promotes" self-creativity of the man. And vice versa. Accordingly, the self-creativity of "subjective - objective existing in the man" is present at three basic spheres: logic-epistemological (conscious), spiritually-ideally-practical (mental), and human-ontological (somatic). Accordingly, self-creativity of "objective-subjective existing outside the man" will form spheres: epistemologically-logic (consciously realized by means of "objectivation"); Non-spiritual matter-practical ("aloof"); and, finally, ontologically-human ("became external" already "for ever" in relation to mankind). It is also specifically self-creating. Metaphysical asking about self-creativity of existing is actually asking about this self-creativity of subjective in objective and objective in subjective, the unity of which is the Being as it is. It concerns the problem of "con-crete" (total specific) self-creativity of subjective-objective and objective-subjective "in a whole" "now-and-here " in "this man" with reference to "Paideia".

Understanding of "Paideia" just from that point of view, in our opinion, is the only pure philosophical consideration of it. We are not talking about moralising. Nothing like this. Certainly, it would be unreasonable to completely deny possibility of some limited influence of conscious or spiritual-ideal activity of the people on process of self-development of "Paideia". But in this case we consider "Paideia" as "objective", independent from the will and desire of the people process of "self-development – self-creativity – self-creation" "in a whole" "now-and-here" "in this person" under influence of objective radical change of a relation between Freedom and Truth to opposite. The examination of this problem by Schelling and Heidegger is ingenious.


About ambiguity of basic positions of Schelling and Heidegger in discussion of radical opposition of relations between Freedom and Truth in XIXth and ХХth centuries.

The ideas of both philosophers on essence of Freedom and the Truth during self-creativity of ideas of Paideia themselves never were new, both at their time and today. They are alive even in the end of ХХth century, but not in the same form. The examination of known questions: about a relations "of a nature, art and man", "of space, chaos, fate and Sofia", "of myth, beauty and symbol"; about differentiating of essence and existence; about understanding of the existing as determined by distinction between the basis and existence; about differentiating of good and evil in a God, or about, "what is a not a God in the God " etc. is organically inherent both to Schelling and Heidegger

Main mass of very educated people and even of the philosophers more often misunderstood the geniuses, accused them in haziness of reasoning and ambiguity of their conclusions. However, just this ambiguity of philosopher asking about "concrete" (total specific) self-creativity subjective and objective "in a whole" "now-and-here" "in this person" lifts their idea up to a really philosophical level of being comprehension. Greatness of the Schelling philosophical ambiguety as of the philosopher of beginning-middle of XIXth century consists in a fact that, in condition of at common enthusiasm about Cartesian rationalism, he has internally felt "insufficiency of rationalism" and has proclaimed need of something "rather not-rational". And was accused in irrationalism. Nevertheless his philosophy rather definitely has firm orientation on Cartesian rationalism, though with romantic shades. He has kind of tried "break on trough to the other side", but finally "has remained on the same coast". In the contrary, greatness of Heidegger's philosophical ambiguity as of the philosopher of the beginning-middle of already XXth century was, that, in condition of common denying of the former claims of Cartesian rationalism and enthusiasm "by all rather non-rational", announced to be irrational, he has internally felt need of something "rather rational". And was accused by anticartesians in betrayal, atheism, etc. Nevertheless, his philosophy is firmly oriented on "anticartesian non-rationality", with poetic nuances. He, too, has tried to become "defector", but in finally has remained in his midst. It explains similarity of ideas about "Paideia" of thinkers of XIXth century to philosophical ideas about "Paideia" of XXth century thinkers. In some "opposition of similarity", and in some "similarity of opposition"


Comparison of Schelling's and Heidegger's understanding of a relation between Freedom and Truth reveals, that it has changed to opposite. In ХХth century not the Truth subordinates Freedom, but Freedom subordinates Truth. The basis of Paideia: bringing-up of "Intellectual Mood" as of an internal inclination of the person to care not only about self, but also to all "other" "in a whole" "now-and-here" is also transformed.

The Schelling's philosophical understanding of freedom is developed in his works of different years, in works of Heidegger and many other philosophers. (4) By Schelling "the essence of Freedom is Truth", "in a God in his undistinguability and identity". The essence of human freedom is, to consciously promote urgent will inherent in the people to cognition of this truth. As it complete cognition is impossible, gradually it is necessary to achieve "solution" of received knowledge in the love to a God. Human freedom consists in cognition of a Truth in a God. At first as knowledge about love and knowledge through love, and then as love to the God, will to this love. Heidegger is dissatisfied by Schelling's principle of cognition: "to love - means to know about love". (5) It, Heidegger believes, it is not enough (how it is not enough to address neither to "works" and "knowledge" of Hegel, nor to "sensual-subject practice" of Marx) if not to involve into discussion problem of the analysis of "being-there" (Da-sein), i.e. "presence" of the person. (6) That was Heidegger, who has caught in philosophy of Schelling one of main concepts of future XXth century. Invariable arising statement of a question about necessity to "overcome metaphysics of existing being" and transition to the "new thinking", (7) comprehending and inquires "truth of Being" (8) through opening (and disappearing) freedom "of a disclosive event" (Ereignis). Ambiguity of philosophical asking, in opinion of Heidegger, is not a disadvantage of philosophy, but its essential property. The correct thinking kills any thinking.

However, philosophical understanding of freedom by Heidegger is also ambiguent as well as Schelling's methaphysics of evil and freedom. This understanding was developed by Heidegger in works of different years. (9) It is possible to assert that Heidegger in general "thougth up to the end" many major Schelling's ideas about freedom. (10) Taking into account studies in world philosophy, devoted to theme, that we are interesting in, (11) it is possible to make a conclusion, that by Heidegger "the essence of Truth is Freedom". However just in "Truth of Being", instead of in reliability of existing being "in a whole", since "being of existing in a whole is not yet pure Being". The essence of human freedom consists for the people in participation in outgoing from "Truth of Being" assumption of being of existing in it "disclosure and non-disclosure", to give back themselves to the detection of this assumption of being of existing in outside and inside the man. The essence of truth, which can be seen from the essence of freedom, displays itself as entry in sphere of detection of existing. The opportunity arise to approach to "simplicity of simple" ("open exposure"), in which any existing is situated and which equally carries it in itself. For this purpose one need only to rethink habitual concept of Truth in spirit of correctness of the statement and to address to, having place in past, non-conceptuality of detection and disclosure of essence.

Schelling has influence formation of the known concept of Heidegger about destructive action in the modern world (have the purpose in the itself) "of will to will ", a special case of which is "will to power" of Nietzsche. In opinion of Heidegger, by allowing to involve itself in this process, the mankind has lost a way to the "Truth of Being" and got into a crisis situation. Heidegger believes that it is possible to overcome such situation, probably only by distinguishing some "disclosive event (Ereignis)", (12) that "opens pure Being to the man".

Now about revealing by Schelling and Heidegger of a basis and radical change in self-creativity of relation between Freedom and Truth on opposite, changing all concepts of sense of "Paideia". The Schelling's formula "essence of Freedom is Truth" is proved by him, coming from New Age rationalistic-Cartesian tradition, supposing that freedom is simply certain quality of the man, the same as ability to learn the world. The contradictions of the Schelling's formula arise from the fact that the Truth subordinates the Freedom to itself. The main thing in Truth ("identical to itself God-Absolut") is its stability. Truth is something already being available. Freedom is necessary only for amplification of action of will to cognition of love to a God. Heidegger's formula is absolutely different: "the essence of Truth is Freedom". It is proved proceeding from non-rationalistic-anticartesian traditions, receiving a new pulses and becoming stronger in XXth century. According to these traditions freedom cannot be understood as certain quality of the person, as well as his ability to cognate the world. Therefore the contradictions of Heidegger's formula arise "from other end". Now Freedom subordinates the Truth to itself. If freedom is represented as disclosure (and non-disclosure) of Being admitting "being of existing", than the most important thing in the Truth appears to be its instability, disclosure (and non-disclosure). The most important in truth becomes not something that is present in it but something, that is not present in it. The truth is necessary only since, it strengthens action of will to cognition of disclosure of the world of the being, of "a disclosive event", or even Being itself. Comparison of positions of both philosophers on a question on self-creativity of a relations between Freedom and Truth shows inconsistency of their understanding as Cartesian and anticartesian traditions, and furthermore both that "together", at once.

Both Schelling and Heidegger, each in a extent of objective opportunities of the time, expected tragedy of domination "revolted mass", "getting up to authority" common "grey mediocrity", rebuilding the world according to their fashion. They expected also the tragedy of modern "Paideia" – ambivalence of attempts to take possession by process of self-creativity "new non-conceptual thinking". (13)

However, it was this ambivalence of each of these positions of the considered philosophers, and especially in their comparison with each other, that appears to be the most close to the mentality "of the modern man". The change of a real relation between Freedom and Truth on opposite transforms concepts of the core of Paideia – bringin-up of "Intellectual Mood" as of an internal inclination of the man to care not only about himself, but also about the whole "other" world "in a whole" "now-and-here". Lets consider two basic ways of transformation of "Intellectual mood" during self-creature of "Paideia" at present. Namely on "Intellectual mood of system non-systematization" and "Intellectual mood of total locality", transformed by self-creativity of "Paideia".


About constant attempts to affect the people by means of consciously organized systems of education and training, which conflict with ambiguity of today's "system non-systematization". The last in turn is steadily reproduced by "subjective - objective" "self-development – self-creativity" of "Paideia". The people of the end of ХХth century can really live only in the world of ambivalence.

Both Schelling and Heidegger from different positions approached to the study of a problem of "non-systematization system", or "system non-systematization". As an adherent of Cartesian-Kant's rationalistic tradition, Schelling has offered "metaphysics of freedom and evil" as "systems of freedom and evil". This includes even the Schelling's refusal to admit existence of infinite progress that usually is assumed by the system approach. Even if one can speak about "progress" than only about small one and not at all about infinite. Since it is "haphazard systematization" before us. On the other hand Heidegger, who believes, that the philosophy, outgoing each time from a new base and therefore free, should reject systemization. Nevertheless even Heidegger as the representative of the opponents of Cartesian rationalism, who outgoes from individual "being-there" (Da-sein) of the present and feeling pain "now-and-here", has gradually formed the system of rather steady concepts and images. We see "system non-systematization". Both thinkers, despite frank declarations, nevertheless escape from extremes.

However, in life everithing is "system non-systematic" and vice versa. "Paideia of Intellectual mood of system non-systematization" is ambiguous, too.


Finally, about constantly occurring intentionally-unconscious attempts to affect ambiguity of spontaneously arising phenomena of "new scientific-mythological non-confessional religion" and "new non-conceptual thinking". These attempts is constantly abut against irreducibility of steady reproduction today's "total locality" and "escaping of being into nihil", which in turn are formed by "objective-subjective" "self-creativity – self-creation" of "Paideia". Manipulating by ideals of Paideia turns to its opposition. The self-creation of "Paideia" dominates "mentors".

First about (connected with a problem of "system non-systematization") problem of common "totality of local", or "locality of total" in conditions of "escaping of being into nihil”, at least at the end of ХХth a century. On the one hand, totality of the transferred message through mass-media about individual event of a day; the role of knowledge about individual event for stimulation of total processes; deconstruction of systematization (text) of Derrida, for example, with urgent need in reconstruction of "design" on a new basis – all this are the transformation of ideas of "total locality". The need in specific "Paideia of Intellectual mood of total locality" arises. Аnd on the other hand, – the modern man everyday lives in the world of constant displaying of suppression and disclosure "Truth of Being ". Namely: as "escaping of being" (in "gleam" to nihil and to nihil itself), as occurrences of unexpected (unexpectedly present) "disclosive events", as of indefinitely – tragic residing "now-and-here" (under pressure of domination "of will to will") of "this person". The need in specific "Paideia of Intellectual mood of being escaping into nihil".

All these factors determine possibilities of education spirituality of the person on a basis of "new scientific-mythological non-confessional religion" and "new non-conceptual thinking " in general. (14)

Both Schelling and Heidegger among other philosophers are distinguished by chanting of special role of direct perception of the world and imagination, arts, and poetry in a first turn; of the special role for the person of "language - speech", especially poetic speech. Just in art as in unity of common and special does Schelling see attempt of the person to penetrate in content of perfect as concurrence of ideal and real. But if art is the being as "a dead word", the poetry is continuous production, "revival of language ", the result of which is mythology as the form of being, the main form of the world cognition. The requirement to address to hearing in "speach-tale" and to create "ear", through which it would be possible, through language as "the house of being", to penetrate to being itself – is characteristic of late Heidegger. Only the poetry has not yet yielded, in his opinion, corrosion causes influence "of will to will" and "power to power". It is possible to penetrate to Truth of Being only through poetry, cognition of sense of "disclosive event" and mental learning. However, for average person of end of XXth century this imposes most of all. Classics felt, but hardly could foresee a role of music, poetry, "speach-tale" and simple "rehearsal – interpretation" in manipulating by consciousness of people. In the most primitive form: "for" or "against" of the next interest of "authorities to authority". There appeared the need for development of problems of "Paideia of Intellectual mood of new scientific-mythological non-confessional religion" and "Paideia of Intellectual mood of new non-conventional thinking". Ambiguity again.

The Schellings idea is closer for them, who consider that the most important in freedom is obtaining of knowledge about what already is, i.e. presence of truth (especially in the God). The ideas of these people are really inverted in past. The idea of Heidegger, on the contrary, is closer to those people, for whom main aspect of freedom lays in that, what does not present in it, what yet only will be. Accordingly, for them main thing in truth is not what already present, but, what is not present, what is not enough, that only will come. The ideas of these people are really inverted already in future. But all of them are trying to solve the sanction of major paradoxes of the end of ХХth century. Paradoxes of inevitability of constant transition from "unlimited freedom" to "self-restriction of freedom", and vice versa. Paradoxes of inevitability of constant transition from "truth as of major difference from non-truth" to "undistinguishing of truth and non-truth ", and vice versa.

One part of mankind, probably, in spite of "everything " probably can nevertheless be satisfied by ideas of "utopia of a victory through love to a God over evil forces". And just in quiet, spirit planting contrasts Schelling's "metaphysics of freedom and evil". For other parts of the people it is hardly acceptable. For them the philosophizing of Heidegger about "death as duty", "inquest about despair under pressure of anxiety of everyday", about "synosure" given to the person in "disclosive event", that he can not catch and to classify. Regardless of the way how the modern man is oriented, the problems still stay the same. Freedom as "non-freedom from the way to death", and Truth as "non-truth of vital ways ".

Submission of process of objective self-creativity of Paideia not to Truth, but to Freedom always brings in to education of the person ambiguity, which strongly eases hopes for realization of iridescent utopias. This is the contribution of Schelling's and Heidegger's ideas in change of concepts of Paideia in past and present. This way or other "Paideia of Freedom as a Truth" of the Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Renaissance and New Age is left in past. This way or other the future is for "Paideia of Truth as a Freedom".

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(1) Jäger W. Paideia. Die Formung des griechischen Menschen. Bd. II., 19542.(19441). Or Jäger W. Paideia, The Ideals of Greek Culture. V. II. Oxf., 1947.

(2) Rawls J. A theory of justice - Cambridge, Massachusetts, the belknap press of harvard university press, 1971.

(3) Heidegger М. Gesamtausgabe.- Frankfurt а.M.,1988.- Аbt.2. Vorlesungen,1919-1944. Bd.42, Schelling: Vom Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit (1809).

(4) Froman W.J. Schelling's Treatise on the Essense of Human Freedom and Heidegger's Thought.- //"International Philosophical Quarterly"- Fordham University (Uew York, USA) and Facultes Universitaires (Namur,Belgium), December 1990, Vol.XXX, Ho.4, Issue Nо. 120, P.465-480

(5) Froman W.J. Schelling's Treatise on the Essense of Human Freedom etc.-Op.cit., pp.476-477.

(6) Heidegger М. Schelling's Abhandlung über das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit // Heidegger M. Gesamtauagabe, -1988.- Abt.2. Vorlesungen, 1919-1944.

(7) Heidegger M. Schelling's Abhandlung über... Op.cit., S.155.

(8) Heidegger М. Jaspers К. Briefwechsel 1920-1963. München, 1992, S.62.

(9) Heidegger М. Gesamtausgabe.- Frankfurt a.M.,Klosterman, 1991-Abt.2. Vorlesungen, 1919-1944. Bd.49. Die Metaphysik des deutschen Idealigmus. Zur erneuten Ausalegung von Schelling. Philos. Unters.über des Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit (1809).

(10) Heidegger M. Gesamtausgabe 3 Abt. Unveröffentliche Abhandlungen. B.68, Hegel S. Die Negativität. 2.Erläuteruug der "Einleitung zu Hegels "Phanomenologie des Geistes". Frankfurt a.M.,Klosterman, 1993

(11) Heidegger M. Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (1930) Freiburg a.M., 1961.

(12) Haidegger M. Überwindung der Metaphysik (1936-1946) // Heidegger M. Vortrage und Aufsätze. Pfullingen: Neske, 1954. ss. 71-99.

(13) Zhelnov Mark V. Philosophie de la religion du "postmoderne" // XIX World Congress of philosophie, Moscow, 22-28 August 1993, Book of Abstracts, V. 2., Section N 15.

(14) Zhelnov Mark V. The metaphysics of creation of subjective and objective as a whole. //XIX World Congress of philosophie, Moscow, 22-28 August 1993, Book of Abstracts, V. 1., Section N 1; Zhelnov M.V. "Wille zum Willen" von M.Heidegger als Inhalt des "Willens zur Macht" von F.Nietsche heute.// Ibidem, V. 2. Sektion 17; Zhelnov M. V. Paideia of "Nihil of Reliabilty of Existing" and Paideia of "Nihil of Truth of Being" (ideas of G.W. Leibniz and M. Heidegger at the end of XX century). //Twentieth world congress of philosophy. Paideia: Philosophy Educating Humanity Boston, August 10 - 16, 1998. Section "The Metaphysics"; Желнов М.В. Гносеология современного неотомизма - М. Издательство Московского университета, 1971, 359p.; Желнов М.В Предмет философии в истории философии. Предыстория. - М. Издательство Московского университета, 1981, 720 p.

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