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Chapter 6 - Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature

The Expansion of Particularity as the Filling of Space and Time

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 August 2021

Sebastian Stein
Affiliation:
Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany
Joshua Wretzel
Affiliation:
Pennsylvania State University
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Summary

Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature is interesting for three primary reasons: (1) its theory of space and time; (2) its theory of physical mechanics; and (3) reconstruction of biological categories. With respect to (1), the primary interest is its connection (a) to intuition and thus to Kant and prior theories of space and time; and (b) to the mathematical categories of the Science of Logic. With respect to (2), the primary interest is (a) the relation to important predecessors, particularly Leibniz and Newton, and (b) the relevance of Hegel’s comments on mechanical explanation for contemporary practice. With respect to (3), the primary interest is (a) the relation of Hegel’s account to past conceptions of organism in Leibniz and Aristotle and (b) the tenability of Hegel’s theory in the light of contemporary biology and Deleuze’s criticisms of the Aristotelian and Hegelian theories of organic life. A further question on the relation of mechanical and organicist explanation is whether the relation between the two supports Kreines’s influential reading of Hegel’s metaphysics as distinguishing between two orders of explanation and therefore of phenomena and dependence relations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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