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The Philosophy of Nature

The Philosophy of Nature

Chapter:
(p.187) Chapter Ten The Philosophy of Nature
Source:
The Romantic Absolute
Author(s):
Dalia Nassar
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226084237.003.0013

This chapter explores Schelling’s turn to nature, and engages with the debates concerning the origins of his transformed understanding of nature. While in his early writings on nature, Schelling had insisted that nature must be grasped as a product of the mind, in his 1799 Einleitung to the Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie, he maintains that nature is independent of mind. The chapter argues that his transformed understanding of nature is based on his appropriation of Goethe’s notion of natural metamorphosis. It offers an elaboration of Goethe’s conception of metamorphosis and illustrates Schelling’s debt to Goethe through biographical evidence and a detailed analysis of the Einleitung. The chapter concludes with an examination of Schelling’s notion of experimentation and its role in the philosophical construction of nature.

Keywords:   Friedrich Schelling, Goethe, Goethe’s Science, Naturphilosophie, philosophy of nature, German idealism, intellectual intuition, the absolute, philosophical construction, history of philosophy

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