Logic and Nature in Hegel's Philosophy

The Owl of Minerva 34 (1):107-125 (2002)
Abstract
In this essay I argue that Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature combines four elements. Hegel develops (1) an a priori account of the logical determinations immanent in and peculiar to nature—determinations that incorporate (but are not reducible to) (2) the determinations set out in the Logic. Hegel then points to (3) the empirical phenomena corresponding to each determination and so proves indirectly that such phenomena are necessary. Finally, he draws attention to (4) those aspects of nature that cannot be explained by nature’s immanent logic and so are contingent. In this way, I argue, Hegel demonstrates a priori that certain natural processes are made necessary by the distinctive logic of nature, but he also recognizes that there are contingencies in nature that only empirical science can discover
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