Volcanos in the Sky: Nature's Contribution to Hegel's "Philosophy of Nature"

Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada) (1988)

Abstract
Volcanoes in the Sky: Nature's contribution to Hegel's Philosophy of Nature investigates the role Nature plays in the Idea's systematic development in the second part of the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences, 1830. To this end, three representative sections of text are examined in light of: the division of concept, the interplay of the practical and theoretical approaches to nature, and the shifting emphasis of ideality and reality within the determinations of this sphere. This treatment reveals, respectively, the logical structure of the work, our activity as philosophers of nature within the development of the Philosophy of Nature itself, and the activity of the Idea as it increasingly informs the determinations of its external sphere. ;This analysis of the text provides answers to three essential issues in Hegel's thought: the fundamental importance of Begriffsbestimmungen as the building blocks of Hegel's system, an accurate account of his critique of empirical science, and how empirical science is related to, and sublated in, a philosophy of nature. The resolution of these issues shows that: the relation of subject matter to structure in the Philosophy of Nature is easily misconstrued, and this often overlooked section of the Encyclopedia is philosophically coherent with the rest of Hegel's system
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