The Importance and Relevance of Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature

Review of Metaphysics 61 (2):379-400 (2007)
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Abstract

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's 'Philosophy of Nature' has often been accused of promoting a view of nature fundamentally at odds with the modern scientific understanding of nature. I show this accusation to be false by pointing to two aspects of Hegel's treatment of nature: its rejection of the 'a priori/a posteriori' distinction, and its connection to Hegel's conception of autonomy as freedom from givenness. I give a reading of Hegel's treatment of the laws of motion along these lines, and I close with some points connecting this reading of Hegel to contemporary philosophy (specifically John McDowell and Catherine Malabou)

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Sebastian Rand
Georgia State University

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