1st Edition

Nature and Naturalism in Classical German Philosophy

Edited By Luca Corti, Johannes-Georg Schülein Copyright 2023

    This book offers the first comprehensive exploration of the relevance of naturalism and theories of nature in Classical German Philosophy. It presents new readings from internationally renowned scholars on Kant, Jacobi, Goethe, the Romantic tradition, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and Marx that highlight the significance of conceptions of nature and naturalism in Classical German Philosophy for contemporary concerns.

    The collection presents an inclusive view: it goes beyond the usual restricted focus on single thinkers to encompass the tradition as a whole, prompting dialogue among scholars interested in different authors and areas. It thus illuminates the post-Kantian tradition in a new, wider sense. The chapters also mobilize a productive perspective at the intersection of philosophy and history by combining careful textual and historical analysis with argument-based philosophizing. Overall, the book challenges the stereotypical view that Classical German Philosophy offers at best only an idealistic, one-sided, anachronistic, and theological view of nature. It invites readers to put traditional views in dialogue with current discussions of nature and naturalism.

    Nature and Naturalism in Classical German Philosophy will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working on Classical German Philosophy, 19th-Century Philosophy, and contemporary perspectives on naturalism.

    Nature and Naturalism: The Relevance of Classical German Philosophy, Luca Corti and Johannes-Georg Schülein

    1. Kant’s Regulative Naturalism, James R. O'Shea

    2. The Concept of Life in Classical German Philosophy: A Question of Nature or the Lifeworld?, Brigit Sandkaulen

    3. Nature and Freedom in Schlegel and Alexander von Humboldt, Elizabeth Millán Brusslan

    4. The Challenge of Plants: Goethe, Humboldt, and the Question of Life, Dalia Nassar

    5. Beyond Nature? The Place of the Natural World in J.G. Fichte’s Early Wissenschaftslehre, Daniel Breazeale

    6. The Fichte-Schelling Debate, or: Six Models for Relating Subjectivity and Nature, Philipp Schwab

    7. Schelling and Von der Weltseele, John Zammito

    8. The Freedom of Matter: Self-Constitution in Schelling’s ‘Physical Explanation of Idealism’, Johannes-Georg Schülein

    9. Beyond a Naturalistic Conception of Nature: Nature and Life in Hegel’s Early Writings, Luca Illetterati

    10. The Phenomenology and the Logic of Life: Heidegger and Hegel, Robert B. Pippin

    11. The Logical Form of a Living Organism: Hegel, Naturalism, and Biological Autonomy, Luca Corti

    12. Genus-Being: On Marx’s Dialectical Naturalism, Thomas Khurana


    Luca Corti is Assistant Professor at the University of Padua as well as Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Padua, the University of Chicago, and the University Paris I Sorbonne. He has published two books and several articles on Kant, Hegel, and contemporary Hegelisms, as well as Sellars and Sellarsian themes, including Senses and Sensations: on Hegel’s Later Picture of Perceptual Experience (2018), Conceptualism, Non-Conceptualism, and the Method of Hegel’s Psychology (Routledge, 2016), Between Causes and Reasons: Hegel, Sellars and Lewis on Sensation (2019), and Crossing the Line: Sellars on Kant on Imagination (2012). He is co-editor of Sellars and the History of Modern Philosophy (Routledge, 2018).

    Johannes-Georg Schülein is ‘Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter’ at the Department for Philosophy and the Research Center for Classical German Philosophy/Hegel Archive at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany. He is the managing editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Hegel-Studien. Currently, he is working on his second book, which deals with Schelling’s theory of freedom between Kant and Hegel. Previously, he has published a monograph on the critique of metaphysics in Hegel and Derrida (2016) and several articles on Classical German Philosophy.

    "This collection of essays, written by renowned experts, is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the role that nature (and naturalism) played in Classical German Philosophy. Its greatest achievement, however, is that along the way it completely explodes the antiquated, and ultimately incorrect, notion that the classical German tradition of philosophy, before all else, is an obsession with idealism." – Tyler Tritten, Gonzaga University, USA