Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines the emergence of philosophy of nature in early nineteenth-century German thought and its elaboration by Schelling, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. The chapter identifies two central elements of philosophy of nature. In metaphysics, philosophers of nature oppose mechanism and emphasize that nature is not reducible to matter in motion: rather, nature exhibits self-organization, dynamism, creativity, vitality, or is an organism. In epistemology, philosophers of nature think that because nature is self-organizing, vital, or holistic, it must be understood using methods proper to philosophy—such as a priori reasoning or intuition—as well as those of empirical science. The chapter then traces the subsequent decline of philosophy of nature through the middle to late nineteenth century, when it was superseded by more narrowly scientific approaches to nature and by the rise of naturalism, empiricism, and materialism.

Keywords: a priori reason, Hegel, Humboldt, mechanism, nature, organism, Schelling, Schopenhauer, science, self-organization

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.