Hegel's Philosophy of Nature of 1805-6: Its Relation to the Phenomenology of Spirit

Abstract

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit was the introduction and first part of the Jena System III; it was to introduce the other parts of his project. Most commentators on Hegel’s Phenomenology, however, do not consider how the Phenomenology relates to the other parts, and some discount Hegel’s understanding and commitment to the natural philosophy of his day. This paper attempts to make the connection between the Phenomenology and the Natural Philosophy of 1805-6 explicit; to show where and how the connections are made; to identify how Hegel uses the natural sciences of his day in creating his system. By showing these relations we should recognize that his concept of Spirit is born within his natural philosophy. It is part of his cosmology.

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