Confronting the Anthropocene: Schelling and Lucretius on Receiving Nature's Gift

Comparative and Continental Philosophy 8 (2):160-179 (2016)
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Abstract

This essay interprets Schelling's positive philosophy as an effort to conceive nature as a gift. Schelling ruminated throughout his career on the paradoxical relation between humanity and nature that is expressed in the contemporary term “Anthropocene,” but this essay argues that Schelling's most productive response to this paradox can be found in his reflections on how to receive the gift of nature. After laying out the project of positive philosophy, the essay first explores Schelling's effort to conceive nature as a gift in On the World-Soul, and then considers how this project founders in the First Projection of a System of Nature Philosophy. After the resources of the natural sciences showed themselves to be inadequate to the task of conceiving nature as a gift, Schelling returned to mythology in his late philosophy, and the concluding section of this essay traces how an often overlooked Epicurean strain in Schelling's late philosophy can help us see what is entailed in conceiving nature as a gift.

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Interpreting Schelling: Critical Essays.Lara Oštarić (ed.) - 2014 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Christopher Lauer
University of Hawai'i at Hilo

References found in this work

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.
Wonderful Life; The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History.Stephen Jay Gould - 1992 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 23 (2):359-360.

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