Defending Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature

  • Arnold Vincent Miller
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 136)


When discussing the radical differences that exist between the natural philosophy of Hegel and certain of the theories current in modern science, it is essential to bear in mind the relationship between his Logic and his Philosophy of Nature. This relationship is sometimes described as a transition, despite the fact that in the final paragraph of his main work on logic, Hegel states quite expressly that this is not the case: “The Idea … in positing itself as absolute unity of the pure Notion and its reality and thus contracting itself into the immediacy of being, is the totality in this form — nature.” In this connection it is particularly important to note that in Hegel’s vocabulary being nearly always implies immediacy. In the treatment of this part of the Logic in his Encyclopedia,for example, we find him dwelling on the point that: “since the logical Idea is as much a universal as it is an immediate Being, since it is presupposed by the Notion as much as it itself immediately is, its beginning is synthetic as well as analytical.” In the final paragraph, which is so often treated as the basic text for discussing the so-called transition to nature, we find him referring back to the beginning, the point of departure, of the whole logical undertaking: “What we began with was Being, abstract Being, and now we have the Idea as Being; but this Idea, which is an immediate Being, is Nature.”1


Solar System Logical Category Final Paragraph Pure Thought Foreign Legion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

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  • Arnold Vincent Miller

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