Schelling's first systematic attempt to articulate a complete philosophy of nature.
Appearing here in English for the first time, this is F. W. J. Schelling's vital document of the attempts of German Idealism and Romanticism to recover a deeper relationship between humanity and nature and to overcome the separation between mind and matter induced by the modern reductivist program. Written in 1799 and building upon his earlier work, First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature provides the most inclusive exposition of Schelling's philosophy of the natural world. He presents a startlingly contemporary model of an expanding and contracting universe; a unified theory of electricity, gravity magnetism, and chemical forces; and, perhaps most importantly, a conception of nature as a living and organic whole.
Keith R. Peterson is Lecturer in Philosophy at St. Michael's College and Champlain College.