Petrified Intelligence

Nature in Hegel's Philosophy

By Alison Stone

Subjects: Metaphysics, Hegel, Environmental Philosophy, Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Hegelian Studies
Paperback : 9780791462942, 248 pages, November 2004
Hardcover : 9780791462935, 248 pages, November 2004

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Table of contents


Introduction: The Problem of Hegel's Philosophy of Nature


1. A Priori Knowledge in Hegel's Philosophy of Nature


Textual Ambiguities in the Philosophy of Nature
How Cogent is Strong A Priorism?
How Cogent is Weak A Priorism?
Metaphysical Disputes in the Interpretation of the Philosophy of Nature
The Fecundity of the Strong A Priori Reading


2. The Development of Nature: Overcoming the Division between Matter and Thought


Sensuous Consciousness/Material Externality
Understanding/Physical Qualities
Hegel's Metaphysical Theory of Nature


3. The Rationality of Nature


Hegel's Rationalist Conception of Nature
Rationalist and Scientific Conceptions of Nature
Teleology and Modern Science
Science, A Priori Reasoning, and the Rationality of Nature
Nature as Petrified Intelligence


4. Two Defenses of Hegel's Metaphysics of Nature


The Limits of Empirical Science
Hegel's Argument from Explanatory Power
Hegel's Argument from Systematic Derivation
From Logic to Nature?


5. Sensibility and the Elements


Bildung and the Articulation of Sensibility
The Elements in Sensibility
The Physical Elements in Nature
Rationality and Dynamism in Elemental Nature
Evaluating Hegel's Phenomenological Argument


6. Ethical Implications of Hegel's Theory of Nature


Ethical Complexity in the Philosophy of Nature
Practical Reason in the World
The Goodness of Nature
Sensibility and the Intrinsic Value of Nature
The Morality of Transforming Nature
How Consistent is Hegel's Account of Nature's Ethical Status?
Assessment of Hegel's Ethical Argument


Conclusion: Hegel's Project of a Philosophy of Nature


Works Cited


A critical introduction to Hegel's metaphysics and philosophy of nature.


Petrified Intelligence offers the first comprehensive treatment of Hegel's Philosophy of Nature, exploring its central place within his system, including its relation to his Logic, Philosophy of Mind, and moral and political thought. It highlights the contemporary relevance of Hegel's approach to nature, particularly with respect to environmental issues. Challenging the standard view that Hegel devalues nature relative to mind and culture, Alison Stone reveals the deep concern to re-enchant the natural world that pervades his entire philosophical project. Written in clear and nontechnical language, the book also provides a critical introduction to Hegel's metaphysics.

Alison Stone is Lecturer in Philosophy at the Institute for Environment, Philosophy, and Public Policy at Lancaster University in England.