•  54
    Contra widespread readings of Karoline von Günderrode’s 1805 “Idea of the Earth (Idee der Erde)” as a creative adaptation of Schelling’s philosophy of nature, this article proposes that “Idea of the Earth” furnishes a moral account of the human relation to the natural world, one which does not map onto any of the more well-known romantic or idealist accounts of the human-nature relation. Specifically, I argue that “Idea of the Earth” responds to the great Enlightenment question concerning the hu…Read more
  • Over the last two decades there has been a significant increase of interest in Schelling’s philosophy, and in particular his philosophy of nature. However, even the most generous of Schelling’s interpreters are confused by one of Schelling’s key theses: his view that nature as a whole (including non-living nature) is “organized,” and his related rejection of the hard-and-fast distinction between living and non-living. My aim is to offer an explanation of these two related points. Given that Sche…Read more
  • Over the last four decades, environmental ethics has become an increasingly significant field of philosophy. Yet, many of its practitioners question its goals and effectiveness. Above all, environmental philosophers voice uncertainty about the extent to which the field has been able to influence action, behaviour, and policy in relation to the environment. What are the reasons behind this meagre influence and what kind of contrasting philosophical approach might enable transformative action? The…Read more
  •  214
    Analogical Reflection as a Source for the Science of Life: Kant and the Possibility of the Biological Sciences
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 2016 (58): 57-66. 2016.
    In contrast to the previously widespread view that Kant's work was largely in dialogue with the physical sciences, recent scholarship has highlighted Kant's interest in and contributions to the life sciences. Scholars are now investigating the extent to which Kant appealed to and incorporated insights from the life sciences and considering the ways he may have contributed to a new conception of living beings. The scholarship remains, however, divided in its interest: historians of science are co…Read more
  •  73
    Hermeneutics and Nature
    In Michael Förster & Kristin Gjesdal (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Hermeneutics, Cambridge. pp. 37-74. 2019.
    This paper contributes to the on-going research into the ways in which the humanities transformed the natural sciences in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries. By investigating the relationship between hermeneutics -- as developed by Herder -- and natural history, it shows how the methods used for the study of literary and artistic works played a crucial role in the emergence of key natural-scientific fields, including geography and ecology.
  •  18
    The metaphor of epigenesis: Kant, Blumenbach and Herder
    with Daniela Helbig
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 58 98-107. 2016.
  •  10
    In contrast to the previously widespread view that Kant's work was largely in dialogue with the physical sciences, recent scholarship has highlighted Kant's interest in and contributions to the life sciences. Scholars are now investigating the extent to which Kant appealed to and incorporated insights from the life sciences and considering the ways he may have contributed to a new conception of living beings. The scholarship remains, however, divided in its interest: historians of science are co…Read more
  •  17
    Introduction: Kant and the empirical sciences
    with Stephen Gaukroger
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 58 55-56. 2016.
  •  41
    Reality Through Illusion: Presenting the Absolute In Novalis
    Idealistic Studies 36 (1): 27-45. 2006.
    Though Novalis was considered by both his contemporaries and his first critics to have made both an important philosophical as well as literary contribution, his place and significance in the history of philosophy has only rarely been clearly demarcated. It is only with the publication of the Novalis Schriften that an interest in Novalis’s philosophical contribution has arisen. Though the main discussion in the literature focuses on one of the central concepts in Novalis’s thought, that of prese…Read more
  •  13
    The possibility of positing critiques of the contemporary from within Hegel’s political philosophy is by no means evident. In fact, Hegel’s political philosophy has been plagued with accusations of quietism and conservatism and Hegel himself claims that the philosophical task is retrospective and descriptive. Yet, in spite of this claim, Hegel posits a critique of his contemporaries, the Jacobins. I attempt to answer the question, is Hegel’s critique of the Jacobins consistent with his political…Read more
  •  35
    This article provides a detailed conceptual and historical analysis of the controversial and often misunderstood notion of the “absolute,” examines the philosophical reasons behind its development, and offers an in-depth account of Schelling and Hegel’s disagreement on its meaning and role. It uniquely examines romantic as well as idealist views of the notion of the absolute, and investigates both its metaphysical and epistemological foundations.
  •  19
    Interpreting Novalis’ 'Fichte-Studien'
    Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft Und Geistesgeschichte 84 (3): 315-341. 2010.
    The philosophical reception of German Romanticism, lead by Manfred Frank, has focused on Novalis’ early notes while studying Fichte, titled by the editors of the critical edition, the Fichte-Studien. Frank’s claim that these notes contain the most important philosophical contribution of Romanticism has played an especially influential role in the Anglo-American interpretations of Novalis and of philosophical Romanticism in general. In this paper I contest the coherency of these notes, and argue …Read more
  •  48
    Sensibility and Organic Unity: Kant, Goethe, and the Plasticity of Cognition
    Intellectual History Review 25 (3): 311-326. 2015.
    In this paper, I trace a ‘leading thread’ from Kant’s Critique of Judgment to Goethe that involves a shift from a conceptual framework, in which a priori concepts furnish necessity and thereby science, to a framework in which sensible experience plays a far more significant and determining role in the formation of knowledge. Although this shift was not enacted by Kant himself, his elaboration of organic unity or organisms paved the way for this transformation. By considering both the methodologi…Read more
  •  29
    TRADITIONALLY, SCHLEIERMACHER’S REDEN ÜBER DIE RELIGION has been considered to emphasize intuition and immediacy as the means by which to understand and relate to the world. This reading was popularized by Wilhelm Dilthey and carried on into the twentieth century by Karl Barth and Hans-Georg Gadamer. Though none of these thinkers is solely interested in the Reden, it forms their starting point and as such informs much of their interpretation of Schleiermacher’s later works. More recently, howeve…Read more
  •  64
    The absolute was one of the most significant philosophical concepts in the early nineteenth century, particularly for the German romantics. Its exact meaning and its role within philosophical romanticism remain, however, a highly contested topic among contemporary scholars. In The Romantic Absolute, I offer a new assessment of the romantics and their understanding of the absolute, filling an important gap in the history of philosophy, especially with respect to the crucial period between Kant an…Read more
  •  74
    The Origins of Schelling’s Naturphilosophie and its relation to his transcendental philosophy have for a long time intrigued historians of philosophy.1 When did Schelling’s interest in the philosophy of nature commence,2 and what inspired this apparent transition in his thought?3 How did his Naturphilosophie figure into his later departure from Fichte, and in what ways did his early commitments influence this departure?4 These have been the overarching questions of the debate, and they have been…Read more
  •  117
    One of the most significant moments in the development of German idealism is Schelling's break from his mentor Fichte. On account of its significance, there have been numerous studies examining the origin and meaning of this transition in Schelling's thought. Not one study, however, considers Goethe's influence on Schelling's development. This is surprising given the fact that in the fall of 1799 Goethe and Schelling meet every day for a week, to go through and edit what came to be Schelling's m…Read more
  •  37
    Spinoza in Schelling’s early Conception of Intellectual Intuition
    In Eckart Förster & Yitzhak Melamed (eds.), Spinoza and German Idealism, Cambridge University Press. 2012.
    In this paper, I consider Schelling’s early understanding of intellectual intuition. I argue that although the common interpretation of intellectual intuition traces it back to Fichte’s enumerations in the First Introduction to the Wissenschaftslehre of 1797, an examination of the early Schelling reveals that he was employing the term well before Fichte (already in 1795) and in a way that is decisively distinct from Fichte. Thus, I disagree with well-known Schelling scholars, including Xavier Ti…Read more
  •  82
    This paper considers one of the most controversial aspects of Friedrich Schelling’s philosophy, his notion of intellectual intuition and its place within his philosophy of nature. I argue that Schelling developed his account of intellectual intuition through an encounter with--and ultimate critique of--Spinoza’s third kind of knowledge. Thus, Schelling’s notion of intuition was not an appropriation of Fichte’s conception of intuition as an act of consciousness. Nonetheless, and in spite of his s…Read more
  •  40
    Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829)
    In Michael Forster & Kristin Gjesdal (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of German Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. pp. 68-87. 2015.
    I consider Friedrich Schlegel as a philosopher, and argue that Schlegel’s philosophical views must be understood in relation to his emphasis on history and historical knowledge and his claim that philosophy must emerge from and in relation to life. Thus, in deep contrast to two influential interpretations of Schlegel--Hegel’s view of Schlegel’s philosophy as a poetic exaggeration of the Fichtean subject and the postmodern view of Schlegel as a deeply sceptical anti-idealist--I contend that Schle…Read more
  •  54
    The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays on German Romantic Philosophy (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    Since the early 1990s, there has been a resurgence of interest in philosophy between “Kant and Hegel,” and in early German romanticism in particular. Philosophers have come to recognize that, in spite of significant differences between the contemporary and romantic contexts, romanticism continues to “persist,” and the questions which the Romantics raised remain relevant today. The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays on Early German Romantic Philosophy is the first collection of essays that offers a…Read more
  •  46
    Over the last two decades, environmental theorists have repeatedly pronounced the “end” of nature, arguing that the idea of nature is neither plausible nor desirable. This chapter offers an environmental reappraisal of romanticism, in light of these critiques. Its goals are historical and systematic. First, the chapter assesses the validity of the environmentalist critique of the romantic conception of nature by distinguishing different strands within romanticism, and locating an empiricist stra…Read more
  •  30
    The possibility of positing critiques of the contemporary from within Hegel’s political philosophy is by no means evident. In fact, Hegel’s political philosophy has been plagued with accusations of quietism and conservatism and Hegel himself claims that the philosophical task is retrospective and descriptive. Yet, in spite of this claim, Hegel posits a critique of his contemporaries, the Jacobins. I attempt to answer the question, is Hegel’s critique of the Jacobins consistent with his political…Read more
  •  30
    The article argues that a close examination of the development of Schelling’s thought reveals that, already in the 1800 System of Transcendental Idealism, Schelling had abandoned his earlier understanding of the relationship between the infinite and finite—as elaborated in his philosophy of nature—and began to articulate a more Platonic understanding of the absolute. It thus challenges the widespread interpretation of Schelling’s development, and contests the commonly accepted views of Schelling…Read more
  •  37
    This article appeared in a special issue of the Goethe Yearbook, on Goethe and German Idealism. In it, I consider Novalis' unparalleled admiration for Goethe's scientific writings in contrast to his rather lukewarm reception of Goethe's poetry. I argue that Novalis' ideal of a “romantic encyclopedia” in which all the arts and sciences are understood in their relations to one another (as opposed to in isolation, like Diderot and D'Alemberts' project) is inspired by Goethe's practice as a scientis…Read more