CFA: The Concept of Nature in German Idealism (online conference, LMU Münich, 8-9 April 2021)

We are pleased to inform that a call for abstracts is now open for papers to be presented on the occasion of the online-conference The Concept of Nature in German Idealism which will take place on April 8th and 9th, 2021.

The conference is organized by Luis Fellipe Garcia, postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the LMU Münich

Please find below the complete text of the call with the list of the keynote speakers, the confirmed contributors and the instructions for submitting an abstract.


Call for Abstracts – The Concept of Nature in German Idealism

Location: Online
Date: April 8th and 9th, 2021
Deadline for submissions: January 22nd, 2021
Notification of acceptance: January 29th, 2021


German Idealism has commonly been conceived as a period in the history of ideas in which the structure of mind is converted into the grounding principle of reality and nature. This assessment has a twofold consequence. On one hand, the philosophy of the period has been praised for its contributions to our understanding of multiple expressions of human rationality such as morality, history, art, religion, society and politics. On the other hand, it has been heavily criticized for its speculative character alien to the standards of scientific practice. As a consequence, the philosophy of nature developed at the time has been dismissed as a piece of dogmatic metaphysics of little philosophical and scientific interest. However, recent studies have contributed to call this assessment into question. It has been argued that the philosophy of nature of the period contributed to later scientific discoveries, especially in the field of electromagnetism and chemistry (Friedman 2007, 2013), to the gestation of a new science such as biology (Zammito 2018), and to the elaboration of a conception of nature more suitable to deal with the contemporary environmental crisis (Nassar 2014). As regards the history of philosophy,it has been argued for the centrality of the philosophy of nature to the overall understanding of German Idealism (Beiser 2002), especially in relation to the elaboration of a new philosophical method (Förster 2018) and of a new approach to logic (Ng 2020).The conference aims to assemble researchers working on German Idealism to discuss the shared philosophical problem of nature. It focuses thus not on one specific authoror work, but rather on different approaches to the concept of nature and the systematic challenges they entail. The term “German Idealism” is employed here in a very broad sense, so that papers on any classical work of German philosophy produced between 1781 and 1854 are very welcome.


Keynote Speakers:
– John Zammito (Rice University): “Three Visions of Nature for German Idealism: Kant, Herder, Goethe”
– Dalia Nassar (Universityof Sydney): “Alexander von Humboldt’s Embodied Aesthetics”
– Karen Ng (Vanderbilt University): “The Idea of the Earth in German Naturphilosophie: Günderrode, Hegel, and Schelling”

Confirmed contributors:
– Ives Radrizzani (LMU Münich)
– Márcio Suzuki (University of São Paulo)
– Oriane Petteni (University of Liège –Visiting Fellow at Fribourg University)
– Luis Fellipe Garcia (LMU Münich)

Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted until January 22nd, 2021 to Abstracts, including the title, should be prepared for double-blind review by removing any identification details. The author’s name, paper title, institutional position and affiliation, as well as contact information, should be included in the body of the email. Submissions are accepted in English, German and French.This conference will be available via Zoom webinars.




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