LEUVEN SEMINAR: Luis Fellipe Garcia: “A Dynamical Concept of Matter: The Kantian Source of Schelling’s Philosophy of Nature” (22 April 2021)

We are glad to give notice that Luis Fellipe Garcia (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) will give the talk A Dynamical Concept of Matter: The Kantian Source of Schelling’s Philosophy of Nature at the Leuven Seminar in Classical German Philosophy (22 April 2021, 5:00-6:00 pm CET, Zoom). Respondent will be Eckhard Förster (Johns Hopkins University).



Schelling’s philosophy of nature is commonly associated with a romantic metaphysics of life detached from the empirical praxis of natural sciences. Even his defenders, who claim that Schelling’s enterprise was addressing the shortcomings of Fichte’s philosophy, often subscribe to this general image of a speculative metaphysics of life. There is some truth to this assessment, but, on my account, it remains one-sided. This paper challenges this view based on a shift of perspective. I claim that Schelling’s original concern was not to develop a metaphysics of life, but to elaborate a concept of matter capable of assuring the uniformity of nature as a whole. I argue that once this shift from life to matter is made, one of the main sources of Schelling’s enterprise comes to the fore, namely: Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. On my account, Schelling saw on Kant’s dynamical conception of matter, extracted from the Metaphysical Foundations, a precious tool to face the scientific challenges of his time, especially as regards chemistry and the phenomena of electricity.

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