Date of Award

8-9-2022

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Sebastian Rand

Second Advisor

Juan Piñeros Glasscock

Abstract

This thesis argues that two key aspects of Hegel’s treatment of nature in his Philosophy of Nature point to an important subjectivist thread running through the work. First, I consider Hegel’s claim that spirit is prior to nature, and second, I consider the claim that nature is the Idea in the form of otherness. For Hegel, spirit is prior to nature because it most fully expresses the Idea, whereas nature is the Idea in the form of otherness. In the final portion of the paper, I examine the consequences of these claims for the status of nature in Hegel’s Encyclopedia system. Although Hegel’s philosophy should not be considered subjectivist in a Kantian sense, there is still an important dimension of subjectivism in his treatment of nature. I argue that Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature is subjectivist in the sense that he believes nature is essentially—though not fully—a subject.

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