Philosophies of Nature: Schelling and his Contemporaries

This British Academy-funded project will re-examine the philosophy of nature proposed by F.W.J. Schelling, among others.

Principal Investigator: Daniel Whistler

Main Partner: Iain Hamilton Grant, University of the West of England

The history of philosophy has much to teach us about different ways of understanding nature in these times of ecological crisis, and this project will bring together much of the expertise on the subject being developed in the UK at the moment.


What distinguishes a philosophical conception of nature from that of the natural sciences? And what might such a philosophy of nature add to our understanding of the natural world in these times of crisis? This project funded by the British Academy aims to answer this question by returning to the philosophers of nature of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries; figures such as F.W.J. Schelling, K.A. Eschenmayer, C.F. Kielmeyer, Henrik Steffens and Lorenz Oken.


The main aim of this British Academy project is to provide training and networking opportunities for early-career researchers throughout the UK who work on the philosophy of nature and its history. There will be two workshops taking place in Liverpool and Bristol during Summer 2016 and a website. The aim of the whole is to form a more sustained community of scholars in the UK working on Schelling and the philosophy of nature.

The workshops will involve participation from young researchers throughout the UK and abroad, as well as keynote addresses from a number of world-renowned scholars. They will be based around a set of new translations undertaken by the investigators at the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England of some of Schelling and his contemporaries’ more significant work.


Outcomes are expected to include translations of key works by F. W. J. Schelling.