This book defies the reigning dismissal of the philosophy of nature by turning to what Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel have had to say about nature and critically thinking through their arguments to reconstruct a comprehensive account of the universe. Aided by the contributions of more recent thinkers, such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Michael B. Foster, and Hans Jonas, Conceiving Nature shows how the mechanics of matter in motion, the physics of electromagnetism, and chemical process provide all that is needed for life to emerge and give rise to rational animals capable of knowing nature in truth. The work contains detailed discussions of much of Aristotle's writing on nature, of Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, and of Hegel's Philosophy of Nature.
Richard Dien Winfield is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Georgia, USA, where he has been teaching since 1982. He is President of the Society for Systematic Philosophy and past President of both the Hegel Society of America and the Metaphysical Society of America. He is the author of 19 previous books.
Introduction.- Chapter 1: The Presuppositions of Ancient and Modern Conceptions of Nature.- Chapter 2: How and Where to Begin Conceiving Nature: Three Fundamental Options.- Chapter 3: Space-Time and Matter.- Chapter 4: Matter and Motion.- Chapter 5: From Relative to Absolute Mechanics.- Chapter 6: Physical Process and Light.- Chapter 7: The Physical States of Matter.- Chapter 8: The Physics of Particular Individuality.- Chapter 9: From Thermodynamics to Electromagnetism.- Chapter 10: From Electricity to Chemistry.