Call for Papers – issue titled: The Legacy of Hegel’s Realphilosophy and Philosophy of Nature

Call for Papers – issue titled

The Legacy of Hegel’s Realphilosophy and Philosophy of Nature

guest-edited by Giulia Battistoni


During the Jena period, Hegel developed, among other things, the notion of organism and subject – as well as a specifically natural normativity. Here, the human and animal condition seem evolutionarily linked, and the Geist is merely the subjective spirit or, rather, mens/mentis (see Jaeschke 2011). The organism – as is still evident in the Heidelberg and Berlin periods (e.g., Hegel’s Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Natur) – has the potential for self-transcending toward the intersubjective and general (e.g., through the self-preservation, “die Bewegung seines Werdens”, Genus process, “die Macht über das unorganische”) (Jenaer Systementwürfe, III). In his early theological writings, Hegel even expresses his concern for the integrity of the natural environment in the context of technology and especially the “cunning of reason” [List der Vernunft] (see e.g., Schmid-Kowarzik 2018). Furthermore, Hegel outlines the idea of life on earth as an integral and indivisible value: “überhaupt das Daseyn des Organischen ist das sich Vereinzelnde, contrahirende Thun der ganzen Erde, das in sich reflectiren des Allgemeinen” (Jenaer Systementwürfe, III, p. 123). The nature of this „Thun“ is different than that of „ein Tun aus Begierde oder Trieb“ (Rechts, Pflichten- und Religionslehre für die Unterklasse, p. 217).

It appears that Hegel anticipated 20th-century philosophies of the organism, such as Hans Jonas’ and Jakob von Uexküll’s. Just think about Jonas’ biological philosophy, his understanding of the organism as characterized by subjectivity and individuality (“self-centred individuality being for itself and in contraposition to all the rest of existence”), and his discussion of metabolism as a first kind of freedom within nature (as “productive performance” and more: “In this polarity of self and world, of internal and external (…) the basic situation of freedom with all its daring and distress is potentially complete”, Jonas 2016, p. 54), which remind on Hegel’s theory of the organism and his philosophy of nature. And, again, note that Uexküll had access to the transcript of the Lecture on the Philosophy of Nature, held by Hegel in Berlin in 1821-22 and written by his grandfather, Berend-Johann von Uexküll (see Brentari 2015, p. 24).

Driven by the topicality of these ideas and the still under-explored potential of Hegelianism as bio- and/or ecophilosophy, we are eager to edit a monographic, multi-authored volume on these issues in the international journal Ethics in Progress.

We invite all interested scholars to submit the title and an abstract in English (length:  250 words) by 30 November 2023 to the address of the Guest Editor of the volume:

Deadline for submission of complete manuscripts in English: 29 February 2024 (EiP can provide linguistic proofreading of English texts)

Notifications for the authors on the peer reviewing process: 31 June – 30 September 2024 

Publication date of the volume: 2024