This post summarizes Herbart's philosophy of nature. Herbart shared the project of a philosophical understanding of nature distinct though complementary in its aims and method from natural science with his contemporaries Schelling and Hegel. This is not now a common project. We draw for our account on Marcel Mauxion's La Métaphysique de Herbart (1894). The above image is of the Herbartdenkmal in Oldenburg around 1900.
Philosophy of Nature
- at a rational distance from each other (at a determinate point)
- at an irrational distance (between two determinate points)
- interpenetrated completely
- interpenetrated incompletely (with no common measure, as in incommensurable numbers)
Movement, Speed and Time
“Time is the measure of change."Die Zeit ist die Zahl des Wechsels."Chronos arithmos tes kineseos." (Aristotle).
Evaluation of Herbart’s Natural Philosophy
“In general, the solutions given to particular problems, always more or less closely related to the contemporary state of positive knowledge, only ever present a mediocre interest when the time comes to overthrow the scientific hypotheses on which they are painstakingly built, and from which they momentarily borrow an illusory probability.” (142)
|The 20th century proved to be a winter for the philosophy of nature.|