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C IN Z I A F E R R IN I F R O M G E O LO G IC A L TO A N IM A L N AT U R E I N H E G E L S ID E A O F L I F E * ABSTRACT: Die Abhandlung besteht aus einer theoretischen und historischen Untersuchung der philosophischen Erkenntnis der organischen Natur bei H. Ausgehend von einem systematischen Standpunkt ( 1) wird zunchst das Problem behandelt, was H. unter der logischen Form des Lebens versteht. Befragt wird die syllogistische Form des Lebensbegriffs als dynamisches Verhltnis von Einzelnem und Allgemeinem hinsichtlich natrlicher Individualitt. Im Anschlu wird gezeigt, wie die allgemeine Form mechanischer, physikalischer und organischer Krper progressiv in steigendem Mae Selbstbestimmung (der Subjektivitt als eines Punkts der Einheit ihrer materiellen Teile) und in abnehmendem Grade Zuflligkeit (Trennung und Isolierung von Teilen) prsentiert. Das Augenmerk wird insbesondere auf die Dialektik chemischer Prozesse gelegt ( 1.4) und auf die Frage nach dem bergang zum Leben. Von einem historischen Standpunkt aus ( 2) wird die konstitutive Rolle von H.s Bestimmung der inneren Zweckmigkeit fr die Lebewesen im Lichte von Aristoteles, Kant und Cuvier errtert sowie die Entwicklung von H.s Idee als Leben vor dem Hintergrund ausgewhlter wissenschaftlicher Literatur, die in H.s Privatbibliothek vorhanden war. Gezeigt werden soll, wie H. an der wissenschaftlichen Diskussion seiner Zeit beteiligt war und inwieweit er sie beeinflute. Verf.in behauptet, da H. weder die Auffassung spterer Lebensphilosophie, organisches Leben entstehe aus im wesentlichen lebloser Materie durch eine pltzliche Produktivkraft der Generation (Lebenskraft), noch die hylozistische Auffassung teilt, in den Teilen des Lebendigen sei berall die Zeitlichkeit der Natur verwirklicht.

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My aim in this essay is to lead the reader through the complexity of Hegels philosophical understanding of organic nature by highlighting its distinctive theoretical features and by examining these historically, both against the background of the approaches, achievements and trends of the empirical sciences of his time and in light of their scholarly reception.1 First, I focuss on Hegels definition of the universal form of life, pointing to what the connection is, in his philosophy of nature, between the structure of conceptual and living processes in the path to the individualization of matter. Second, since Hegel calls animal life the truth of organics,2 I shall try to explain how in the philosophy of nature the Idea of life comes to differentiate itself into certain essential characteristics of immediate, finite and individual animals, passing through the stages of geological nature and vegetable organisms. 1 The concept of life in Hegels system of nature 1.1. Conceptual and living processes In his 1821/22 Berlin Lectures on the Philosophy of Nature Hegel explains that the ideal (logical) structure of life is that of the organic, syllogistic movement of division, determination and reintegration into unity of universality and individuality (Hegel 2002, 168). As Annette Sell puts it, at the conclusion of her entry on life (Leben) in the Hegel-Lexikon, life is the movement
*Research on this paper was made possible by an Alexander von Humboldt grant in May 2008 at the University of Jena (thanks are due to Klaus Vieweg for hosting me), and by a leave of absence from the University of Trieste in 2008/09. All translations, both from primary and secondary sources, are my own, with the exception of Aristotle, De part. anim. and Cuvier 1997. 1.11.3 of the present paper expand, integrate and articulate 1.1 and 1.2 of my contribution on the transition to Organics in Hegels Philosophy of Nature forthcoming in The Blackwell Companion to Hegel (ed. by S. Houlgate and M. Baur); the present 2 extends and develops the analysis began there. I wish to thank Stephen Houlgate and Kenneth Westphal for their stylistic suggestions. 1 In this paper I will refer to a range of scientific literature, most of it present in Hegels private library (see: Neuser 1987, 48095): indeed, among others, Hegel owned works by Ackerman, Autenrieth, Bichat, Blainville, Buquoy, Cuvier, Damerow, Ideler, Meyer, Pohl, Robinet, Schelver, Schultz, Spix, Trommsdorff, Werner, Winterl. 2 See: TWA 9, 344Z: 374; 349Z: 429. On the animal organism as the truth of organic nature because it fulfills all the logical determinations of the idea of life, see: Bach 2004,181; cf. also Ilting 1987, 34951 and Bach 2006a, 442.

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characterised by division and reintegration into unity, which expresses the moving relationship of individual and universal [das bewegte Verhltnis von Einzelnem und Allgemeinen] (Sell 2006, 305). This syllogistic reintegration into unity is distinctive of both conceptual and living processes, for it is nothing but the very form of conceiving or the very type of pure conceptual thinking (Burbidge 22008, 5051). In his 1823/24 Berlin Lectures on the Philosophy of Nature Hegel states that the concept is the master that keeps singularities together (Hegel 2000, 90), since even if the qualitative individual natural existences have the basic form (Grundform) of mutual independence, extrinsicality and indifference, their mutual externality is only a semblance (Schein). This is why Hegel contends that the syllogistic linkage is in general a universal [i.e. conceptual] form of all things [eine allgemeine Form aller Dinge] (TWA 8, 24 2Z: 84).3 The idea of the inner, essential, unity of universality and activity that on Hegels views constitutes the true life of empirical natural bodies as well as their different parts or apparatuses, therefore, is only of spiritual and conceptual nature, resting on human consciousness and for our thought (Ferrini 2002, 72 and 2009, 106), whereas immediate nature as such does not bring the necessity of its rational connection (the nous) to consciousness (TWA 8, 24 1Z: 82). In the speculative consideration of nature, Hegels task is then to bring to consciousness, that is, to recognise, the pure and abstract determinations of thought, which were his object in the Logic, in the conformations of mind-independent natural beings (TWA 8, 24 2Z: 84). In his 1821/22 Berlin Lectures on the Philosophy of Nature Hegel makes also explicit that life is to be individuality as the process of
3 For instance, chemistry is understood as the last extreme of the syllogism of shape (Gestalt) which has as its first term only the abstract activity of magnetism (the mere concept of the totality of form: the moment of universality), then the middle term of electricity (the moment of particularity), split into the two moments of the particularization of the Gestalt within itself (positive electricity), and of the opposition to its other (negative electricity), and finally the concrete reality (the singularity) of the self-realizing dynamic of the chemical process (TWA 9, 326Z: 288). Given the externality of nature in respect to the logic and within itself, note that the conformity of chemistry to the thought-movement of the concept in turn requires (TWA 9, 328Z: 2958) that we have a squared middle term, or a tetrad in the whole, because of the particularization of the first abstract extreme within itself (inner side) and against another (external side).

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leading the members back to identity (Hegel 2002, 168).4 Through this syllogistic process of reintegration, the individual living organism acquires and preserves the form of a self. For instance, the sun or center of the animal organism is the concept as living universality (lebendige Allgemeinheit), which passes syllogistically through its three determinations of shape as self-relation (Gestalt): assimilation as opposition and relation to otherness, and finally genus as self-relation within the other (TWA 9, 352: 435). Finally, in the opening paragraph of Organic Physics Hegel introduces life by referring to the self-related negative unity that natural individuality has become. This is to say that life is the circular infinite process of determining itself to particularity or finitude (Besonderheit oder Endlichkeit) and equally negating this and returning into itself, so that at the end of the process it re-establishes itself to begin anew (TWA 9, 337: 337). Within this frame, and from the standpoint of Hegels general dynamic conception of the universal forms of all natural things, Mechanics, Physics and Organics show increasing degrees of self-determination (subjectivity) and decreasing degrees of contingency (separation, isolation). 1.2. Mechanics: the solar system Consider first the case of Mechanics, a sphere that opens with the simplest starting point possible: the mere self-externality (Auersichsein) of space, which represents the abstract universal determinateness of nature. Space, however, is only where the selfexternal being differentiates itself through the generation of point, line, surface; that is, through the negation of its immediate, abstract lack of difference: a movement that contradicts its uninterrupted continuity. The negativity of the self-differentiation of space that gives rise to its dimensions is only formal or logical, however, because point, line and surface are just moments, devoid of any independent subsistence. By contrast, it is through the thorough self4 Compare Hegels definition of the organic in 1805/06: the organic is the self, the force (Krafft), the unity of its own self and its negative. Only as this unity has it force (Krafft) upon that one, and the connection (Beziehung) makes actual what is in itself (an sich) (GW 8, 109.2124).

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negation of externality, the inwardness of time, that the negative, the principle of self-differentiation, in nature receives its due. The now is a real punctual, universal, dividing one, which joins the past to the future. The three temporal dimensions are therefore independent existences, that is, the singular being shows within itself, in its own inwardness, the universality as its negativity. Mechanics therefore is not to be seen as a fixed, static realm of mutually indifferent externality; with time, we have the becoming of externality: by entering the dimension of the self-negation and self-contradiction of indifferent externality we enter the dimension of the process of real things. This initial point is crucial to understand the stages of the progressive transition from mechanism to life in Hegels philosophy of nature. As Kisner has also recently pointed out at a logical level, the specificity of life is not thought by adding some sort of vital principle to mechanical determinacy, for it is already implied in it, though cannot be accounted for in purely mechanistic term: We have only to think the determinacies implicit within the concept of mechanism itself, which means undertaking the labor of thought in rendering explicit every implication contained in the standing contradiction that indifferent externality is. Then and only then do we realize that life is rigorously irreducible to mechanism, not because life is something else other than mechanism and is set in contrast with the latter, but because of what the category of mechanism itself turns out to be []. In living process, mechanistic determinacy in turn becomes reduced to the status of an underdetermination operative as a necessary aspect of life but no longer as a guiding level of determinacy. (Kisner 200809, 2425) Hegel discusses three kinds of mechanical movement: 1. purely mechanical motion (uniform motion that results from external thrust and is expressed by the simple relation of space to time: s/t), 2. relatively free and conditioned motion (where motion changes, i.e. accelerates uniformly, due to gravity: s=at2), and 3. absolutely free, concrete, total motion (s3=at2). These three stages of Mechanics show how a relatively homogeneous matter passes from passivity to activity, from being set in motion by external thrust to having the

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principle of motion within itself.5 This sphere ends with the solar system, as a system of self-moving matter, where matter is free meaning that it appropriates determinations as its own. As in the 1801 Dissertation on the orbits of the planets, Hegel states that for us the solar system is the primary knowable system of real rationality (reale Vernnftigkeit) within the heavens (TWA 9, 268Z: 80). A syllogistic treatment of the solar system as the manifestation of a thorough-going unity, however, may only occur with the overcoming of external relations and the transition to the individuality (quality) of matter in Physics, that is, only when matter is no longer conceived of as essentially composite, consisting of discrete parts which all tend towards a centre but as inwardly selfdetermining, and the sun is no longer regarded just as a body which on account of the predominance of its [] mass is the approximate embodiment of the systems centre of gravity (Falkenburg 1993, 539), but according to its radiating nature of a star, which consists of luminous matter. 1.3. Physics: light and chemistry Physics deals with real matter, that is, in Hegels terms, with matter that has a certain inner form and comes to manifest that form. This inner form endows bodies with an individuality (and distinctive quality or specificity) that bodies lack in so far as they are understood as purely mechanical bodies (or mere quantities of matter). At the outset of Physics, therefore, matter already has individuality (Individualitt), in so far as it is determined and formed within itself (an ihr) and has essentially the immanent form of being-for-self (TWA 9, 272: 109). Physics begins with what Hegel calls matter in its first qualified state: that is, light as
5 As early as 1801 Hegel understood gravity as constituting matter according to the principle of identity that posits difference within itself (Hegel 1801, 23.1314), and criticizes the aconceptuality of a kind of mechanics that understands its object as an inert matter always moved by an external impulse, that is, by a force impressed from without which is alien to matter itself (Hegel 1801, 22.2623.3). He seems to refer to Kants metaphysical foundation of the law of inertia in the section Mechanics of his Anfangsgrnde (Prop. 3, Proof and Remark). Kant offered a proof that the change of matter must always have an external cause because all matter as such is lifeless and has no internal principle of activity (which can belong only to life and thought); see: Kant, AA IV, 54345.

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matters general and abstract appearance to and for others (not for itself: TWA 9, 275, 275Z: 109, 113).6 Yet Hegel claims that light is implicitly self-determining, thus announcing a dimension characteristic of the concept of life.7 In the Philosophy of Nature of 1805/06 (GW 8, 108.58) we find a clear assessment of how and why with the physical dimension of light we reach the universal form of life: the key notion is the thorough co-penetration of all parts by a unity of presence and actuality. In the case of light, however, this unity is still that of space, externality and generality (Falkenburg 1993, 539). In the sphere of its qualitative particularization (Besonderung), hetereogeneity and finitude, matter develops as its self-form determines it to an increasing degree and comes to be more explicitly the point of unity of all the material components of a body. The highest point achieved in this process is the fully individual matter (V 16, 139.67), that is, the individual material totality of the single, independent body. This is why in Physics Hegel offers a reappraisal of the solar system, which in Mechanics is treated according to its free movement and material self-determination but not yet as manifestation of the unity of substance. Indeed, since light is identified with luminous matter, it is embodied in the sun (Falkenburg 1993, 539); therefore, only at the level of Physics have we the mutual mediation of our star as the moment of universality, comets and the moon (which represent the moment of particularity), and the singularity of the planets (the moment of the reflection in itself, the unity of universality and particularity: (TWA 9, 279Z:
Cf. also V 15, 107.2229 and pp. 2323; Hegel 2000, 136 and TWA 9, 275Z: 112 ff. See: TWA 1, 38283 for the spiritual and religious (Joh. 12,36) significance of the identity of light and life. In the Logic the colorless light, together with the pure self-identity of the Ego, is a determinate example of pure indifferent (abstract) sameness in spatial extension, that is, of pure quantity (TWA 5, 214). It is worthy of note that, speaking of the division of the original forces of the soul from abstract self-consciousness, the physician, anthropologist and psychiatrist Ideler, who in his work explicitely acknowledges his debt only to Kant, though departing from him, claims that the form of light is the simplest representation of the purest spiritual activity (Intelligenz, Erkennen) by which the subject, the Ego, can grasp its being object to itself, for it is unable to decompose this sameness into parts as with any other concept (Ideler 1827, 23). Within this context, Ideler makes clear that in no way is light a form of intuition of the external sense; rather he regards it as the purest and immediate expression of spirit [] the free selfrepresenting spiritual force, which as formative capacity takes up the alien material and shapes it according to its highest laws, as it were, just as electricity, through its irradiation, orders in determinate figures the dust on a resin disk (ibid., p. 24, footnote). Hegel owned Idelers book: see: Neuser 1987, entry 104, 487.
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12930). Accordingly, as Hegel notes in 1819/20, in the sphere of Mechanics the organism does not allow itself to occurr (geschehen) (V 16, 139.18).8 Indeed, the structural form of the organism already begins to appear in the ideal point of unity that governs the movement of free independent material parts in the solar system: the sun in relation to the orbiting planets which carry the principle of motion in themselves. Yet by being confined to governing only the motion of parts (the planets) that remain external to their center (the sun), the solar system is merely the first organism, that is, only the organism of mechanism (TWA 9, 337Z: 339).9 The wholly universal, the cosmic life in which all living nature participates, appears only when light is the complete master of gravity (TWA 9, 337Z: 339), that is, with the union of the mechanical connections of the heavenly bodies with their physical relation (TWA 9, 279Z: 130). Interestingly enough, in the Addition to 353, Hegel defines the idealistic task of knowing the Idea in the entirety of nature as realism, drawing a parallel between the syllogism of the solar system and the moments of the animals conformation: sensibility, irritability and reproduction (TWA 9, 438): the impotence (Ohnmacht) or the essential externality of immediate nature would mean the feebleness of concept in nature (TWA 9, 250, 3436), which in animal (and human) organisms will show itself as the external contingency that hits the formation of the individuals (the monstrosities), representing the side of the instability danger, insecurity, illness of their lives. Note that as early as 1801, Hegel holds that only the rationally speculative approach of philosophy is able to grasp and cognize
8 Note that in the Abhandlungen zur Erluterung des Idealismus der Wissenschaftslehre (SSW 1, 388; see: Beiser 2002, 484) as well as in the System des transzendentalen Idealismus (Schelling 1992, 1245, see: Freiberger 1997,1478), following his reading of Platos Timaeus, Schelling draws no distinction between living and non-living organization in nature. In the whole of organic nature intelligence must intuit itself as active, therefore every stage of nature must possess life, to which Schelling ascribed the wider sense of having an inner principle of motion within itself. A detailed account of the relation between individuality and quality in Schellings and Hegels approaches to Physics and chemistry is in Moiso 1986. 9 According to Filion (2007, 31718), this feature reveals the radicality of an ontological reversal in the face of the modern mechanization of nature. For, if in its historical development science has acknowledged the real presence of mathematics in acoustics and kinematics, Hegel goes further in recognizing the syllogistic moment of the concept within each regressive (involutif) degree of nature.

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matters immanent form of being-for-self, and properly to distinguish Mechanics from Physics, which otherwise would be distinguished only by the nominal distinction between Mechanics and dynamics (Hegel 1801, 23.710). It seems that Hegels approach is not only directed against the insufficiency of Kants dynamics, already highlighted by Schelling in 1798/99 (Beiser 2002, 53132) but also aimed at rendering meaningless and merely abstract, with no real reference, Schellings use of the universal model of polarity for his attempt to lead the phenomenon of universal gravity back to physical causes starting with his 1798 Weltseele (SSW 1, 557).10 In a Remark to the Encyclopaedia Hegel writes against the formal treatment and the abuse of the category of polarity, according to which: all bodies also bring from within to appearance this principle as it exists in its rigid abstraction, i.e. as magnetism. It would be an unphilosophical thought to try to show that a conceptual form is so present in nature that it should universally exist in the determinateness when it is as an abstraction. (TWA 9, 312: 203, my italics) Pohl shared this view with Hegel, claiming in his 1821 essay Versuche und Bemerkungen ber den Zusammenhang des Magnetismus mit der Electricitt und dem Chemismus that speculation was too weak to provide any true grasp of an enigmatic factuality (rtselhafte Facticitt) such as polarity, when its tool was the formal intellect-representation (Verstandes-Vorstellung), able to grasp only in terms of absolutely mutually external moments an opposition that in concreto is conjoined and only relatively separated.11 In the Preface to the 2nd edition of the Science of
10 In the 1799 Einleitung zu dem Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie Schelling vindicated in terms of polarity the necessity for dynamical Physics to account for qualitative differences, not just differences of density (Renault 2002, 7072). In the Preface to the second (1832) edition of Book I of the Science of Logic, Hegel praises the advance of culture that has gradually brought into use higher relationships of thought in the natural sciences such as the category of polarity instead of the lower category of force, though he criticizes the indiscriminate ( tort et travers) use of the former in connection with all phenomena (TWA 5, 21). 11 Original text quoted in Engelhardt 1976, 122. Indeed, the two main features which Hegel appreciates in Pohls researches were the keen awareness of the living activity of nature and the capacity to grasp the general progression of the galvanic and chemical process as a totality of natural activity (see: Petry 1986, 28). For a thorough comparison of the 1817, 27 and 30

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Logic, modern physics is charged with using predominantly the category of force (which implies the form of abstraction, identity and alleged self-subsistence) to cognize the higher reality of the individualization and qualification of matter, which properly requires the determination of a difference as an identity in which the diverse terms are inseparably conjoned (the rational category of polarity).12 In the Philosophy of Nature, Hegel places magnetism within the sphere of Physics, as the first extreme of the syllogism of the natural shape (Gestalt), where chemistry represents the second extreme. This syllogism has the general abstract activity of magnetism as its first term (that is, the allness of the universal as the mere concept of shape), electricity (split inwardly into the two opposites of positive and negative) as its middle term (i.e. the moment of the particularization of the shape) and finally the concrete finite reality (i.e. the singularity) of the self-realizing unrest of the chemical process (TWA 9, 326Z: 288). 1.4. The dialectic of chemical processes The dynamic process through which universal matter is further particularised and qualified can thus also be seen as the necessary drive to make manifest within matter the unity of individuality, or selfhood. The content of Physics thereby becomes what Hegel calls total free individuality (TWA 9, 273: 110; my italics). The last sphere of Physics treats different kinds of chemical process (TWA 9, 326336: 287336), in which the inner necessity of the activity and movement of individuality and being-for-self is countered by the outward division and mutual indifference of the chemical products (TWA 9, 335: 333).14 Elsewhere, I have shown
versions of Hegels systematic treatment of chemistry see: Engelhardt 1976, 13783. 12 The point returns in the Organic, when Hegel contends that categories adequately employed to the investigation of the case of a simple mechanical cause-effect arrangement are not adequate to the case of that arrangement considered as functionally subordinated to the organism-environment relationship to which it belongs: An important step forward to the true representation (Vorstellung) of the organism is the replacement of the operation of external causes by the determination of stimulation (Erregtwerden) through external potencies (TWA 9, 359: 469). 14 Renault 2002, 12835 has shown how Hegel supports the autonomy of chemistry against the attempts to integrate it into a physics of molecular attraction (Berthollet) or into a general theory of the dynamical process (Schelling) when he conceives chemistry as the synthesis of

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that it is precisely the material finitude of the particularized body, what its natural being is, that fails to endure in the chemical process, and argued that in this respect the transition to Organic Physics should not be understood as caused merely by our reflective assessment of chemical phenomena that considers them as a totality.15 What has been shown through the dialectic of the chemical reality is that the thought of the object as what is independent from the subject and stands over against the concept, proves with no residue to have been a semblance (Schein), for the independent material subsistence of the properties of chemical phenomena turns out to be in itself null, that is, not illusory but completely limited, finite and transitory, even as regards what is allegedly their most profound sensible characteristic (TWA 9, 336Z: 33435; 336Z: 336). The demise (Untergang) of the chemical bodys particular material configurations which nevertheless exhibits the nature of the chemical substance itself shows, at the same time and through the whole set of processes, the persistence of the ideal side of that specific finitude: what is stable in the individuality of chemicals is nothing but the point of unity of their properties. The conceptual point at issue for Hegel is that for thought the acquired material properties cease to define the substance of the chemical, which comes to be conceived as point of unity, and its properties as momentarily appearances, reintegrated into the essential unity of a persistent co-ordination of the parts (the bond or connection: Beziehung). On my view, this third feature of chemical matter logically points forward to life, in which this point of unity is an explicit and manifest feature of the purposive unfolding process of a natural object itself as a self-maintaining individuality, which is nothing but the real life of corporeal individuality.16 In immediate nature, life is what Hegel calls the
magnetism and electricity and as the moment of totality, thus rejecting any natural transition among the stages of the section Physics. Engelhardt has pointed out how Pohl (who taught mathematics and physics) shared with Hegel this general interpretation of magnetism, electricity and chemism as different forms of divided and conjoined activities (Engelhardt 1976,12223). 15 See: Burbidge 1996, 186; Houlgate 22005, 164; Burbidge 2007, 115. According to Filion 2007, 313, the defect of the inorganic nature consists in the impossibility of assembling and coordinating the chemical process into one unity. 16 See: Kisner 200809, 26: Purposive activity is then seen as being one and the same thing as the self-negating mechanico-chemical process itself: in purposive activity the self-negating character of mechanism becomes explicit as such, and so such activity consists in letting the selfnegating mechanico-chemical process show itself to be that, viz. a self-negating process whose

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soul [Seele] of the individuality (TWA 9, 336: 336) or spiritual bond as an immediate, undivided, unitary existence, that is, a kind of objectivity in which the internal necessity of the form is purposively self-determining. Life is therefore causa sui (V 17, 169.56), Spinozas adequate concept, that which reproduces itself originating from itself.17 What has been achieved is not merely the abstract idea of life to which scientific thought can rise through its tools, observation and description of phenomena and conditions (F. Cuvier 1829, 79), since it is the Idea itself that has come to life. 2 The Idea of life in its natural, scientific and philosophical context 2.1. Life external to itself 2.1.1. The Earth as the crystal of life At the beginning, life is the organism as the totality of the mechanical and physical nature that exists as lifeless (TWA 9, 337: 337). In the opening paragraph of the section on Organic Physics, Hegel writes that as the mere immediate Idea, life is thus external to itself; it is not life, but only the corpse of the living process (ibid.).18 In the Addition to 337 he explains this sentence with an even more cryptic statement: Since life, as Idea, is its own movement, through which at first it makes itself subject, it makes itself into its other, into its own obverse [Gegenwurf]; it gives itself the form of being an object

truth is life, thereby establishing a semblance of its independence and then canceling that semblance. With the full identity of purposive activity and the self-negating mechanico-chemical process in the living organism, we get a full identity of form and content. 17 See: Cuvier 1800, 7: La vie ne nat que de la vie. 18 In his 1812 Preliminary Discourse, Cuvier offers a survey of the geological theories that went far beyond ordinary physics and chemistry, as the one expounded by E. Patrin in his 1802 04 New Dictionary of Natural History (Cuvier 1997, editorial note 44, 201), which drew from Keplers ideas: they assign vital faculties to the globe itself [] each of its parts is alive; there is not the most elementary molecule that does not have an instinct, a will, and that does not attract or repel according to sympathies. Each kind of mineral can convert immense formations into its own nature, just as we convert our food into flesh and blood (Cuvier 1997, 201). Hegel offers a conceptual proof of the falsity of this sort of approach.

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in order to return and to have returned to itself. (TWA 9, 337Z: 340) This sentence is meant to justify the prima facie surprising19 move of considering geological nature, as the external system of the Earth (TWA 9, 339: 343), in the first part of Organics. Note that in the Jena period (1805/06) Hegel had already included the physics of the earth into the Organics, speaking of the terrestrial body as a mineralogical organism (GW 8, 299).20 In the Encyclopaedia Hegel regards the Earth only as the shape (Gestalt) of the whole organic system of individual terrestrial bodies (TWA 9, 338: 342). Indeed, when he calls it the system of life, he warns the reader that is so as a crystal which is like a skeleton (TWA 9, 337: 340). What is the significance of the Earth as the crystal of life (TWA 9, 341: 360)? Perhaps Hegels analogy between the Earth and a skeleton makes some biological sense since the skeleton structurally supports the organs and functions of an animal, but readers should wonder why Hegel compares the Earth to a crystal of life. Is this merely a fanciful similie or does Hegel have a point here?
19 The expression is from Marmasse 2008, 292: he notes that Hegel states the caractre organique du gologique since 1803/04 (note 51, 453). Fritscher 2006, 199 remarks that from an historical point of view, Hegel is one of the few philosophers to assign a distinct, proper place to the metereological process and geological nature of the Earth in a system of philosophy of nature. 20 See on the point Rhling 1998 who also reconstructs the debate in Jena between J. G. Lenz (curator of the ducal Naturalienkabinett), an enthusiastic supporter of Werners Geognosie and Oryktognosie, and A. G. Batsch, director of the Naturforschende Gesellschaft. Renault 2002 (note 129, 137) recalls Rosenkranzs 1868 criticism, according to which geology should have been the final moment of Physics, and underscores that by this move Hegel makes it possible to account for the irriducible finitude of Physics (ibid., 137). On Hegels 1805/06 analogies between Earth and organic body see: Bttner 2002, 8586, for a parallel reading of Hegels different accounts of geology from 1803/04 to the time of Spixs and Martius journey to Brasil in 181720 (recalled in TWA 9, 303Z: 186, 340Z: 358 and 3462Z: 403) see: Bttner 2002, 9092. As far as I know, scholarship has provided no reason for the change of terminology other than to suggest Hegels shifting away from Schellings jargon (Rhling 1998, 36465). In From the physical world to the habitat: biocentrism in Hegels interrelation of animal subjectivity with its environment, a paper delivered at the Jenaer Tagung (4./5. December 2009) Hegels Naturphilosophie, I argue for an environmental reason at the basis of Hegels shift to geological nature in determining the first part of Organic Physics. See how the use of the term geology conveys the addition of the geographical and physical distribution of organic beings (fossils) in the strata of the globe to pure mineralogical considerations in Cuvier & Brongniart 1808, 422 (the essay was expanded in the form of a book in 1811 and reviewed in one of Hegels favourite journals: The Edinburgh Review, November 1812, vol. XX, n. XL, 36986).

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Note first that in Hegels Philosophy of Nature there is a continuity between inorganic crystalline formations and living bodies, based on the equal presence, in both cases, of matters selfhood. Crystals do not exhibit a way of growing which distinguishes them qualitatively from the growth processes of organic beings (TWA 9, 339Z: 349), because both of them have as their internal point of unity the whole shape, the totality of the figure (Gestalt): The crystal has an outer as much as an inner conformation, as two wholes of form. This double geometry [] is as it were [gleichsam] concept and reality, soul and body. The growth [Wachstum] of crystals occurs according to layers but the cleavage [Bruch] compenetrates all the layers. (TWA 9, 315: 219) Nevertheless, Hegel also compares the manner in which crystals and plants grow, which he distinguishes according to the general difference between outer and inner: the crystalline formation of layers grows as an addition from without, while a plant appears to grow starting on its own from within (Levere 1986, 10910).21 Note that by introducing within crystals a distinction between external addition of layers and organizing inner activity of the cleavage, Hegels approach marks a distinctive position regarding the debate about Bonnets version of preformism (in contrast to epigenesis).22 Kant had already paved the way, drawing analogies between inorganic crystalline formations as intrinsically systematic (chemical) products from a fluid state of matter, and living organisms as natural products to be judged teleologically as ends in themselves (Ferrini 2004, 28499; Fritscher 2009, 25455). By contrast, following the results of von Hallers studies on chicken eggs according to which the embryo is found already in the egg and the ovary contains all that is essential to the fetus (Haller 1758,
21 Hegel quotes from Schultz 1823 in TWA 9, 343Z: 373. Hegel owned a series works by Schultz published during 182231 (Neuser 1987, entries 20409, 49394). 22 See Petrys notes to 12.33 and 23.8 in Hegel 1970b III, 21516 and 22932. See also Fritscher 2009, 2459 for the modern state of art of mineralogy and crystallography at Kants time (Wallerius, Cronstedt, Zedlers, Gehler). In particular, Fritscher recalls the so-called Gesetz der Winkelkonstanz, according to which the geometrical distinctive figures of the crystals do not (externally) depend upon the number and magnitude of the single surfaces but upon the angles which together form (internally) these surfaces (247).

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186) Bonnet had defined organization as the distinctive feature of preformed organisms (Swammerdam, von Haller), the parts of which had merely to enlarge by developing from seeds, by intussusception, i.e. accretion; by contrast, the material parts of a crystal were seen to arrange and unite themselves only according to the laws of motion and contact, that is, by juxtaposition (Bonnet 1762, 17577; Duchesneau 2006).23 As Kant with his chemical-dynamical explanation of the process of crystallization, Hegel rejects relegating crystal forms to the lower level of the mechanical laws of motion and contact. As remarked above, Hegel recognises in light the form of life, because of the actual, thorough co-penetration of all parts of a transparent body. Already in the 1805/6 philosophy of nature Hegel had referred to crystals as the result of the movement, from universality to singularity, of the physical body which is totally light-penetrated in its parts. In the Encyclopaedia Hegel states: the inner determination of form is no longer pure determination of cohesion, rather all parts belong to this form. Matter is crystallized through and through (TWA 9, 315Z: 219; italics added). Therefore, when we consider that Organic Physics opens with the Earth as crystal, or as the dead product of its relation and position within the solar system (TWA 9, 339 and Z: 34244; 341: 360), that is, within the wholly cosmic life in which all living nature participates (TWA 9, 279Z: 130), we understand that the inorganic planet Earth is to be conceived as the opposite of living existence, but equally that, as an habitable world, it is as such within and under a higher unity, posited by the judgment (in German: Urteil, composed by ur, original, and Teil, part) of life itself, from the standpoint of its own internal purposiveness, as its presupposition (Voraus-Setzung) within the original division (Ur-Teil) of the
23 Interestingly enough, Robinet, in the name of the law of uniformity between inorganic and organic nature, had spoken in 1761 of a suc, a solution of minerals and salts in ground water as the universal fluid that caused transportation, deposit, alluvional beds, evaporation etc. (Robinet 1761, Ch. XIV: 28690), as well as of the generation of stones from stones and from metals to metals (in this regard in perfect analogy with plant and animal reproduction) in terms of development of intussusception, thus claiming the existence of the germes fossiles (Robinet 1761, Ch. XIV: 29091). Hegel owned Robinets work (Neuser 1987, entry 183, 492).

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moments of its own process.24 Just as, in the Logic, chemism is subordinated to teleology (cf. Kisner 200809, 21), so geology is subordinated to vegetable and animal life, which in turn depend upon geology as their precondition (cf. Levere 1986, 108). The internal necessity of this move thus could not emerge in Physics, for it rests on the fact that the logical character of the Idea as such is that of a process and that this processual character of the Idea comes into actual existence only with organic life. As the universality that is singularity (Einzelheit: TWA 8, 215: 372), the concept progresses in the third part of the Logic the doctrine of the concept from its first one-sided subjectivity (judgment and syllogism), via its counterposed one-sided objectivity (mechanism, chemism, teleology), to its concrete reality and intensive totality as Idea (of life, of cognition and finally as the absolute idea). In 215 of the Encyclopedia Logic it is clearly stated that the Idea is essentially process.25 The process-character of the Idea results from the dialectical movement in which the concept determines itself both to objectivity and to the antithesis, and then takes back the totality of the particularizations and returns into itself negatively as real subjectivity ( 213, 215). Indeed, Hegel warns the reader not to take the systematic division of his philosophical science to constitute a temporal sequence (TWA 8, 18: 64), i.e. as if the second part of the Encyclopaedia were simply juxtaposed to the first. Rather, the Idea as nature is posited together conceptually with its opposite, the Idea as finite spirit, and expounded as the first, lower part of the twofold real section that in its entirety is the outcome of the first, merely ideal (closed within thought) section of the science of the Idea in and for itself. This is the case because: the Idea proves itself to be as thought simply identical with itself and this proves to be the activity of positing itself over against itself to be for-itself [the Idea in its being-other, Nature] and in this other to be only at home with itself [as philosophy of spirit]. (TWA 8, 18: 63)
See: Bttner 2002,7576 and 8285. also V 10, 209.7480, where Hegel clarifies that at the beginning the Idea (essentially process, absolute negativity, dialectical) is the universal, the immediate, and thus nature (and in a determinate way is life), though this immediacy is the Urteil (that is, both judgment and inner original self-division) of the Idea: it is the Idea in its own externality, with life as the highest degree of this being-out-of-itself.
24 25See

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As Idea in the immediacy of being, life is essentially purposive self-mediating, self-grounding activity as subject and process that establishes its own presupposition in order to be what it is. This kind of reference can help us to explain the change of terminology from the mineralogical organism of the Jena period to the geological nature of the later philosophy of nature. In the 1804-05 Logic, living organisms were conceived within the frame of the metaphysics of objectivity and in terms of a movement from absolute cognition to self-cognition; consistently, in the 1805/06 philosophy of nature, plastic organic nature immediately generates organic mineral formations in the element of being as dead forms, in contrast to the representational form of consciousness, which mediates between concept and thing (GW 8, 119.58). In the Encyclopaedia, the first immediate determination of Life is the determination of its own relative and specific otherness: otherness ceases to have the significance of an alien conditioning externality, for externality is brought about as the means through which life determines and sustains itself: it falls under the power of life as the inorganic, geological nature that is necessary to its process. 2.1.2. The lifeless shape of geology One may well ask at this point: what empirical research does Hegel want to ground here by regarding it as conforming to this atemporal conceptual necessity? In the Additions to 339 and 340 Hegel praises Werners scheme of precipitation, that is, his physical and chemical theory of the deposition of strata, according to which the origin and sequence of such strata are determined by the law of the internal differentiation of the essential determinations of rocks (Levere 1986,104); and he dismisses as external any manner of explanation in geology that aims at determining only the temporal succession of the order of stratification (with the granitic primitive rocks as the deepest strata, and the fletz-formations having been deposited at a later, more recent time). The order of stratification is certainly capable of a purely temporal, mechanical explanation, starting as it does with the conception of a series of parts existing outside of and independent of one another. If this were the whole truth of the matter, however, the external system of the earth in the

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first part of Organics would not be a terrestrial organism, but a mere aggregate of parts with no teleology at work.26 On Hegels view, this approach fails to recognise that the deep meaning and rationality of the sequence (its Sinn und Geist) is Werners internal organic, conceptual bond or necessary relation between these inorganic formations (TWA 9, 339Z: 348). This internal connection must depend upon the characteristic (Beschaffenheit), the essential qualitative content of these formations themselves, which governs their occurrence in time, which as mere chronological (historical) sequence of production would be of no philosophical significance and interest (Kolb 2008, 101). Hegels judgment is thus in accord with Cuviers assessment in his 1812 Preliminary Discourse (Cuvier 1997, 204): The purely mineral part of the great problem of the theory of the earth has been studied with admirable care by de Saussure, and since brought to striking development by Mr. Werner [] [who] has fixed the law of succession of the formations: he demonstrated their respective ages and followed each through all its metamorphoses. (my italics)27 Kolb remarks that Hegel did not favour the view (e.g. Huttons uniformitarianism at his time), that the present set of rock types and strata is only a stage in a continuing process and that present forms have no permanence and no special finality, because for Hegel what is important is the existing repertory of types and forms (Kolb 2008, 10103). We may note, however, that the old Aristotelian view was not in revival for regressive and reactionary reasons, for Hegel was focussing on a skeleton of basic types at least as much as Cuvier [see below: 2.3.1]. Against this background it is worth noting that a recent inquiry into the handbooks on natural science in use at the University of Jena has drawn attention to the influence of Werners Geognosie on the novelty introduced by the revival of the ancient notion of historia naturae by F. S. Voigts Grundzgen einer Naturgeschichte (1817).28 By linking his work to Werners idea of
See: Mrigonde 2007, 210. The editors note warns the reader that the word metamorphoses here is employed in the sense of the modern term metamorphism. 28 On Voigts contribution to zoology, under the influence of Blumenbach and Cuvier and in contrast to Oken, see: Robin 2006, who cites the following sentence from Voigts 1816 Von dem
26 27

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internal purposiveness, which orders from within the outer parts of a terrestrial organism, Voigts aim was to continue the story of the formation of the inorganic into the organic. In Thomas Bachs reconstruction, by raising the question of the Geogenie, i.e. the development of the earth before the creation of vegetable and animal nature, Voigt put forward a combination of animal, systematic and historical treatment of geology that marked a new trend in Jena, so that from 1829/30 J. C. Zenker lectured regularly on General Natural History, with special regard to Zoology and Geology (Bach 2008, 20611). One should also consider the following passages by J. Hutton, Werners main rival, from his 1795 Theory of the Earth. In contrast to Werner, Hutton applies the idea of external teleology to conceive the terrestrial system as a whole a living world, animated by fire as an agent in mineral operations that constitutes a machine, adapted to a certain end (life) by the perfect wisdom of an intelligent design: The laws of electricity and magnetism have been well examined by philosophers; but the purposes of those powers in the oeconomy of the globe have not been discovered. (Hutton 1795 I, 11; my italics) A rock or stone is not a subject that, of itself, may interest a philosopher to study []. It is not, therefore, simply by seeing the concretion of mineral bodies that a philosopher is to be gratified in his intellectual pursuit, but by the contemplation of that system in which the necessary resolution of this earth, while at present it serves the purpose of vegetation, or the fertility of our soil, is the very means employed in furnishing the materials of future land. (Hutton 1795 I, 27677) Notable here is the conception of the earth as a habitable world (Hutton 1795 I, 4) and an organized body (ibid.,16), governed by a purposiveness that for Hutton lies outside the earth in the perfect wisdom of the intelligent designer, and which in Hegels system becomes internalized and is to be conceived as grounded in (or
Werth der Naturgeschichte: To draw knowledge from nature there is a threefold route. Either one regards the matter, or the form, or the spirit (Geist) and the life in nature [Robin 2006, 181 misquotes Seift instead of Geist. I thank Thomas Bach for checking the correct version in the original text].

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posited by) the conceptual moments of organic life as it is present in nature. Moreover, Hutton aims at elevating fires operations from the rank of an accident of nature to that of an essential agency, part of that design by which the earth, which is necessarily wasted in the operations of the world, is to be repaired (Hutton 1795 I, 279). Though Hegel never mentions Hutton, he draws on him (Levere 1986, 107) when he recognizes as essential, but by themselves one-sided and formal, both the principles of Huttons vulcanism, later called plutonism, and Werners rival theory of neptunism (based on the agent water),29 by saying that in the crystal of earth fire is as effective [wirksam] as water: in volcanoes, springs and in the meterological process in general (TWA 9, 339Z: 344; see: Kolb 2008, 100). From the standpoint of life, within the terrestrial organism, fire and water are elements of differentiation which then become integrated into the process whereby life confronts itself as selfdetermining and subjective, having within its own self a stabilised formation. Apparently, Hegels account did not remain without echoes in the scientific world of his time. In 1827, Karl Wilhelm Ideler sketches the general concept of nature to introduce the physiological part of anthropology by making historical reference to the recent development of the natural sciences and treating mechanics, dynamics and chemistry as three sides of the process of life: all three should be (sollen sein) only different expositions of one fundamental being (eines Grundwesens) (Ideler 1827, 172). Against this background, Ideler claims that one can regard the body of the Earth as a terrestrial organism (tellurischer Organismus) only in so far as it is considered in its totality, together with the atmosphere, and because its changes are subjected to a universal rule which alone makes possible the existence of plants and animals (Ideler 1827, 18283). Placing the dead surface of the terrestrial organism30 under the self-differentiating movement whereby life grounds itself, Hegel
29 See Petrys note at p.17,21 in Hegel 1970b III, 21819 and Fritscher 2002 on Hegels scientific background against the developments of geology and mineralogy in the period 1770 1830. On Werners Geognosie see: Faivre 1977 and Fritscher 2002, 6368; on the Werner-Hutton controversy see: Morello 1979, 169176. Hegel owned Werners 1791 Neue Theorie von der Entstehung der Gnge mit Anwendung auf den Bergbau (Neuser 1987, entry 227, 495). 30 In TWA 9, 341, p. 360 Hegel speaks of der totliegende Organismus der Erde.

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may hold the view that though the strata are deposited by nature as parts that follow one another in time and in so doing are indifferent to one another, geology is nevertheless not confined to a thoughtless enumeration that simply elevates any minor difference to the rank of a new species of rock. In an addition in Michelets edition of the 1830 Encyclopaedia, we read a reference to J. L. Heims Geologische Beschreibung to support the claim that the rational part of geology, the part that is of philosophical interest, highlights the logical necessity that nature displays in the transition of the various stratifications into one another.31 Michelet drew this reference from the 1805/6 Philosophy of Nature,32 though in the Berlin Philosophy of Nature of 1819/20 Hegel, in line with the change of terminology recalled above, stresses how geology must avoid thinking just in terms of chemical (that is, external) conditions in the case of hot springs and volcanoes, for they are phenomena of terrestrial galvanism: the mountainous strata are different but they are not dead, rather they are members [Glieder] of a galvanic chain (V 16, 144.20208, my italics). We can make sense of this cursory and rather cryptic remark, which has escaped the attention of the interpreters. Only very recently has Kolb restated the issue of how physical processes relate to conceptual necessities in Hegels philosophy of nature by raising two questions, one about how typological necessity arises through contingent processes, and the other about what external determination produces the detailed specification of natural things (also for living beings). Kolb points to processes that have no mechanical intermediaries, for they present instead the direct action of the earth as a whole (such as, for instance, the origin of springs, the origin of veins of metallic ores, the spontaneous generation of lower life forms etc.: Kolb 2008, 107 08). Against this interpretive background, it is worth recalling that galvanism is the science of the peculiar action of different conductors of electricity upon each other, originally stemming from the phenomenon, observed by Galvani in 1789, of the contraction of
31 Heim, who at the outset aims to consider the entire bed (Lager) of the Thuringian Mountains as a proper totality (ein eignes Ganzes) (Heim 1803, Sect. III, 1: 6), writes: in general an entire proper manner of transition and change of form governs [herrscht] the entire mountain chain namely a universal tendency to a dense granular shape [dichtkrnigte Gestalt] (Heim 1803, Sect. III, 10: 120). 32 See: TWA 9, 340, p. 354. See Petrys note to 27,33 in Hegel 1970b III, 23536. The end of the Addition 340 (see: TWA 9, 35960) presents the same text of GW 8, 11819.

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muscles and nerves of an animal which, upon application of metals, are stimulated by electricity.33 At the turn of the XIX century, however, the galvanic influence was no longer considered as existing only in living animal organs. Referring to the researches of Fabroni, Dr. Ash and Creve, in 1801 Humphrey Davy accounted for inorganic galvanism as follows: But the discovery of the peculiar action of metals in contact with each other upon water, demonstrated the production of it in arrangements composed wholly of dead matter, and laid the foundation for a new class of investigations, which have intimately connected the galvanic phenomena with known physical effect. (Davy 1839, 189; italics added)34 Davy also describes the discovery of the accumulation of the galvanic influence, the general connection between the excitement of galvanic electricity and chemical changes, and the discovery of the chemical agencies of galvanism. This led to the galvanic arrangements of perfect and less perfect conductors of electricity, so that they could be in contact with each other, forming circles (Davy 1839, 19091), or rings of a chain. Some years later, in his Der Process der galvanischen Kette, Pohl summarizes his researches of many years (xi) as the individuation of the proper soul of the activity of nature in polarity, with which matters causally operate as members of the closed chain (als Glieder der geschlossenen Kette), as in the case of combustion and in the process of crystal formations (Pohl 1826: xiii, 399 and 42026). The chain represented nothing but the unity that is able to bring together diverse phenomena by showing their essentiality and necessity (Pohl 1826, 30910). 2.2. Life internal to itself: Subjectivity 2.2.1. The way to subjectivity: the individuality of vegetable life

33 The discovery was first published in Aloysii Galvani, De Viribus Electricitatis in Motu Musculari Commentarius. Bononiae, 1791. 34 Davys historical sketch of galvanism was first published in the Journals of the Royal Institution, vol. i., 1802.

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As remarked earlier, the specific characteristics and properties of a living being are not simply acquired in and through the entire cycle of chemical relations to something other. In organic nature, an individual is determined as this particular in relation to a center, which has the form of the self, of the subject (TWA 9, 337: 337). In the Philosophy of Nature of 1825/26 this feature is highlighted because it marks the difference between physical and organic individualization (V 17, 169.1114). What is organic is no longer a pure Individuum, composed by the differentiated parts in which the form exhibits itself, and which can fall apart indifferently. The finitude of the chemical process means that, in concreto, the relation among the bodys sensible properties is unstable: its configuration (Gestalt) has no real unity because of the variation of the reactions it undergoes, due to the change of the reagent, so that even its allegedly most profound and stable determinations fail to be preserved and the true individuality of the body does not exist in any one of its states.35 By contrast, the posited negativity of the selfdeveloped form makes the organism a subject, since the material parts (Teile) exist only as members (Glieder) whose own independence has been negated. The chemical bond, instead, is a mere possibility of different affinities and different products, for the chemical reaction between substances is nothing but the action of moments that in themselves remain different and separated (Hegel 1959, 350; see: Burbidge 2007,115).36 This is exactly the criterion Hegel uses to place vegetable nature at the simpler, infantile weak stage (TWA 9, 343Z: 372) of the internal differentiation of natural life, still close to the products of the chemical process and to a geometrical and mechanical arrangement of forms (TWA 9, 345: 380).37 The organic being of
35 Cf. Davy 1840, 6970: it is a general character of chemical combination, that it changes the sensible qualities of bodies [] Bodies possessed of little taste or smell often gain these qualities in a high degree by combinations []. The forms of bodies, or their densities, likewise usually alter; solids become fluids, and solids and fluid gases, and gases are often converted into fluids or solids. 36 According to Marmasse 2008, 29091, on Hegels view the return into itself that distinguishes the autonomy of the organism in respect to the chemical product and its inner finality is to be conceived on the basis of the sole resources of nature. The self-mediation is perfectly authorized by the principles of the systematic progression of nature and does not require a spiritual activity. 37 For a thorough and specific account of the difference between plants and animal, with special regard to the diverse role played of sexual reproduction, against the background of,

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plants, though the first subject that is for itself, does not achieve true subjectivity, as animal life does.38 In 34349 Hegel makes clear that the unifying point of selfhood remains external to plants: the plant depends wholly on light, air, and water outside it and so is not yet truly self-relating. Consequently, plants lack inwardness and do not have feeling and sentience; they cannot master the externality of space with autonomous motion; in sum, plants individuality shows a residual indifferentiation (Illetterati 1995a, 38793), which is reflected into the nature of their alleged sexual difference, the notorious criterion of Linns classification. In the Encyclopedia Hegel refuses to assign a proper sexual difference to plants, but grants only an analogical animal sexuality to them, for it does not co-penetrate the entire corporeal disposition of the individuals.39 Hegel shared this view with Schelver, the director of the Jena botanical garden.40 In short: plants allow some of their parts (wood, branches, leaves) to die or fall apart in indifference, showing no full unity of Gestalt and individuality. The second of the three syllogisms of the vegetable organism is a process which exhibits deficiency of subjectivity as incapacity for the plant to make inorganic nature its own: The living [plant] has not its other within itself [an ihm selbst], but as an independent other; it is not itself its own inorganic nature, but nature is found as an object, which the living encounters with the semblance [Schein] of contingency. This is
among others, Buffon, Girtanner, Schelver on the side of natural science, and Kant and Schelling on the philosophical side, see: Bach 2004. 38 On the lack of subjectivity in the process of plants configuration and on the difference between vegetable and animal assimilation, see: Frigo 2002, 10912. 39 Retracing the same orientation in an 1801 text (Hegels first Jenaer Systementwurf), two years before Schelvers arrival in Jena, Bach underscores that there is no reason to speak of any immediate dependence of Hegels position on Schelvers theories and sees the origin of the former in an independent philosophical appraisal of Linn (Bach 2006b, 7576). Illetterati 1995a, note 166, 393 remarks the accord with Aristotles view on the sexuality of the plants in De gen. an. I, 731a 1 and 731a 2529. 40 In the early years of the XIX century, Schelver had addressed an early criticism to Linns clavis systematis sexualis, but did not publish it until 1812, on Goethes advice (Bach 2004: 187). Both Schelver and Hegel, however, may have drawn from a common earlier source: W. Smellies account of the sexuality of plants (translated into German by E. A. W. Zimmermann in 1791), which reports the experimentally controlled objections of Dr. Hope of the botanical garden of Edinburgh to Linns criterion of classification (Ferrini 2009, note 35, 120). Hegel owned many works by Schelver published during 18031823 (Neuser 1987, entries 18997, 49293).

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the specified process in the face of an external nature (TWA 9, 346Z: 395). In the organic realm, however, we conceive the body as no longer determining itself essentially in relation to another, as in the chemical process, but on its own. Hence, empirical evidence confirms what the concept determines to be the case: that the plant is unable to maintain itself as an infinite being-for-self.41 By contrast, in a true, fully developed organism, the parts exist essentially as members [Glieder], and subjectivity exists as the one that copenetrates the whole [die durchdringende eine des Ganzen]. (TWA 9, 349: 429). The plant, therefore, is an organism that falls short of being the true organism, instantiated by animal life. 2.3. Lifes unity of inwardness and outwardness 2.3.1. Function and Organ in Animal Life Since the 1807 Phenomenology, Hegel was publicly always very appreciative of scientific investigations into the substantial form of the animal Typus42 (GW 9, 140.3236; Ferrini 2009, 9798). In the Philosophy of Nature of the 1830 Encyclopaedia he remarks: After five, ten, or twenty years, one says, the organism has no more of itself within it, all the material components (alles Materielle) are consumed, only the substantial form persists. (TWA 9, 356Z: 461, my italics)

41 Buquoy 1822, 36: 123 stresses that the vegetative sphere does not reach the purpose of activity. By contrast, the vital activity of the living beings urges to dominate (strebt [] zu beherrschen, beherrschen is emphasized in the original text) chaos and lack of form according to its own formative impulse. Hegel owned a series of works by Buquoy published during 181725 (Neuser 1987, entries 3841, 48283), among which Buquoy 1817 and 1822. 42 Goethe advances his notion of Typus based on comparative anatomy in the 1795 Erster Entwurf einer allgemeinen Einleitung in die vergleichende Anatomie, ausgehend von der Osteologie, where he takes partial distance from Kant, polemizing against final causes in the light of Spinoza (Giacomoni 1998, 20010). See: Moiso 1998b, 31725 on his discovery of os intermaxillare based on the principle of the continuity and metamorphosis of the living forms one into the other. Moiso underscores the accord between Goethes principle of useful harmony among functionally interrelated organs and Cuviers principle of the correlations of organic forms (32122).

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In 1812/13 Hegel develops the idea of the substantial form of living organisms by making explicit that reason provides [macht] a basis for the fundamental determination [Grundbestimmung] of the animal (V 15, ad 49: 143.3132b). There he refers to the definition that proceeds from the animals properties to its essential distinguishing marks and then to the whole of the universal type, which structures from within all its individual parts, all its bones and members according to its genus.43 In the part of the 1830 Philosophy of Nature on zoology, Hegel repeatedly and extensively refers to Cuviers laws of the correlation of organs with the environmental conditions of existence ( 365Z, 368, 368Z), quoting entire passages from his Recherches sur le ossements fossiles de quadrupdes in the Addition to 368 (TWA 9, 50506). Indeed, in 1812, Cuvier had published his famous Discours prliminaire to the Recherches, where he claims that naturalists could attain the same success as the astronomers who unveiled the mechanism of the world: But after Anaxagoras came the Copernicuses and the Keplers, who cleared the way for Newton; so why should not natural history also have its Newton one day? (Cuvier 1997, 185) In 1812 Cuvier proposes the principle of the correlation of forms in organized beings as the undivided unity of parts and functions. According to this principle, a part cannot change without a modification of the whole, in which the unity of the parts constitutes their aim: that is, the purpose of a specific organ is to carry out a certain function within the organism as a whole. This is a principle: by means of which each kind of being could be recognized, at a pinch, from any fragment of any of its parts. Every organized body forms a whole, a unique and closed system, in which all the parts correspond mutually, and contribute to the same definitive action by a reciprocal reaction. None of its parts can change without the others changing too; and consequently each of them, taken separately, indicates and gives all the others. (Cuvier 1997, 217)
43 Gattung: see: V 15, 28182 (editorial note to 143.1722); cf. Breidbach 2004, 21214, 21920.

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In introducing the method of comparative anatomy, Cuvier seems to suggest that he regards it as a response to Kants claim in 75 of the 1790 Critique of Judgment that for us, organism has a meaning of its own that is wholly irreducible to that of mechanism, thus rejecting as absurd the possibility that some day another Newton might arise who would explain organic life through natural laws unordered by any intention (AA V, 75: 400, my italics).44 Famously, in 1755 Kant had regarded just as highly problematic the full explanation of a simple organism by conceiving its parts as effects of (blind) mechanical causes, projecting it into an indeterminate future (AA I, 230.1420). After 1763, Kant felt increasingly uneasy about the basic inadequacy of mechanical causal explanations of the generation and the inner structure of plants, animals and also crystals (AA II, 114.56; Ferrini 2000). The absurdity Kant notes in 1790 marks a radicalization of his precritical view, also due to his reappraisal there of Blumenbachs formative power (Bildungstrieb).45 Kant argues that we must judge something to be an organized product of nature only when: everything [within it] is end and reciprocally means as well. Nothing in it is gratuitous, purposeless or to be ascribed to a blind mechanism of nature (AA V, 66: 376). Kant admits that parts of an animal body could be understood according to purely mechanical laws, yet the cause which provides the appropriate matter, modifies, forms and deposits it in the proper place, must always be judged teleologically (AA V, 66: 377). In an organized and selforganizing being, which is also able to repair itself when disordered, the connection of efficient causes could at the same time be judged as an effect through final causes, as being in itself a natural end. This is because the organism has a self-reproducing, formative power (sich fortpflanzende, bildende Kraft) and so, unlike a machine, does

44 For an extensive study of Kants critical interpretation of Blumenbachs notion and the influence it had, in turn, on Blumenbach himself, cf. Fabbri Bertoletti 1990, 1047. 45 Look has pointed out how Kant rejects important features of the formative drive (Bildungstrieb), such as its vitalistic aspect of being a form of energy that acts as an efficient cause of reproduction, its being constitutive of matter, its not being anything like a Kantian supersensible ground for both mechanical and teleological modes of explanation. Look concludes that Yet from Kants perspective, Blumenbach could not be the Newton for a balde of grass for there still can be no such a figure (Look 2006, 37172; see also: Chiereghin 1990, 20405).

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not just have a motive force within itself (AA V, 65: 374).46 Moreover, especially in the First Introduction to the Critique of the Judgment, Kant holds that, despite the ground of natures inner purposivess is beyond the sphere of the insights into nature that are possible for us (AA XX, 218), nature proceeds freely in a technical manner in case of external shape or inner structure that are so systematically constituted that their possibility must be grounded in an idea of them in our judgment. Against this background, Chiereghin sees Kants absolute rejection (de jure) of the possibility of a Newton of the Organics as depending upon the impossibility of comprehending how any organism can be produced by mechanical (blind) natural laws, unordered by any intention (Chiereghin 1990, 20405).47 Cuviers ideas are similar to, but also significantly different from Kants position. In his Lectures on comparative anatomy first delivered at the end of 1795, Cuvier openly quotes Kant, endorsing his view that the ratio essendi of any single part of a living body rests on the whole, since each part has in itself the general movement; i.e., each part intrinsically participates in the common movement produced by its union with the other parts and which constitutes the essence of life (Cuvier 1800, 56). However, Cuvier cautiously does not ground his principle metaphysically on Kants supersensible idea of the action of a formative natural power or procreative capacity.48 He claims only to be able to provide an
46 The English translators of the third Critique render Kants adjective fortpflanzend with propagating (Kant 2000, 246). This rendering may sound misleading against the background of the scientific use of the term at Hegels time. Note that e.g. Schultz translated propagatio sive evolutio by Vermehrung, while Fortpflanzung rendered generatio (Schultz 1828, 3.3). 47 Chiereghin also points out the aporetic implications of the Kantian paradigmatic notion of techne in the First Introduction to the Critique of Judgment: its failure to account for the formative power, its reconstruction, from the outside, of the connection among analytically isolated elements of the organism so that the activity governing the organic process falls again under the heading of external purposiveness (cf. Chiereghin 1990, 13638, 14245, 15253, 20107; 22526). 48 A classification of the three mineral, plant and animal kingdoms based on the criterion of the Fortpflanzungsvermgen (reproductiveness) is to be found in Willdenow 1792, 3: 2: minerals have no reproductive parts (Willdenow calls Zeugungstheile what 36 year later were called Generationsorgane: Schultz 1828, 2: 2), they can generate only mixtures and not their own kind; vegetables are endowed with a great lot of them, but they lose these parts before death; by contrast, animals keep their Zeugungstheile until they die. Michelets edition of the 1830 Encyclopaedia reports extensive quotations from the 6th edition (1821) of Willdenow 1792 in the Additions to 344348; see: Petry 1986, p. 20.

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empirical exposition and not a rational [raisonn] system (Cuvier 1800, 9). In the first published volume of his Lectures (1800), Cuvier acknowledges that the tissues and the mixture [mlange] of their elements were in a way the result of the action of vital forces, but that there was no way to shed light on these forces apart from examining the composition of the bodies. More importantly, Cuvier made it clear that on his view those forces could have their source and foundation only in the tissues and the mixture of their mechanical and chemical elements (Cuvier 1800, 7). Cuvier individuates the general characteristics of organized bodies in their origin by generation, growing by nutrition, and death (Cuvier 1800, 10) and then specifies what constitutes in particular the animal versus the vegetable economy of life: voluntary motion and sentience, digestion, respiration through gills or lungs, not throughout the entire bodys surface (Cuvier 1800, 1117). These are particular functions that are exerted by specific organs, which in turn modify the performance of the general functions common to all the organized bodies. Indeed, his model was a three-order functionally integrated animal machine (Cuvier 1800, 1819): the first order is constituted by the set of the animal functions ruled by sentience and motion; the second order by living functions (digestion, absorption, circulation, breathing, transpiration, excretion) which constitute an internal principle of maintenance and reparation and which distinguish the animal machine from an artificial one; the third is the order of generation.49 Hence, Cuvier seemed to undertake his own Copernican revolution against the Kantian reflective judgment, by turning vital forces which Kant understood as the rational ground of the phenomena of life into vital forces which are empirically grounded in organic phenomena themselves.50 Note, however, that in 1784 Kant had made reference to Keplers unexpected success in bringing
49 Cuvier makes these claims in the First article (General sketch of the functions exerted by the animal bodies) of the First Lecture (Preliminary considerations on animal economy), of Volume I of his Leons danatomie (Paris, 18001805). 50 In the 1807 Phenomenology, Hegel carries out the transition from Perception to Force and Understanding when consciousness moves to an unconditioned, supersensible, self-identical universality as the inner, productive ground of the manifold properties of the object. That is, consciousness moves to force as form that is purposive activity, which makes itself into what the thing is in itself, developing its parts and properties, bringing the inner nature of perceived things to actuality (on the implicit anti-Kantianism of this move see: Ferrini 2005, 34045).

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phenomena under determinate laws as well as to Newtons explanation of those laws by a natural universal cause, against the background of his quest for reconstructing the history of the human genus as a whole by recognising (at least) a natural purpose in the apparent irregular and incoherent phenomena of human actions, given the unaccessibility to knowledge of their rational ground (the noumenal freedom of the human will). Kants first thesis in the Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte was the (biological) principle of the necessary (destined) full development in time of all the original dispositions (Naturanlagen) of the corporeal organisation of a creature to fulfill its own ends, so that a useless organ is a contradiction to the teleological doctrine of nature (AA VIII 1718). Likewise, Cuvier confines himself to phenomenological laws (see: Cuvier 1997, editors note 15, 185), claiming that he who possesses rationally the laws of organic economy would be able to reconstruct the whole animal. Cuvier seems to regard himself as the Laplace of natural history, for he understands this reconstruction in terms of equations: the form of the tooth entails the form of the condyle; the forms of the shoulder blade and the claws, just like the equation of a curve, entail all their properties (Cuvier 1997, 219).51 This feature was highlighted by Spix who emphasized the analogy between the internal necessity of the architectonic plan of nature that Cuvier exhibited by drawing from a single bone the entire articulation of a body, and the necessity in the mathematical procedures of drawing unknown quantities from the known (Spix 1811, 34: 13233).52
51 The text continues: Just as taking each property separately as the basis for a particular equation, one would find both the ordinary equation and all the other properties of any kind, so likewise the claw, the shoulder blade, the condyle, the femur, and all the other bones taken separately, determine [donnent] the teeth, and each other reciprocally. In his 1792/93 Der Versuch als Vermittler von Obiect und Subiect Goethe had taken the mathematical method of the algebraic formulas la DAlembert as the method which could follow the continuity of nature, avoiding the extremes of the arbitrary unity and the analytical fragmentation, see: Moiso 1998b, 298311. 52 Spix also sets the limits of the new anatomy: it takes into account only the most visible organs (this criticism will be also levelled at Cuvier by Blainville 1847 III, 398) and does not think of the properties of the soul (Seeleneigenschaften) of the animals (in the same vein as Linn), that is of the integration of the functions by the nervous system which coordinates the active relations of the animal body to externality. Hence, one should progress towards a new conception of zoology, constituted by physiology and psychology (Spix 1811, 36: 149); see: Poggi 2000, 46871. Hegel owned Spix 1811 (Neuser 1987, entry 218, 494).

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2.3.2. The constitutive dynamism of internal purposiveness Hegels appraisal of Cuvier is grounded on his critical appreciation of Kants concept of internal purposiveness.53 Hegel praises Kant for having awoken the Idea and in particular the idea of life, taking it as the revival, though in subjective form, of the Aristotelian concept of nature as entelechia, as that which reproduces itself.54 Hegel conceives the key feature of this idea of life to be the determination of purpose as the internal determination of natural things themselves.55 The centrality of internal purposiveness in Hegels idea of life and his immanent standpoint, however, should not to be confused with a sort of internalization of the power of life la Herder. In Ch. IV of Part II of the Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit, Herder examines the external figure, functional coordination and structural arrangement of all the members of a living being, as well as the actions and behaviours of an animal. Herder understands the cause of this wonder to be a living, organic force (eine lebendige, organische Kraft), which in the title of the chapter is called die genetische Kraft, that is, the mother of all the formations on the earth. Herder claims to ignore its origin and substantial inner nature, but he undeniably sees its presence, sees that it is alive, endowing itself with organic parts from the chaos of a homogeneous matter (HSW, XIII, 27374, italics added; Pro 1994). In the Addition to 339 of the 1830 philosophy of nature, Hegel seems to refer to positions like that of Herder when he remarks: in general one expounds the production of the living as a revolution out of chaos, where vegetable and animal life, organic and inorganic had been in one unity,56 and reacts vehementely against the
53 See the detailed assessment in the Science of Logic, within the frame of the treatment of chemism: TWA 6, 4403. In the 1831 Lectures on Logic, when Hegel stresses the difference between mechanical and chemical products (as the ends which differ from what was present at the beginning of the processes) and the inner finality of the germ which already contains within itself all the determinations to be produced, he mentions only Aristotles Entelechie: V 10, 205.93443. 54 See: Hegel 1959, 34142, 344. Cf. the parallel passage in 154 of the 1817 Encyclopaedia. 55 des natrlichen Dinges selbst: Hegel 1959, 342. 56 See Petrys note to 23,8, Hegel 1970b III, 229: Petry sees here a reference to Caspar Wolffs Theoria generationis, not to Herders Ideen.

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presupposition of the temporal existence of something like a livingin-general that then divides itself into plants, animal and human races; he criticizes this view in terms of a representation of the empty force of imagination (TWA 9, 349).57 In the logic of life in 165 of the 1817 Encyclopaedia Hegel recasts Kants view in an Aristotelian, speculative frame, pointing (in a manner characteristic of post-Kantian thought) to the constitutive, not merely subjectively reflective, dimension of the transience, negativity or ideality of the parts as moments of the process of life.58 In the 1830 Remark to 360 Hegel reaffirms his appreciation of Kants revival of the Aristotelian idea of the inner purposiveness of the living being, though he still hints at the insufficiency of its merely heuristic status in the Critique of Judgment,59 and develops a line of argument that strongly suggests a point of contact between this Kantian reappraisal and Cuviers work. In another Remark Hegel mentions the judicious, sensible way in which the French school considers nature, and in particular he highlights the way that school restores Aristotles fundamental classification of animals on the basis of the essential characteristic of the absence or presence of the backbone.60 Hegel then turns to Cuvier and praises his
57 Rhlig 1998, 360 remarks that Hegel distances himself from metaphysical philosophy of nature which holds that all matter is alive in the vein of Jacobis pronouncement Everything in nature lives. Nothing is completely dead. In the Jena period Hegel had already supported the view that the concept [] is not the discourse on a general life of nature in the sense that [dass] nature is living everywhere; rather it speaks of the essence of life. Nature is to be grasped [begreiffen] and explained in the moments of its actuality or totality, and these moments have to be shown (GW 8, 119.1013). In my forthcoming paper in S. Houlgate & M. Baur, The Blackwell Companion to Hegel, I have argued that the transition from inorganic to organic nature hinges on conceptual inner necessity, not directly on what nature does, and that Hegel holds neither the vitalistic view that life emerges from an essentially lifeless matter by means of the sudden appearance of a natural productive power of generation (Lebenskraft), nor the hylozoic view that in temporal existence nature is everywhere really alive. 58 Bach 2004, 180 draws attention to the comparison between 165168 of the 1817 Encyclopaedia and 6466 of Kants third Critique from the standpoint of the genus process, analysing Kants example of the tree. 59 As Zammito puts it, Kant remained adamant that the ultimate origin of organization required a metaphysical, not a physical account (Zammito 2006, 349; cf. AA VIII, 179). On how Hegel develops against this critical background his own concept of life as speculative ontology see: Stanguennec, 1990. In the Science of Logic Hegel counterbalances the insufficiency of Kants appraisal with the position he gives to teleology: a connecting middle (being ascribed to a judgment) between the universal of reason and the singular of sensible intuition (TWA 6, 443). 60 This approach is not original to Hegel. In 1811 Johannes Spix had already spoken of animals with or without vertebrae (Wirbel) as the first major change introduced by the French

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understanding of the essential universal nature of the entire animal as a connection that determines the construction of all the parts (aller Teile): the singular structure of the Habitus, which has been regarded as the connection determining the construction of all the parts, has been made the chief point; so that Cuvier, the great founder of comparative anatomy, could be proud that from a single bone he could know [erkennen] the essential nature of the entire animal.61 [] it is precisely by means of this that it [ the universal type [allgemeine Typus] of the animal ] has been lifted out of particularity [Besonderheit], and raised into its universality [Allgemenheit]. (TWA 9, 368: 501) In 1807 Hegel had written that when the object to be observed is an organic unity, reason has before itself in its object the connection or bond (Beziehung) between inward essentiality (universality) and externality (singularity). To express such a connection would require laws which distinguish between inner ground and outward manifestation, but at the same time immediately possess the processual character of the concept (its syllogistic dynamic or restlessness) and for that reason state the relation between the internal and external sides to be necessary (GW 9, 156.2832). Interpreters have charged Hegel with denying the existence of any law in organics (Borzeskowski 2006, 199) or even denying their very possibility (Wahsner 2006, 225), but it seems to me that we have sufficient evidence to conclude that Hegel views Cuviers law of the correlation of forms in organized beings as the modern

Scharfsinn (Hegels sinnige Naturbetrachtung: TWA 9, 368: 500) into the Linnean classification of animals based on the old criterion of the absence or presence of blood, and remarked that: Aristotle had already made this distinction, just before accounting for Cuviers Elements of Natural History and Letures of Comparative Anatomy (Spix 1811, 35: 136). 61 Interestingly enough, Blainville (1847 III, 398) criticizes the reliability of Cuviers proud claim, remarking that the principle was true for the general form of the animal, and also for deducing the form of muscles from the shape and proportion of the skeleton (since in this case two organs were produced together to perform the same function), but in the case of the teeth of a cat, it would have been impossible to deduce the skeleton of the animal. In a Kantian teleological vein, reporting this criticism, Paul Janet notes that even if it were correct: an harmonic bond (une liaison harmonique), though reduced to the most general condition of organization, would be infinitely higher (infiniment au-dessus) than the forces of a purely blind nature (Janet 1876, 615).

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empirical theory that conforms both to Aristotles speculative principle62 and to the syllogistic linkage of the concept. Hegel believes that the Aristotelian concept of internal purposiveness expresses the infinity of the true philosophical idea of life.63 Referring to Aristotle, Hegel notes that this idea is lost when the organic is understood simply through mechanical or chemical relations, or fully explained on the ground of general external relationships (V 8, 76.14146). In an Addition to 363 Hegel mentions a series of attempts to explain organic functions mechanically: the process of assimilation, the circulation of blood, the action of nerves (as strings or globules, either quivering or exerting pressure), digestion (through impact and pumping), and chemically: the analysis of the brain and digestion (as neutralization of acid and alkali). Hegel does not deny that mechanics and chemistry play a role, he denies that the very nature of the organic process under consideration is either mechanical or chemical, emphasizing that the animal is the absolute one-with-itself of vitality, not a composite [Zusammengesetztes] (TWA 9, 479).64 In
62 See Cuviers Espces de quadrupdes (1801): number, direction and shape of the bones composing each part of the body determine the movements that that part can make, and consequently the functions it can fulfill []. For example, when the teeth of an animal are such as they must be, for the animal to feed the flesh, we can be sure without further examination that the whole system of its digestive organs is adapted for this kind of food []. In effect, these relations are the necessary conditions of existence of the animal, and it is evident that if things were not so this animal could not subsist (Cuvier 1997, 50; my italics). Compare with Aristotle, De part. anim. I (A).1.642a 513: There is, however, a third mode of Necessity: it is seen in the things that pass through a process of formation; as when we say that nourishment is necessary, we mean necessary in neither of the former two modes [absolute necessity, which regards only primary elements, heavenly bodies and material or mechanistic necessity C. F.], but we mean that without nourishment no animal can be. This is, practically, conditional necessity. Take an illustration: A hatchet, in order to split wood, must, of necessity, be hard; if so, then it must, of necessity, be made of bronze or of iron. Now the body, like the hatchet, is an instrument; as well the whole body as each of its parts has a purpose, for the sake of which it is; the body must therefore, of necessity, be such and such, and made of such and such materials, if that purpose is to be realized (Peck tr., 7677). 63 See: V 8, 76, 5354: this that we call end (Zweck), telos, is the energeia, efficacy (Wirksamkeit), Aristotles entelechia. Cf. Phys. II 8; see: Ilting 1987, 35456. For an account of Hegels appropriation of Aristotles notion of constitutive inner finality (Selbstzweck) as the true concept of life and his divergence from Kants regulative assessment of it, see: Frigo 2004. 64 See a later criticism of the exclusive use of mechanical causality in physiology to account for a flow of saliva that follows an electrical stimulus applied to the tongue: the category employed is adequate to the investigation of the case of a simple mechanical arrangement, but not to the case of that arrangement considered as a normal function of the organism to which it belongs (Haldane, R. B. & Haldane, J. S. 1883, 54).

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the Remark to 334, he claims that the nature of animal and vegetable substances can so little be understood from the chemical process, that rather it is destroyed therein, where we grasp only the manner of their death (TWA 9, 328). When the individual under consideration is something neutral, such as a salt, then chemistry is successful: it manages for itself to exhibit the sides themselves, since the unity of the difference is only a formal unity, which collapses on its own. But when chemical decomposition treats something organic then it sublates not only the unity, but also what one wants to know (TWA 9, 281Z, 135). In Organics Hegel emphasizes this finitude: The living body is always on the verge of passing over into the chemical process. Oxygen, hydrogen, salt [] are always about to emerge, but they will be always superseded, and the chemical process can only assert itself in death or sickness. (TWA 9, 337Z: 338)65 Hegel recognises that internal purposiveness is a constitutive logical principle of any living being, the inward formative dynamic of any organic structure that forms with its members and its environment a self-conserving system. (It is not a principle through which the existence of natural forms can be deduced metaphysically.) This
65 On the pathologies of the superior organisms and on the role of medicine and therapy see the informative Liccioli 2008, 23042. See on the point Kisner 200809, 28: When the organic articulations are separated they reduce to the mechanical sphere, no longer aspects of life or, more precisely, no longer aspects of organic unity they once maintained. The body disintegrates into parts that revert to mechanico-chemical process that is, the body decays. But this shows that in their manifold externality they are still in some sense contrary to the unity that life is, and yet at the same time their externality is the objectification of purposive activity through which life is a unity in the first place. This generates a contradiction in the category of life. See also ibid., 37: Death is not merely an eventuality that befalls the organism at some point, as if it were an external contingency that life might otherwise do without. To be sure, it is external, but as such it is the organisms own externality. This is why death cannot be something other than life; it is an inherent part of living process, marking life as intrinsically finite. Interestingly enough, this speculative appraisal of death was the most challenged aspect of Hegels philosophy of nature by his early critics, for they viewed it as coalescing with the determination of externality and thus as the leading concept for the thorough clarification of the entire nature in the light of the becoming of spirit. According to them, death made nature (as well as its sciences: physics, chemistry, astronomy, botanics, zoology etc.) simply untrue in itself, that is, intrinsically devoid of value, actuality, presence, a simple transition moment to the true dimension of Geist (see: Schubart and Carganico 1829, 13744). Hegel owned this work (Neuser 1987, entry 200, 493), which he severely and polemically reviewed in the last 1829 issue of the Jahrbcher fr wissenschaftliche Kritik (cf. Schubart 1830).

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immanent purposiveness or ideal, conceptual and infinite unity, can be recognised empirically by the dissection of the internal components of the organism and confirmed theoretically, though not rationally explained, by the controlled method of comparative anatomy.66 In this way the factual and the experimental, which belong to the province of science, are proved to be true under a higher-level theory, which logically grounds a priori the phenomenological results of natural science (Ferrini 2002, 80 81).67 Therefore, on my view, it is likely that Hegel had Cuvier in mind when in the Lectures on the History of Philosophy, after placing Aristotles idea of internal purposiveness higher than the modern idea of external purposiveness ( la Hutton), he made the following remark: that the most recent times have produced once again the rational comprehension of this matter is nothing but a revival [Wiedererweckung] and justification [Rechtfertigung] of the Aristotelian idea. (Hegel 1959, 342, my italics)

2.3.3. Animal subjectivity and its environmental relations Hegels distinctive point, however, is that the posited negativity of the self-developed form of the individual makes it a subject. Not only, therefore, do its material parts exist only as members whose independence has been negated, but so too does the outward inorganic nature that confronts the individual.68 Hegel summarizes
66 Spix emphasizes the point that finally zoology can order living beings not on the ground of merely external characteristics, because with Cuvier we know the internal as much as the external (see: Spix 1811, 34: 132; 35:144). 67 As Ilting 1987, 352 rightly remarks, according to Hegels Logic, it is not the reflective relation between Essence and Appearance but the threefold relation Appearance-EssenceThought that enables us to grasp in the whole what is (das Seiende). It is interesting to compare Hegels attitude to Schopenhauers contemporaneous approach to similar scientific sources. According to Segala 2009, 265 Schopenhauer is aware that science does not offer any definite, conclusive knowledge, therefore a transition from science to philosophy is justified only providing that changes in scientific results bring philosophical argumentation into question. 68 The discontinuity of this feature is stressed by the analysis of the 1817 Encyclopaedia by Illetterati 1995a, 39499, who defines its fulfilment in the animal organism as the burst (lirruzione) of subjectivity and notes how in the first edition of the Philosophy of Nature the concept of freedom appears for the first time in the context of the animal organism (396 ff.).

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this move from the standpoint of the concept, by saying: the concept is no longer existing in itself [in sich seiend], no more submerged in its mutually external subsistence [Auereinanderbestehen] (TWA 9, 336Z: 336). Hence what characterizes the single living animal fundamentally is to be the universal power (allgemeine Macht) over the external nature that stands against it. That animal life governs externality does not signify therefore a mere independence from external causes in selfproduction: the animal organism makes externality its own, it must posit what is external as subjective, appropriate it, and identify it with its own self (TWA 9, 357Z: 464). On this point Kisner comments: The living process of an organism drives it outward into the presupposed external multiplicity of its environment only to make that environment explicit as a life support system for the organism itself. It is here that external multiplicity in the sense of a presupposed externality outside of organic unity is itself seen to be necessary for that very organic unity, and thereby is taken back into the latter as part of its own living dynamics. (Kisner 200809, 32) Hegels conception of animal life aims not just to fully restore the notion of internal purposiveness against Kants subjective insufficiencies,69 but by considering organized beings as means towards their own ends, Hegel raises the question of the manner of production of their existence, which Cuvier saw as reflected in the structure of the Habitus.70 This is why he focusses on the activity of
Note, however, that in the Addition to 273 of the 1830 edition, free individuality emerges already from the chemical process as die Herrin ber die Formunterschiede (TWA 9, 110). 69 Chiereghin has pointed out the aporetic implications of the Kantian paradigmatic notion of techne in the First Introduction to the Critique of Judgment: its failure to account for the formative power, its reconstruction, from the outside, of the connection among analytically isolated elements of the organism, so that the activity governing the organic process falls again under the heading of external purposiveness (cf. Chiereghin 1990, 13638, 14245, 15253, 20107; 22526). 70 See Cuviers assessment of the principles of identification in his 1812 Preliminary Discourse: if the intestines of an animal are organized in such a way as to digest only flesh and fresh flesh it is also necessary that the jaws be constructed for devouring prey; the claws, for seizing and tearing it; the teeth, for cutting and dividing its flesh; the entire organs, for detecting it from afar; and it is even necessary that nature should have placed in its brain the instinct necessary for knowing how to hide itself and set traps for its victims. Such are the

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the organism, the purposiveness of which is evident in the process whereby it attains its end and then discards its means, as happens in excretion as the conclusion of the process of assimilation (TWA 9, 365 and Z: 48097). Indeed, commenting upon Cuviers work, and in line with Spix, Hegel makes clear that it is a matter not just of conceiving a living body as a functionally integrated whole, whose parts are organised according to an immanent principle, but also of the intrinsic connection, at the same time, between inner and outer, between the shaping of the structure of a singular self and its environment as the condition of its existence: A chief aspect of this consideration is the knowledge [Erkenntnis] of the way in which nature forms [anbildet] and adapts this organism to the particular element in which it casts it, to the climate, the cycle of nutrition, and in general, the world [Welt] in which the organism is born. (TWA 9, 368: 501)71 The process of assimilation is thus conceived to be an eternal struggle of a subjective individual to preserve itself through taking away elements of its environment, digesting its external objectivity, positing its immediate self-identity and reproducing itself in this self-preservation; and only the Idea can grasp how and why in satiation we feel that completeness has overcome a previous deficiency.72 Indeed, Hegel states that only a living existence feels deficiency (Mangel), because in nature it alone is the concept, which is the unity of itself and its determinate opposite (TWA 9, 359: 469). On this point the Logic and the Philosophy of Nature converge:

general conditions of the carnivorous regime; every animal adapted for this regime unfailingly combines them, for its species could not have subsisted without them (Cuvier 1997, 217). 71 See ibid., 21718: But within these general conditions there exist particular conditions, relative to the size, species, and habitat [sjour] of the prey to which the animal is adapted, and each of these particular conditions results in some detailed circumstances in the forms that result from the general conditions. Thus it is not only the class that finds expression in the form of each part, but the order, the genus, and even the species. 72 See Buquoys comment on the unmistakable Typus (Buquoy 1817, 28990): The phenomenon of life [Lebenserscheinung] not only escapes comprehension [unbegreiflich], is inexplicable according to its ultimate principles and motive causes, but it is also indescribable, escaping any definition. It can only be grasped [aufgefat] as Idea.

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The living being confronts an inorganic nature to which it relates as the power [Macht] over it, and which it assimilates. (TWA 8, 219Z: 375) The self-feeling [Selbstgefhl] of singularity [Einzelnheit] is to the same extent immediately exclusive, however, and is in tension with an inorganic nature which stands over against it as its external condition and material.73 (TWA 9, 357: 464) The deepest sense of Hegels characterization of the organism in terms of ideality is that the enduring action of life is absolute idealism: If life were realistic, it would have respect for what is external to it, but it always inhibits [hemmt] the reality of the other, and transforms it into its own self. (TWA 9, 337Z: 338). Such transforming universal power of self-preservation (a sort of infection)74 exhibits itself in the higher form of organism as the theoretical ( 358) and practical ( 359) process of assimilation (see: Bach 2006a, 44344). The truth of bile and pancreatic juice is not to be found in mechanics or chemistry. Only for the understanding can the entire process be explained in those external terms: The beginning is to take possession in a mechanical way [mechanische Bemchtigung] of the external object. The assimilation itself is the overturning of the externality into the unity of selfhood [die selbstische Einheit]. Since the animal is subject, simple negativity, this assimilation can be neither of a mechanical nor of a chemical kind [Natur], for in these processes, the materials, as well as the conditions and the activity, remain external to one another, and lack the absolute living unity. (TWA 9, 363: 479)

73 On Schellings relation between organism and external environment as drawn from the basic relation of opposition-complementarity between outwardness and inwardness, receptivity and activity, see: Moiso 1998a, 7679. 74 The term is used at each stage of the Philosophy of Nature: with regard to magnetism ( 314), vegetable nature ( 34546), animal process of assimilation ( 354, 36465), animal disease ( 371) and in the 402 Philosophy of Spirit with the significance of magic dominion over the world.

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Within this frame ( 363366), Hegel praises Spallanzanis and the new physiologys researches on digestion, which focus on the living beings own means to draw its nourishment from food. He appreciates how the new biology challenges the Vorstellung that digestion functions as a purely mechanical, fictitious secretion and excretion of parts which are already ready and usable, or as a chemical process. The principal and conceptual aspect of digestion is indeed: the immediate efficacy of life as the power [Macht] over its inorganic object (TWA 9, 365: 481); what is living is able purposively to transform and place what comes from the outside within its own sphere and warmth, thus acting as the universal that is able to continue and to maintain itself in otherness, and to produce its own means from without: life is where inner and outer, cause and effect, end and means, subjectivity and objectivity etc. are one and the same (TWA 9, 337Z: 339). With this position Hegel distances himself from attempts to extend the distinctive characters of organic life (to be a unitary, indivisible co-ordinated whole which is constantly maintaining and reproducing itself in an external world), indifferentiately to the whole of nature, inorganic and organic ( la Treviranus), as well as from the attempt to see an analogy and continuity between the activity of the magnetic and chemical process of inorganic nature and the process of life ( la Oken). 2.4. Hegels life in context: alternative views in German biology The first kind of attempt is represented by Treviranuss biology from 1802. Treviranus makes reference to Kants basic notion of attractive and repulsive forces in the Metaphysische Anfangsgrnde (Treviranus 1802, 2627), and sets out a view in line with Schellings Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur, a system in which natures continuous universal activity is provided by degrees of powers and advanced levels of balance between opposing forces (Treviranus 1802, 33). Treviranus writes that we can think of force only as something finite, but that no force is finite by nature but only in so far it is limited by the counteraction of an opposed force. Hence where we think of force, we must (wir mssen) assume a force opposed to it (Treviranus 1802, 32).

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This leads to a reassessment of Kants dynamics, the simple relation of attraction and repulsion is replaced by the production of a relation of relative balance, where we can think of the antithesis of forces as producing a quiescent, uniform state (based on the key notion of equilibrium: Gleichgewicht), together with the production of the opposite relation, where we can think of the antithesis of forces as producing a state of continuous conflict (and variations), based on the key notion of discord, Streit. On the basis of this organic dynamics, Treviranus proposes a notion of life, the distinctive character of which is the uniformity [Gleichfrmigkeit] of the phenomena [Erscheinungen] in the face of discordant influences of the external world (Treviranus 1802, 38): this active maintenance, therefore, includes variation, provided that in the variation the unity of life is maintained (as in the case of an organism adapting to new circumstances). This capacity of selfmaintenance despite the non-uniform influences of the environment is assured by the mutual integration of the organs into one whole (Poggi 2000, 44649). This organic approach to force, which conceives any single force as at the same time cause and effect of all the others, leads Treviranus to point out the superfluity of Schellings hyperphysical hypothesis of a World Soul to assure the continuity of motion and life (Poggi 2000, 444), as well as to criticize the subjective and objective limits of Kants position in 66 of the third Critique. According to Treviranus, not only do we affirm with full certainty that we are determined to act from an internal principle, but also that despite the diversity and change of influences any plant or animal body will remain in its own unchanged activity, and not because of the Kantian impenetrability or lifelessness matter, but just because of life (Poggi 2000, 44445). Indeed, from Treviranuss perspective there is nothing inorganic in the entirety of nature, and everything is organic (Treviranus 1802, 41; Kchy 1995). This is just because, as Poggi puts it, nature itself is an enormous organism grounded on the action of continuously interacting forces (Poggi 2000, 445). The second of the two kinds of attempt mentioned above is found in the work of Oken. Magnetism and chemism play a paradigmatic role in Okens explanation of the origin of life. In 1805 Oken published his Die Zeugung on the primary causes of generation, where the basic constituents of higher vegetable and animal

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organisms are not elements but elementary organic units, that is, lower but specific and primordial organisms (Infusorien) present from the moment of creation, which constitute the higher (vegetable and animal) living bodies as members of a system ruled by an internal and living organizing principle.75 Okens personal reappraisal of Leibnizs monadological approach and entelechia consists in the different structures which follicles or blisters (Blschen) might assume, into which sperm is injected, thus giving rise to different species. He writes that the form of the follicles is not to be thought as an empty model, as if it were a mould. On the contrary, nature penetrates vitally the deepest interiority of the atoms of matter and from within them brings out their specific geometrical forms (angles and rings), as the magnetic current gives regular direction to iron fillings or chemistry makes saline solution into a crystal (Oken 2007, 142). On the basis of this parallelism, between magnetic or chemical and vital action, Oken conducted researches on the physiology of plants in joint venture with D. G. Kieser, in line with Goethes idea of metamorphosis.76 Hegel explicitly charges the Schellingian Oken with the schematism of the old philosophy of nature in the second Addition to 346 of his 1830 philosophy of nature (TWA 9, 402). The same charge of an easy ready-to-use aconceptual formalism, involving magnetic polarity, the difference between magnetism and electricity, the sensuos matter of chemistry, and finally the stimulus-response theory for organics is levelled by Hegel in the Remark to 359 (TWA 9, 471).77 Interestingly enough, Hegels criticism is once again in line with Cuviers approach. In his 1812 Preliminary
75 Poggi recalls the criticism levelled in 1838 by C. G. Ehrenbergs Die Infusionsthierchen als vollkommene [sic!] Organismen (Leipzig) against the alleged simple structure of the Infusorien, which supported creationism (Poggi 2000, note 35, 536) and the clarity of the sketch of Okens theory provided in 1844 by C. Gttler, Lorenz Oken und sein Verhltnis zur modernen Entwickelungslehre: the originary state of the organic is a mucosa or foam constitued by a spheric conglomerate of organic units. Its fluid and solid parts come to clash under the action of oxidation forming a blister that is solid at the border and fluid at the center and where the three fundamental processes of nutrition, digestion and putrefaction come together (Poggi 2000 note 36, 536). 76 See: Poggi 2000, 47184 on Kiesers works; 5126 on the kind of research behind the review Archiv fr den thierischen Magnetismus (Kieser, Eschenmayer and Nees von Esenbeck); 48588, 49093, 49596 on the use of relations of polarity to understand the internal and external structures of the plants in botanics (C. G. Nees von Esenbeck). On the problem of the experimental procedures of the Romantic science see: Schulz 1993. 77 See Petrys note at p. 140,20 in Hegel 1970b, III 32829.

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Discourse Cuvier offers a critical survey of the reproduction in Germany of the fanciful speculative ideas on the origins expounded by Bertrand de Maillet in his Talliamed, where he posited a single unit of vegetable-animal life, the organic molecule (Wilson 2006, 379): they say that everything was fluid in origin; that the fluid generated animals that at first were very simple, such as monads or other microscopic species of infusoria; that in the course of time and by taking up diverse habits, the races of these animals became more complex, and diversified to the point where we see them today. (Cuvier 1997, 200: my italics)

2.5. The vitality of Hegels life As biology was becoming an autonomous science, the issue at stake around 1800 was to elevate the doctrine of living nature to the rank of a proper science, at the same level [as the doctrine] of lifeless nature, which required determining the conditions for all natural forms and appearances, laws and causes (Treviranus, 1802, 4),78 as well as finding the adequate conceptual tools to grasp this kind of reality. This is the background against which we must consider Hegels Idea of life, keeping in mind that reductionists stressed that, in general, both animal and human bodies have the universal (mechanical) properties of bodies, such as extension, impenetrability, divisibility, and gravity (see: Autenrieth 1801, 4: 3). These reductionists thus recast the (Aristotelian) idea of the intentional formation of organs into the idea of the diversity of form from an uniform ground (Autenrieth 1801, 5: 34).79
See: Illetterati 1992, 427 ff. In Ferrini 2009, 10708 I have shown that from books owned by Hegel (Ackermann 1805, Meyer 1805; see: Neuser 1987, entry 2, 480 and entry 140, 489) and present in Jenas libraries we can see how he responded to a line of the natural science of his time that sought to identify the cause of the motion of the body parts (that is, the cause of what they called life; Autenrieth 1801, 8283) within the realm of physical forces (Ackermann 1805, xvi) and to determine the laws of organic life according to fundamental physical principles (Ackermann 1805, xii). This trend denied the existence of either a vital force (Lebenskraft) or a principle of life (Lebensprinzip: Meyer 1805, 27). There I also examine Hegels 1807 criticism of both Kielmeyers account of the outward aspect of the organic forms through laws of compensation
78 79

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By contrast, anti-reductionists emphasised the existence of vital forces which could not be brought under the known laws governing the physical forces of inorganic nature.80 This trend received a significant impulse from Bichats 1799/1800 Recherches. In 354Z and 355 Hegel cites and praises Bichats distinction between sensibility and irritability, the two orders of functions present in the organic and animal life, paying attention in the Addition to Bichats account of them.81 Bichat opened his work with what he himself calls an abstract, general definition of life: life is the set of functions that resist death (Bichat 1955, 1). Within animal life, the first order of living functions runs from outwardness to inwardness and is constituted by the sensitive external organ sending information to the brain; the second order runs from inwardness to outwardness, and is constituted by the brain sending information to the agents of locomotion and utterance (Bichat 1955, 48). Focussing on the existence of vital forces, Bichat underscores the totally different character and organization of the organic compared to the inorganic (Bichat 1955, 83), and points to the immense interval separating physics and chemistry from the science of organic bodies. This interval arises not because the phenomena of the first two sciences are ruled by laws and the others not, but because the same (uniform) laws governed the phenomena of physics and chemistry,82 whereas the variations and instability of vital forces inhibits any purely chemical analysis (Bichat 1955, 82 83). In 1822, Blainville summarized the previous 20 years of research on organic nature and life as follows:
based on direct or inverse quantitative relations, and H. Steffenss Schellingian attempt to extend analogically to organics the decomposing and interactive model of the newest chemistry (Lavoisier). 80 Brandis 1795 7: 15, 23; and: 8: 29. See Engels 1994 on the attempt to clarify the significance and use of the concept of Lebenskraft, as metaphysical construction or methodological instrument, in German biology and medicine around 1800. 81 See: TWA 9, 355Z: 45559; cf. Hegel 1970b III, 12627. DHondt has shown that Hegel quotes from the first edition of Bichats Recherches and does not use the 1822 edition with the notes of his pupil Magendie, who challenged exactly Bichats distinction between organic and animal nature. It was Michelet who referred to the later edition; see: DHondt 1986, 143. On the methodological problem represented by Michelets 1842 editing of the Addition to Hegels Philosophy of Nature, who simply conflated all the material he had available, some of which dated as early as 1805, and some from as late as 1830, see: Petry 1986, 18. 82 Bichat 1955, 84; see: Illetterati 1995b, 20102.

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by organs (organa, instrumenta) we understand, according to the etymology [], a sort of tool, whose work, or combination of functions, gives rise to that incomprehensible phenomenon that we call life.83 (Blainville 1822, 4: 15) Blainville then refers to Bichats and Cuviers definitions of life. He remarks that the former is trivial in its certainty, amounting to the claim that life is not death, whereas the latter is closer to the truth (Blainville 1822, 15). In his Lectures Cuvier claimed that the force that keeps together the molecules despite the external forces which tend to separate them modifies our ideas of the phenomenon of life: in the place of a constant union within the molecules, we have to see a continuous circulation from outwardness to inwardness and from inwardness to outwardness, constantly enduring and hence fixed between certain limits. (Cuvier 1800,45) Following Cuviers own notion of foyer (Cuvier 1800, 5), Blainville writes: a living body is a sort of foyer chimique where at any moment there is an ingress of new molecules and an egress of old ones; where the combination is never fixed [] but always in nisu, so to speak; hence the continuous motion and occasional warmth. Life is then the result of a sort of chemical combination, or better, the moment of the tendency to combination that repeats itself for a longer or shorter time and with a greater or lesser degree of energy. (Blainville 1822, 4: 16, my italics) We know that Hegel was aware of the fact that to define life in terms of a tendency to chemical combination was the major trend of the sensible (sinnige) consideration of nature characteristic of the French school,84 for Blainvilles book was in his private library (Neuser 1987, entry 27, 482). Nevertheless he introduced explicit and extensive reference to Bichat only in the third edition of the Encyclopaedia and, as we have seen, he proved it to be philosophically necessary that in life animal processes always
Incomprhensible is not in italics in the original text. On the chemical trend in Germany that rejected the use of any constitutive principle of inner finality for the study of the living being, see: Poggi 2000, 48182 on Links botanic research.
83 84

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sublate that is, incorporate as negated mechanical and chemical processes.85 To my knowledge, it has not been noticed that the physician and naturalist Schultz86 claimed that his discovery of the circulation of the vital sap in plants in analogy with the circulation of blood in animal organisms was in perfect accord with Hegels philosophy of nature (Schultz 1823, 11: 11). His work stands as an example of the direct influence that Hegels ideas had on some original German biological trends of his time, in so far as he could provide philosophical ground and justification to a move in the direction of subordinating chemistry to the higher, dynamic, order of inner vital relations of organisms, and of asserting a constitutive immanent relationship between the inside and outside of organic beings through purposiveness. In turn, as is the case with Pohl, Hegel believed to find confirmation from empirical research which claimed that scientific theory conformed to the necessary determination of the concept. In the philosophy of nature, Hegel accounts for Schultzs highly important discovery that the nutriment of the plant, by means of the cellular tissues and the spiral vessels of the wood, is transported into the circulatory system, so that the sap moves once it is assimilated (TWA 9, 346Z2: 40506). Hegel conceives the plants woodfibres or spiral vessels to result from the plants own division of itself into interior formations, organs, which Schultz had the merit to call life-vessels: Professor Schultz is so exacting in his empirical research (in seiner Empirie) as he philosophically grounds the point at issue (die Sache). (TWA 9, 3462Z: 400; cf. V 17, 179.32627) Moreover, in his work Schultz challenges the external power (uere Gewalt) of the analysis of the different basic chemical components of plants, or of the separation of muscles, nerves and blood from their functions in animal organisms due to the prevailing quest for the identification and isolation of their ultimate chemical
85 In the 1817 Encyclopaedia there is only a cursory mention of Bichats distinction between organic and animal forces and life, usually ascribed by mistake to Biot: see DHondt 1986, 143. Hegel owned the first edition of Bichats Recherches; cf. Neuser 1987, entry 27, 482. 86 Schultz, who earned his Habilitation in Berlin in 1822, may have attended Hegels 1819/20 course (his first in Berlin) on Naturphilosophie.

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components (Schultz 1823: xxi). In this way, Schultz shows how to endorse a holistic approach and to pursue a rational knowledge of the truth of nature (Schultz 1823: xii) redirecting his own research in botany, against his teachers view (Schultz 1823: xiv). In 1828, he supports the reintroduction of purposiveness in botany as a real, objective principle of explanation (Schultz 1828, 40: 129), implicitly challenging Kants heuristic teleological judgment (AA V 64: 37071). Schultz raises the question whether the purpose of the tree is the leaf or the tree itself, describes the sequence of the development of the plant which ends with the wood, and stresses how it looks evident from the observation of the vital period of the tree that the final shape actually realizes the purpose constitutively at work since the beginning (Schultz 1828, 40: 129). What is interesting here is that Schultz reinforces and exemplifies his view by referring to the unity of teleology and physiology advanced by Carus in the Versuch einer Darstellung des Nervensystems (1814), who states as the goal of physiology to find the necessary connection of single organs to the entire organism, on the basis of their utility. An example of this quest for unity, typical of the time, is Heinrich Damerows effort. Damerow, one of the most important German psychiatrists of the XIX century, tried to unify the empirical sciences of the three natural kingdoms, mineralogy, botanics, and zoology by pointing to the joint venture between natural researchers and physicians (Damerow 1829, 22427). Medicine was seen as the science able to pursue a comprehensive genetic account according to the harmony of human nature (Damerow 1829, 228). A new twofold line of medical research was seen as the most promising: to unify psyche and body according to the genetic development of the psyche (the true natural history of the soul) on the one hand, and the quest for the harmony of outwardness and inwardness on the other (Damerow 1829, 28788), thus envisaging the future fortune of psychiatry as an anthropological medical art (Damerow 1829, 382 83).87 In this context, note that Damerow regards Hegels Naturphilosophie as the real philosophically scientific answer to the quest for knowing the whole, das Ganze (Damerow 1829, 222),
87 Engelhardt 2005, 110 recalls that a general feature of the time (he refers to a period that runs from M. A. Weickards Der Philosophische Arzt (177375, 21798) to W. Griesingers 1845 Pathologie und Therapie der psychischen Krankenheiten is that the evaluation of mental disease always implied also a philosophical judgment.

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which is able to prove the inadequacy of the empty formalism of a philosophy of nature based on analogies and quantitative relations (Zahlenverhltnisse) (Damerow 1829, 288).88 In short, Damerows approach is influenced by the anti-romantic ideas of Hegel, a distinctive feature often overlooked. 3 Conclusions In light of contemporary theoretical concerns, in 2005 Stephen Houlgate drew attention to Paul Davies claim that life succeeds in so far as it evades chemical imperatives. According to Houlgate, Hegels account of the relation between chemistry and life is in striking accord with such modern biological thinking (Houlgate 22005, 164).89 In a similar vein, in 2007 Filion reevaluated Hegels quest for the truth of nature and contrasts it favourably with the current epistemological interest in nominalist limitations of knowledge, seeing in Hegels work a model of rationality that escapes the extremes of quantitative formalism and technology on the one hand, and religious dogmatism on the other (Filion 2007, 31922). More recently, Wendell Kisner has initiated a debate about whether Hegels epistemological and ontological account of the
88 In Ferrini 2009, 11011. I made the point that Hegel clearly endorsed key features of Trommsdorfs (a chemist) criticism of the Schellingian approach (charged with mixing idealism and materialism and substituting poetry for experimental research), presenting himself to the Jena academic scene not as a mere mouthpiece of Schelling (as he was commonly regarded in 180103), but as someone who could provide working scientists reasons with a proper conceptual, speculative ground. Hegel owned Trommsdorfs 180204 works (Neuser 1987, entries 22123, 495) and Damerow 1829 (Neuser 1987, entry 52, 483). 89 Note that in 1794, Alexander von Humboldt, following the Edinburgh school of chemical physiology, defined life as a force (always bound to a certain part of caloric) in opposition to chemical relations. He thinks of a Lebenskraft which contrasts the free organization of the material components of a body, as it happens in putrefaction (Fulnis), where the elements acquire their own right (A. von Humboldt 1794, 2: 9) and dissolve chemical bonds: we call inert, inanimate matter, that matter the components of which are mixed according to the laws of chemical affinity, by contrast (hingegen) we call animated and organized bodies those which, notwithstanding a ceaseless effort, are hindered by a certain inner force to change their shape (Gestalt) (A. von Humboldt 1794, 1: 3). We call force of life (Lebenskraft) that inner force which dissolves the bonds of chemical affinity and hinders the free union of the elements into the bodies (A. von Humboldt 1794, 2: 9). Humboldt revised his position on the concept of vital force soon after Galvanis discovery, abandoning it in 1797/98: for an account of the German debate on Galvanism (Humboldt, Ritter) at the turn of the century, against the background of the debate between mechanism and vitalism, see: Segala 2009, 21112.

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category of life in the Science of Logic ought to be relevant to environmental ethics. He derives from Hegels onto-logos a normative framework, according to which ecosystems do not have an instrumental but an intrinsic value, though avoiding the subjective, anthropocentric extension of human rights to living beings, habitats and biological diversity (Kisner 200809; Stone 200809). From the historical point of view, recent interpretations of Hegels philosophy of nature emphasise his belief in the inadequacy of the metaphysics that underlies the natural science of his time, claiming that according to him the central assumption behind science is that natural forms are bare things. In contrast, Hegels own metaphysical view would seem to be that natural forms are rational agents, which act and transform themselves in accordance with rational requirements (Stone 2005, xii). From this standpoint, however, Hegels relationship with the empirical sciences is seen to be merely that of incorporating, reinterpreting, redescribing and relocating scientific claims. This in turn risks neglecting Hegels own impact on scientific quests, trends and development, as though unlike Schelling, who is widely acknowledged to have been engaged in the scientific debate of the time, Hegel had confined himself to observing and judging that debate. This kind of reading also risks missing the point that working scientists were themselves aware of the theoretical implications of their approaches and tools, and often turned to philosophy, including Hegels philosophy of nature, to oppose the analogies, arbitrariness of imagination and formalism of Romantic philosophy of nature a move that is sometimes (mistakenly) dismissed as one based only on spiritual, scientifically misguided concerns as well as to avoid the pitfalls of reductionism. In my view, to reconstruct the context, to update the research on his sources and to highlight the distinctive theoretical features of Hegels Idea of natural life means to recognise that Hegel makes a significant and specifically anti-Romantic and antivitalistic contribution to a functional, environmental integration of biosphere, geology and self-world of organisms, which influenced the working scientists of his time. Take for instance the quest for connecting physiology with philosophy and for showing the interconnectedness of (apparently) isolated phenomena within an articulate ideal whole, as advanced by

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the biologist and physiologist Johannes Mller in his 1824 Von dem Bedrfni der Physiologie nach einer philosophischen Naturbetrachtung (von Engelhardt 1992, 9293).90 Interpreters have generally referred back this approach to a romantic holistic heritage and in particular to the living totality of Schellings natura naturans and anima mundi as well as to Goethes sense of nature (cf. Moiso 1998a, 7989). Nevertheless, in 1992 von Engelhardt had already pointed out how Mller attended Hegels Berlin courses in the Winter Semester 1823/24 and kept the 1827 edition of Hegels Encyclopaedia in his own library (von Engelhardt 1992, 8788). In retracing Hegels influence on Mller, however, von Engelhardt seems to rely more on his own interpretive skills, for in documenting his claim he cites a sentence reported by du Boys-Reymond in a footnote of his Memoir of Mller: Hegel philosophiam me docet. As a matter of fact, such a record, taken from Mllers curriculum , seems to acknowledge a generic debt to Hegels teaching in respect to a complementary, integrative, though important aspect of Mllers broadly cultural, not strictly professional, development. Apparently, von Engelhardt quotes from the second (1887) edition of du BoysReymonds Gedchtnissrede auf Johannes Mller (von Engelhardt 1992, 88, note 6). However, in the first edition the sentence runs: Hegel philosophiam naturae me docet (my italics: Du BoyReymond 1860, 37, note 18). This more specific and professionally relevant version of the acknowledgment casts more objective, unquestionable light on the debt Mller owes to Hegel regarding his criticism of the formalistic romantic application of the physical notions of polarisation and axes to living nature, his reaction against any mystic [Platonic] physics, and his criticism of any holistic account which blurs distinctions (von Engelhardt 1991, 92 93). In short, Hegels multifaced contribution deserves fundamental reconsideration of its complexity, engagement with scientific debate and scholarly reception.

90 In Ferrini 2009 I have provided further references to scientists who had begun to conceptualize experience around 1800. I wish to thank Peter Mclaughlin to have pointed to my

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REFERENCES ABBREVIATIONS AA Immanuel Kant: Gesammelte Schriften. Herausgegeben von der Kniglich Preuischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Berlin 1900 ff. AA I: Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels (1755). In: Vorkritische Schriften I (17471756), 215368. AA II: Der einzig mgliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes. In: Vorkritische Schriften II (17571777), 63164. AA IV: Metaphysische Anfangsgrnde der Naturwissenschaften (1786), 465566. AA V: Kritik der Urtheilskraft (1790), 165486. AA VIII: Kleine Schriften (17841800). AA XX: Erste Einleitung in die Kritik der Urtheilskraft (1790), 195281. De part. anim. Aristotle: Parts of Animals. Engl. tr. by A. L. Peck. London / Cambridge, Ms. 1955. GW Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Gesammelte Werke. In Verbindung mit der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft herausgegeben von der Rheinisch-Westflischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Hamburg 1968 ff. GW 8: Jenaer Systementwrfe III (1805/06). Herausgegeben von Rolf-Peter Horstmann, 1976. GW 9: Phnomenologie des Geistes (1807). Herausgegeben von Wolfgang Bonsiepen und Reinhard Heede, 1980. HSW
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Johann Gottfried Herder: Smtliche Werke. B. Suphan (Hg.). Hildesheim 1967 (repr. 1881). HSW XIII: Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit. Part I, 1784; Part II, 1785. SSW Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling: Smmtliche Werke. Karl Friedrich August Schelling (Hg.). Stuttgart 18561861. SSW 1: 17921797, 1856.

V Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Vorlesungen. Ausgewhlte Nachschriften und Manuskripte. Hamburg 1983 ff. V 8: Vorlesungen ber die Geschichte der Philosophie. Teil 3. Griechische Philosophie. II. Plato bis Proklos. Herausgegeben von Pierre Garniron und Walter Jaeschke. Hamburg 1996. V 10: Vorlesungen ber die Logik. Berlin 1831. Nachgeschrieben von Karl Hegel. Herausgegeben von Udo Rameil unter Mitarbeit von Hans-Christian Lucas (). Hamburg 2001. V 15: Philosophische Enzyklopdie. Nrnberg 1812/13. Nachschriften von Christian Samuel Meinel und Julius Friedrich Heinrich Abegg. Herausgegeben von Udo Rameil. Hamburg 2002. V 16: Vorlesungen ber die Philosophie der Natur. Berlin 1819/20. Nachgeschrieben von Johann Rudolf Ringier. Herausgegeben von Martin Bondeli und Hoo Nam Seelmann. Hamburg 2002. V 17: Vorlesungen ber die Philosophie der Natur. Berlin 1825/26. Nachgeschrieben von Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Herausgegeben von Karol Bal, Gilles Marmasse, Thomas Siegfried Posch und Klaus Vieweg. Hamburg 2007. TWA Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Werke in zwanzig Bnden. Werke in zwanzig Bnden. Auf der Grundlage der Werke von 18321845

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(1822). Ideelle Verherrlichung des empirisch erfassten Naturlebens. Leipzig. Burbidge, J. W. (1996). Real Process. How Logic and Chemistry Combine in Hegels Philosophy of Nature. Toronto. (2007). Hegels Systematic Contingency. Houndmills, Basingstoke. (22008). Historical Dictionary of Hegelian Philosophy. 2nd edition. Lanham, Md. Chiereghin, F. (1990). Finalit e idea della vita. La recezione hegeliana della teleologia di Kant. In: Verifiche XIX, 12, pp.127229. Cuvier, F. (1829). Dictionnaire des sciences naturelles, dans lequel on traite mthodiquement des diffrens tres de la nature [] suivi dune biographie des plus clbres naturalistes. [] Par Plusieurs Professeurs du Museum national dhistoire naturelle, et des autres principales coles de Paris (18161830). Vol. LVIII, VertVy. Ed. by F. Cuvier. Strasbourg / Paris. Cuvier, G. (1800). Leons danatomie compare. Vol. I. Recuillies et publ. sous ses yeux par C. Dumeril. Paris. Cuvier, G. / Brongniart, A. (1808). Essai sur la gographie minralogique des environs de Paris. In: Journal des Mines 23, pp. 42158. (1997). Fossil Bones and Geological Catastrophes. New Translations & Interpretations of the Primary Texts by Martin J. S. Rudwick. Chicago / London.

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