The origins of the UK Schelling Research Network are in a British Academy-funded project that ran between 2015 and 2017, entitled: Philosophies of Nature: Schelling and his Contemporaries. Details of the project are found below.
About the Project
What distinguishes a philosophical conception of nature from that of the natural sciences? And what might such a philosophy of nature add to our understanding of the natural world in these times of crisis? This project funded by the British Academy aims to answer this question by returning to the philosophers of nature of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries; figures such as F.W.J. Schelling, K.A. Eschenmayer, C.F. Kielmeyer, Henrik Steffens and Lorenz Oken. The aim is to both develop research on the philosophy of nature of Schelling and his contemporaries and develop a UK research network for those working in these and related fields.
Recent years have seen growth in Schelling research in the US and Canada, with the North American Schelling Society (NASS) established in 2012. NASS 2013 was attended by 40 early-career researchers, in addition to a 2013 National Endowment-funded summer school on Schelling’s philosophy of nature in Pittsburgh, attended by 55 early-career researchers. Yet in the UK, Schelling research has yet to benefit from such growth. Hence, the focus of this British Academy project is to provide training and networking opportunities for early-career researchers throughout the UK who work on the philosophy of nature and its history. There will be two workshops taking place in Liverpool and Bristol during Summer 2016, which aim to form a more sustained community of scholars in the UK working on early nineteenth-century philosophies of nature, history of science, as well as contemporary problems in the area (powers metaphysics; philosophical cosmology).
The workshops will involve participation from young researchers throughout the UK and abroad, as well as keynote addresses from a number of world-renowned scholars. They will be based around a set of new translations undertaken by the investigators at the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England of some of Schelling and his contemporaries’ more significant work.
Daniel Whistler, Lecturer in Modern European Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London
Whistler is the author of Schelling’s Theory of Symbolic Language: Forming the System of Identity (Oxford University Press 2013), as well as a number of articles on and translations from the Identitätsphilosophie, Naturphilosophie, Schelling’s philosophy of language and philosophy of religion. For more on his research, see here and here.
Iain Hamilton Grant, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of the West of England
Grant is the author of the ground-breaking study on Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, Philosophies of Nature after Schelling (Continuum 2008), as well as co-authoring Idealism: The History of a Philosophy (Acumen 2011). He has written extensively on all aspects of Schelling’s philosophy and his forthcoming Schelling-translation is entitled, On the World-Soul and other Naturephilosophical Writings (SUNY 2016). For more on his research, see here and here.
Charlotte Alderwick, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of the West of England
Alderwick recently completed her PhD thesis on the role of powers in Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, and the way that this ontology underlies the account of human freedom outlined in the Freiheitsschrift. For more on her research, see https://westengland.academia.edu/CharlotteAlderwick.
Two workshops in philosophy of nature funded by the British Academy took place in 2016.
Speakers included Lore Hühn (Freiburg University), Dalia Nassar (University of Sydney) and Paul Ziche (Utrecht University).
Texts discussed included:
F.W.J. Schelling, On the Relation of the Ideal and the Real in Nature
F.W.J. Schelling, Exhibition of the Process of Nature
Lorenz Oken, Elements of Physiophilosophy
G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Nature (Part II of the Encyclopedia)
F.W.J. Schelling, Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature
J.W. Goethe, The Metamorphosis of Plants
F.W.J. Schelling, Introduction to the First Outline of a Philosophy of Nature
K.A. Eschenmayer, Spontaneity = World-Soul
F.W.J. Schelling, On the True Concept of Philosophy of Nature
In May 2017, the project held a final conference at the University of the West of England, entitled: On Beginnings: Nature and the Philosophy of Mythology
Speakers included Sean McGrath (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Iain Hamilton Grant (University of the West of England), Wagner Felix (State University of Maringá), Daniel Whistler (University of Liverpool), Oriane Petteni (University of Liège), Lydia Azadpour (KU Leuven), Benjamin Berger (Haverford College) and Kirill Chepurin (UC Berkeley/HSE Moscow).