Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

How nature came to be thought: Schelling’s paradox and the problem of location

Grant, Iain Hamilton



In his Predication and Genesis, Wolfram Hogrebe reconstructs Schelling’s Ages of the World along the lines of a theory of predication, while asking, with Schelling, how it is that predication or judgment comes about. In one sense, therefore, the work asks, ‘how does reasoning arise in nature?’ In another, it affirms that “the world lies caught in the nets of reason; but the question is:
how did it come to be in these nets?”4 A philosophy of nature, in that it seeks precisely to embrace nature in reason or affirms that nature cannot – since “nature is incognizable” is a cognition – be considered a priori insusceptible to all cognitive strategies without begging the question, can neither avoid therefore the problem of the identity of nature in thought with nature before thought. While the first question posits that reasoning is contained in nature and the second, conversely, that nature is contained in reasoning, and since the two contradict one another, one can only be true if the other is false.With Schelling, however, I will argue first, that both are true and second, that it is because reasoning occurs in nature that nature comes to be contained in reason and that it is the reverse of this order that is importantly false. Otherwise, either reasoning, if it occurred in a world, could not reason about nature or it could only catch nature in its nets if that reasoning were other than the world in which it occurs.


Grant, I. H. (2013). How nature came to be thought: Schelling’s paradox and the problem of location. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 44(1), 24-43

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Deposit Date Apr 3, 2013
Journal Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology
Print ISSN 0007-1773
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 1
Pages 24-43
Keywords nature, topology, Schelling, field ontology
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations