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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Nor correspond to the conception


_Objectivity_ is a reality _only_ of the conception. The objective conception has three steps,--_Mechanism_, or the indifferent relation of objects to each other; _Chemism_, or the interpenetration of objects and their neutralization; _Teleology_, or the inner design of objects. The end accomplishing itself or the self-end is,

(3.) _The idea._--The idea is the highest logical definition of the absolute. The immediate existence of the idea, we call _life_, or process of life. Every thing living is self-end immanent-end. The idea posited in its difference as a relation of objective and subjective, is the _true_ and _good_. The true is the objective rationality subjectively posited; the good is the subjective rationality carried into the objectivity. Both conceptions together constitute the _absolute idea_, which is just as truly as it _should_ be, _i. e._ the good is just as truly actualized as the true is living and self-realizing.

The absolute and full idea _is in space_, because it discharges itself from itself, as its reflection; this its being in space is _Nature_.

II. THE SCIENCE OF NATURE.--Nature is the idea in the form of differentiation. It is the idea externalizing itself; it is the mind estranged from itself. The unity of the conception is therefore concealed in nature, and since philosophy makes it its problem to seek out the intelligence which is hidden in nature,

and to pursue the process by which nature loses its own character and becomes mind, it should not forget that the essence of nature consists in being which has externalized itself, and that the products of nature neither have a reference to themselves, nor correspond to the conception, but grow up in unrestrained and unbridled contingency. Nature is a bacchanalian god who neither bridles nor checks himself. It therefore represents no ideal succession, rising ever in regular order, but, on the contrary, it every where obliterates all essential limits by its doubtful structures, which always defy every fixed classification. Because it is impossible to throw the determinations of the conception over nature, natural philosophy is forced at every point, as it were, to capitulate between the world of concrete individual structures, and the regulative of the speculative idea.

Natural philosophy has its beginning, its course, and its end. It begins with the first or immediate determination of nature, with the abstract universality of its being _extra se_, space and matter; its end is the dissevering of the mind from nature in the form of a rational and self-conscious individuality--man; the problem which it has to solve is, to show the intermediate link between these two extremes, and to follow out successively the increasingly successful struggles of nature to raise itself to self-consciousness, to man. In this process, nature passes through three principal stages.

1. MECHANICS, or matter and an ideal system of matter. Matter is the being _extra se_ (_Aussersichseyn_) of nature, in its most universal form. Yet it shows at the outset that tendency to being _per se_ which forms the guiding thread of natural philosophy--gravity. Gravity is the being _in se_ (_Insichseyn_) of matter; it is the desire of matter to come to itself, and shows the first trace of subjectivity. The centre of gravity of a body is _the one_ which it seeks. This same tendency of bringing all the manifold unto being _per se_ lies at the basis of the solar system and of universal gravitation. The centrality which is the fundamental conception of gravity, becomes here a system, which is in fact a rational system so far as the form of the orbit, the rapidity of motion, or the time of revolution may be referred to mathematical laws.

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