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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

To this province belongs inorganic nature


PHYSICS.--But matter possesses no individuality. Even in astronomy it is not the bodies themselves, but only their geometrical relations which interest us. We have here at the outset to treat of quantitative and not yet of qualitative determinations. Yet in the solar system, matter has found its centre, itself. Its abstract and hollow being _in se_ has resolved itself into form. Matter now, as possessing a quality, is an object of _physics_. In physics we have to do with matter which has particularized itself in a body, in an individuality. To this province belongs inorganic nature, its forms and reciprocal references.

3. ORGANICS.--Inorganic nature, which was the object of physics, destroys itself in the chemical process. In the chemical process, the inorganic body loses all its properties (cohesion, color, shining, sound, transparency, &c.), and thus shows the evanescence of its existence and that relativity which is its being. This chemical process is overcome by the organic, the living process of nature. True, the living body is ever on the point of passing over to the chemical process; oxygen, hydrogen and salt, are always entering into a living organism, but their chemical action is always overcome; the living body resists the chemical process till it dies. Life is self-preservation, self-end. While therefore nature in physics had risen to individuality, in organics, it progresses to subjectivity. The idea, as life, represents itself

in three stages.

(1.) The general image of life in _geological_ organism, or the _mineral kingdom_. Yet the mineral kingdom is the result, and the residuum of a process of life and formation already passed. The primitive rock is the stiffened crystal of life, and the geological earth is a giant corpse. The present life which produces itself eternally anew, breaks forth as the first moving of subjectivity,

(2.) In the organism of _plants_ or the _vegetable kingdom_. The plant rises indeed to a formative process, to a process of assimilation, and to a process of species. But it is not yet a totality perfectly organized in itself. Each part of the plant is the whole individual, each twig is the whole tree. The parts are related indifferently to each other; the crown can become a root, and the root a crown. The plant, therefore, does not yet attain a true being _in se_ of individuality; for, in order that this may be attained, an absolute unity of the individual is necessary. This unity, which constitutes an individual and concrete subjectivity, is first seen in

(3.) The _animal_ organism, the _animal kingdom_. An uninterrupted intus-susception, free motion and sensation, are first found in the animal organism. In its higher forms we find an inner warmth and a voice. In its highest form, man, nature, or rather the spirit, which works through nature, apprehends itself as conscious individuality, as Ego. The spirit thus become a free and rational self, has now completed its self-emancipation from nature.

III. PHILOSOPHY OF MIND.--1. THE SUBJECTIVE MIND.--The mind is the truth of nature; it is being removed from its estrangement, and become identical with itself. Its formal essence, therefore, is freedom, the possibility of abstracting itself from every thing else; its material essence is the capacity of manifesting itself as mind, as a conscious rationality,--of

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