Conferences - 2015 Archive

Nature and the Philosophy of Nature in German Idealism and Romanticism

Frau am Strand von Rügen

Caspar David Friedrich, German, c1818, Oil on canvas, 8.5 x 11.8 in.

15-17 June 2015
CCANESA Boardroom
Level 4, Madsen Building
University of Sydney

Over the last two decades, there has been an immense revival of interest in German romanticism and idealism. Philosophers working in a variety of areas have embraced the ideas of the German romantics and idealists, disentangling them from false or misunderstood legacies, and reexamining them in light of contemporary debates.

In spite of this increase of interest, however, one of the key concerns of romanticism and idealism remains largely overlooked. The idea of nature, the relation between the human being and the natural world, and the notion of a philosophy of nature were, arguably, the most central and definitive concerns of philosophers around 1800. This is evident not only in Kant’s Critique of Judgment, but also in Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, Hegel’s philosophies of nature and history, Goethe’s scientific and methodological writings, Herder’s anthropology and philosophy of science, as well as Friedrich Schlegel’s and Novalis’s theoretical and poetic accounts of the natural world and the human place within it.

This conference aims to shed light on the romantic and idealist concern with nature and the philosophy of nature by posing and responding to the following questions:

  • What is the idea of nature, and what is the relation between nature and culture?
  • What is the meaning of a philosophy of nature?
  • What are the various methodologies by which to approach nature philosophically?
  • How does the philosophy of nature differ from, complement, or develop the accounts of nature offered in the sciences of the time?
  • What is the legacy of the romantic and idealist conceptions of nature?


The conference schedule can be downloaded here.

Rethinking Intellectual History

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and His Wife (Marie-Anne-Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836)

Jacques Louis David, French, 1788, Oil on canvas, 102 x 76 in. 1977.10

7-9 April 2015
The University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

The conference theme focuses on ten topic areas with the aim of stimulating discussion across disciplines about the past and future of intellectual history.

  • History of Economic Thought
  • Women and Intellectual History
  • Biography, Autobiography and the Individual Life
  • History (or Historiography) of Intellectual History and/or the History of Ideas
  • Visual Ideas and the History of Art
  • 'Ancient' and 'Modern' Debates
  • The Project and Process of Enlightenment
  • History of Science and Intellectual History
  • History of Political Thought
  • History of Legal Thought

In addition to sessions devoted to the specific conference themes, there will also be a general section, covering any aspect of intellectual history.

Click here for further details