Hegel’s Philosophy of Natural and Human Spaces

Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in German Idealism book series (PHGI)


This chapter begins with Hegel’s definitions of nature and space in the second part of his Encyclopedia, and focuses on the progressive subordination of mere spatial juxtapositions within the philosophy of nature’s system of degrees, from quantitative to qualitative stages: from mechanical and external relations to the configuration of the regions of the earth. This paper retraces the immanent, progressive transition from nature to spirit through forms of subjective “appropriations” of externality. In Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit, within “subjective spirit,” geography aims to conceive the necessity involved in the determinate articulations of continental masses and seas. In relation to geography, Hegel treats corresponding physical and spiritual human differences as the life of spirit still immersed in its natural world. This prepares for including geography within the philosophy of history.


Space and time Externality Mechanics Determination of place Environmental space Human space Spatial unity of light Geography and history 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly

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