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Measure and hybris in the modern science: infinitesimal calculus and atomic theory in Hegel's 'Doctrine of Being'

Grant number: 15/19065-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Marcos Lutz Müller
Grantee:Fábio Mascarenhas Nolasco
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):18/13205-3 - Measure and measureless in modern science: calculus and atomism within Hegels Doctrine of Being, BE.EP.PD


In Measure, Hegel's last chapter of the Doctrine of Being of the Science of Logic, the philosopher reaches, simultaneously, an end-point to two projects: (a) the destruction of the typically modern concept of scientific law and (b) the logical clearance of traditional ontology. Departing from the logical deconstruction of infinitesimal calculus, presented in the intermediary chapter of the Doctrine of Being, Quantity, Hegel now approaches critically the demands to scientificity claimed by the atomic theory of chemistry, which, in the first years of the 19th century, was on the verge of its scientific consolidation. Hegel's attempt is, thus, to argue against such demands - based (until today) upon utter metaphysical claims - of quantifying the chemical relations as if matter itself were indeed really composed of such quantity-elements: the atoms. The elucidation of this Hegelian undertaking - of the utmost importance to the passage from Doctrine of Being to the Doctrine of Essence - is a task which consists in presenting the confluency of two concepts (possibly the nuclear operators within the whole of the Doctrine of Being): the concept of power-relation (Potenzverhältnis) and that of elective-affinity. This task, however, could not be properly carried out within the sole analysis of the text of the Science of Logic. It is, thus, necessary that one deals with the scientific treatises with which Hegel himself then worked. Furthermore, that one attempts to elucidate the relation between such Hegelian concepts, themes taken out of Schelling's speculative philosophy of nature and some of the scientific intuitions of Goethe. This is what we intend to carry out. (AU)

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