Volume 38, Issue 1/2, Fall/Spring 2006/2007
Reason at Play
The Place of Schellingian Childishness in the Phenomenology’s Dialectic of Reason
In both the Phenomenology’s discussion of the observation of organic nature and in its section on the “Spiritual Animal Kingdom” Hegel shows how superficial reason can be when it becomes too playful. In these sections, I argue, Hegel is directing his comments at least in part at Schelling. Reading Hegel’s comments on play in light of Schelling’s Nature and Transcendental Philosophies reveals both the limitations and the necessit y of play in reason’s struggle to find itself in the world.