Collapse Volume V, 361–376


The Phoenix of Nature


There is a profound concept, the Phoenix of Nature, which deserves another look. Recent theoretical progressions are structuring information in startling ways. In light of this emerging information gestalt, a clarification of the Phoenix seems timely. The point is to advance towards a future integration of Kant.

The Phoenix of Nature appears in Kant’s second book, Universal History of Nature and Theory of the Sky. It emerges only once, in part two, chapter seven (Academy Edition 1:321), but it can be understood as the idea that holds the book together. Universal History of Nature was published anonymously in 1755. Most printed copies were committed to the flames, supposedly accidentally, but probably intentionally. Its key idea was provocative. Kant’s authorship contributed to his academic marginalisation until 1770…