Human Nature, Cosmic Evolution and Modernity in Hölderlin


  • Neil Paul Cummins Lancaster University


Holderlin, Human Nature, Organismic Evolution, Fate, Culture, Technology, Modernity, Environmental Crisis, Human Suffering, Anthropocentricism


The German Romantic Friedrich Houml;lderlin developed a unique perspective on the relationship between humankind and the rest of nature. He believed that humanity has a positive role to play in cosmic evolution, and that modernity is the crucial stage in fulfilling this role. In this paper I will be arguing for a reinterpretation of his ideas regarding the position of humankind in cosmic evolution, and for an application of these ideas to the lsquo;environmental crisisrsquo; of modernity. This reinterpretation is significant because it entails an inversion of the conventional notion of causality in the lsquo;environmental crisisrsquo;; instead of humans lsquo;harmingrsquo; nature, in the reinterpretation it is nature that causes human suffering.

Author Biography

Neil Paul Cummins, Lancaster University

Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy. Postgraduate.




How to Cite

Cummins, N. P. (2007). Human Nature, Cosmic Evolution and Modernity in Hölderlin. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 3(1), 18–32. Retrieved from