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This philosophical biography constitutes a recovery of the life and thought of Henrich Steffens, a Danish philosopher and naturalist who lived at the height of classical German philosophy. Through his work, in ‘Henrich Steffens. Philosopher of Nature’, it is possible to relive the heated debate and sharing of ideas, admirably described and contextualised, between the great thinkers of the 19th century such as Goethe, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte and Schleiermacher. Steffens’ reappraisal of the ‘philosophy of nature’ coincides with a historical moment in which the relationship between human beings and the environment appears to be the most radical and, at the same time, the most lacking in perspectives. For Steffens, too, the return to nature was a goal: the imprint he left on the spirit of his age can be measured precisely from this task. His very existence was the path of a life, which gradually – and perhaps too late – became aware of itself, returning to its own nature. Burning spirit, then daring mineralogist, visionary philosopher, unseated knight, man of struggle and then of compromise, finally martyr to himself: Steffens lived many lives. Each of them represented a previously lost path that can still be beaten. The work, edited by Pier Francesco Corvino, offers an in-depth study of the figure of Steffens, set in a vivid panorama of the early 19th century context.

Pier Francesco Corvino (1994), from the Marche region, graduated in History of Societies, Institutions and Thought at the University of Trieste. He teaches philosophy, history and humanities in high schools and is an Expert in the History of Philosophy at the University of Trieste. He mainly deals with philosophical ecology and the history of thought between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is the author of essays and contributions, both monographic and in journals.