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These are description, or "physiography"; theory, or "physiology"; and history, or "physiogony." Each is concerned with the same set of objects--those entities together called living nature--but in fundamentally different ways.
Finally, then, physiogony is the inquiry into life "in degree." No longer concerned with life in itself, the physiogonist writes its history.
But physiogony does separate out organic from inorganic nature, and it makes this distinction in part a historical one.
No longer defining them in pathological terms, physiogony reframes deformity and disease as resistances immanent to the historical unfolding of life.
Thus, as he remarks in 1828: 4, "we may always, by modifying particular parts of the Human skeleton, reduce it to any of the preceding forms & develop out of it all the forms of mammals' skeletons." The point is further sharpened by 1840, when the project of physiogony is explicitly defined as "exhibi[ing] nature as labouring in birth with man, and her living products as so many significant types of the great process, which she is ever tending to complete in the evolution of the organic realm" (VD 38).
Constructed out of the deformed and fragmented bodies of nonhuman creatures, nature's "abortions," physiogony offers a history of life fundamentally antagonistic to its central term.
For Coleridge--much of whose work in the 1820s is shaped by the idea of a physiogony (34)--the division between humanity and animality is just as important, but rather more fraught.
Physiogony may be, as Anthony John Harding describes it, an "attempt to show how the findings of contemporary science might support a philosophical account of a rationally ordered universe." (35) And it does attempt to make sense of a fractured, seemingly aborted, scala naturae.
One could call it "physiogony," a term used by Coleridge and his follower J.
Beginning with physiography (Green's name for natural history), this scale proceeds to physiology or the study of the powers behind nature (or Naturphilosophie), and finally to physiogony as the imbuing of nature with historical purpose (102-3).
Or perhaps the history shadowed in this text through the development of freedom is a post-anthropological history that Schelling draws out of the physiogony of Robinet and Bonnet.
See also, Anthony John Harding's "Coleridge, Natural History, and the 'Analogy of Being,'" History of European Ideas 26 (2000): 143-58, where Harding identifies Coleridge's attempts in the 1820's to construct a philosophical system that would answer many of the limitations of the Biographia's argument in what he called a "physiogony."