The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe
"All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both the lives of the people who held it and the development of nineteenth-century science.
Integrating Romantic literature, science, and philosophy with an intimate knowledge of the individuals involved—from Goethe and the brothers Schlegel to Humboldt and Friedrich and Caroline Schelling—Richards demonstrates how their tempestuous lives shaped their ideas as profoundly as their intellectual and cultural heritage. He focuses especially on how Romantic concepts of the self, as well as aesthetic and moral considerations—all tempered by personal relationships—altered scientific representations of nature. Although historians have long considered Romanticism at best a minor tributary to scientific thought, Richards moves it to the center of the main currents of nineteenth-century biology, culminating in the conception of nature that underlies Darwin's evolutionary theory.
Uniting the personal and poetic aspects of philosophy and science in a way that the German Romantics themselves would have honored, The Romantic Conception of Life alters how we look at Romanticism and nineteenth-century biology.
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A Most Happy Encounter I
UrTheilen des Knochen und Schalengerustes
The Early Romantic Movement
The Poetry of Nature
Farewell to Jena
The Meaning of Romanticism
Blumenbach and Kant
Kielmeyer and the Organic Powers of Nature
Mechanism Teleology and Evolution
Vital Force from Holler to Humboldt
Plate from Luigi Galvani De viribus ekctricitatis
The Erotic Authority of Nature
Goethes Scientific Revolution
The History of a Life in Art and Science
The Romantic Conception of Life
aesthetic Alexander von Humboldt animal archetype artist beauty became become Berlin Bildungstrieb biological Blumenbach Briefe Caroline Bohmer causal century Charles Darwin Charlotte von Stein conception consciousness creative Critique Darwin discussion Einleitung empirical Entwurf essay evolution experience feeling Fichte Fichte's forces French Friedrich Schelling Friedrich Schiller Friedrich Schlegel genius German Goethe Goethe's Hardenberg Henriette Herz Henrik Steffens Herder human Ibid ideal ideas individual infinite initially intellectual intuition Jena Johann Christian Reil Johann Friedrich Blumenbach judgment Kant Kant's Kantian Karl Kielmeyer kind Kritische later laws ldeen lectures letter mind moral morphology nature Naturphilosophie Novalis object Oken organic original philosophy plants poem poet poetic poetry principle produced Reil Reil's relationship representation Rhapsodieen Romantic Romanticism Schelling's Schellings Werke Schiller Schleiermacher scientific Sdmtliche Werke seems species Spinoza Steffens Stein structure teleological theory thought tion transcendental University Verlag vols Weimar Weltseele Werther Wilhelm Schlegel wrote young
Page 555 - It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an advancement in the standard of morality and an increase in the number of well-endowed men will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another.
Page 556 - There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection.
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