New PDF release: Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany,

By Denise Phillips

ISBN-10: 0226667375

ISBN-13: 9780226667379

ISBN-10: 1770185097

ISBN-13: 9781770185098

Although a few of the sensible and highbrow traditions that make up glossy technological know-how date again centuries, the class of “science” itself is a relative novelty. within the early eighteenth century, the trendy German observe that might later suggest “science,” naturwissenschaft, used to be now not even incorporated in dictionaries. by way of 1850, despite the fact that, the time period was once in use all over the place. Acolytes of Nature follows the emergence of this crucial new class inside German-speaking Europe, tracing its upward thrust from a trifling eighteenth-century neologism to a defining rallying cry of contemporary German culture.

Today’s inspiration of a unified common technological know-how has been deemed an invention of the mid-nineteenth century. but what Denise Phillips finds this is that the belief of naturwissenschaft acquired a favorite position in German public existence a number of a long time past. Phillips uncovers the evolving outlines of the class of average technology and examines why Germans of various social station and highbrow commitments got here to discover this label necessary. An increasing schooling procedure, an more and more brilliant client tradition and concrete social lifestyles, the early levels of industrialization, and the emergence of a liberal political move all essentially altered the realm during which trained Germans lived, and in addition reshaped the best way they labeled knowledge.

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Additional info for Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850

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52 In print forums, too, natural history and natural philosophy were often joined together with practical economic or technical topics. A journal like the Leipziger Magazin zur Naturkunde, Mathematik, und Oekonomie was one example among many. 53 Even bibliographies that did not advertise that they included works of Oekonomie often did. 55 This scheme of classification, the roots of which could be traced back to antiquity, took on new life in the late eighteenth century. 56 In describing the ways that natural philosophy or natural history could be useful to economic practice, eighteenth-century authors proceeded differently than would their nineteenth-century grandchildren.

76 In such a dynamic and socially heterogeneous landscape, defining the boundaries of the learned world was a tricky task. Educated Germans worked out their answers to this conundrum through the varying trajectories of their individual lives, the evolving networks of local learned sociability, and the back-and-forth of published debate. Under the cumulative pressure of these negotiations, early modern habits of classifying knowledge (and knowledge makers) strained to a breaking point, and new categories like science appeared in their stead.

The three fields Karsten covered—natural history, natural philosophy, and chemistry—were usually treated as separate sciences, each deserving a textbook of its own. These three subjects had generally recognized parameters, which Karsten described briefly in his introduction. Natural history dealt with specific natural bodies, plant, animal, and mineral. Chemistry described the composition of matter and the rules that governed how different fundamental elements combined, while natural philosophy explained the causes at work in the physical world.

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Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850 by Denise Phillips


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