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The Halle Orphanage as Scientific CommunityObservation, Eclecticism, and Pietism in the Early Enlightenment$
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Kelly Joan Whitmer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226243771

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226243801.001.0001

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Building a Scientific Community

Building a Scientific Community

(p.20) Two Building a Scientific Community
The Halle Orphanage as Scientific Community

Kelly Joan Whitmer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the efforts of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and the first director of the Orphanage, August Hermann Francke, to devise a “new way” to teach mathematics and experimental physics in the Orphanage schools—and to turn the school into a space for research by assembling a collection of curious things, including a variety of scientific instruments such as burning mirrors and an air pump. Tschirnhaus is a figure commonly associated with the German Enlightenment, yet he was attracted to Pietism, particularly the early face of movement in Germany: Philipp Jakob Spener. Francke hosted Tschirnhaus at the Orphanage and took his recommendations very seriously. This chapter also considers both Leibniz and Francke’s interest in using the combined resources of the Orphanage and the Berlin Academy of Sciences, which Francke joined in 1701, to attract the attention of Tsar Peter I and to found a Protestant mission capable that would challenge the success of Jesuit missions abroad.

Keywords:   Berlin Academy of Sciences, Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Protestant mission, The new way, curiosity cabinet, Philipp Jakob Spener, August Hermann Francke

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