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The Gestation of German BiologyPhilosophy and Physiology from Stahl to Schelling$
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John H. Zammito

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226520797

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226520827.001.0001

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Naturphilosophie and Physiology

Naturphilosophie and Physiology

Chapter:
(p.318) Chapter Eleven Naturphilosophie and Physiology
Source:
The Gestation of German Biology
Author(s):

John H. Zammito

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226520827.003.0012

Schelling’s Naturphilosophie provided a powerful theoretical support system for the innovations in physiology that established biology as a special science in the early nineteenth century. He clearly undertook – and was taken to be undertaking – a supercession of Kant’s philosophy of science in order to open the way for the “daring adventure of reason” necessary to create an empirical science of biology as a historical-developmental understanding of life forms. This chapter demonstrates the problematic relation of Kant to empirical physiology and medicine in this period and why the latter community of inquiry turned from him to Schelling. The crucial advocacy of Henrik Steffens marks this transition. Then the chapter explores Schelling’s engagement with Brownian medicine at the Bamberg General Hospital and then the University of Würzburg, culminating in the key journal Jahrbücher der Medizin als Wissenschaft. It concludes with a consideration of Ignaz Döllinger as a key mediator between the eighteenth-century gestation of biology, culminating in its embrace of Naturphilosophie, and the early nineteenth-century figures recognized as eminently engaged in a special science of biology, like Karl Ernst von Baer.

Keywords:   Kant, Schelling, Naturphilosophie, Brownian medicine, Henrik Steffens, Andreas Röschlaub, Bamberg General Hospital, Jahrbücher der Medizin als Wissenschaft, Ignaz Döllinger, Karl Ernst von Baer

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