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The Gestation of German Biology – Philosophy and Physiology from Stahl to Schelling - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Gestation of German Biology: Philosophy and Physiology from Stahl to Schelling

John H. Zammito


This study traces the gestation of German biology from the debate about organism between Stahl and Leibniz to the formulation of developmental morphology in the era of Kielmeyer and Schelling. Over the eighteenth century, inspired by the “Queries” in Newton’s Opticks, “experimental Newtonianism” opened new fields for empirical inquiry. Some naturalists undertook to reformulate a portion of descriptive natural history (the catalogue of living things) into a distinct branch of explanatory natural philosophy (ultimately, the science of biology). Led by Buffon, a new, historical approach to org ... More

Keywords: experimental Newtonianism, vital materialism, historicization of nature, epigenesis, developmental morphology, Albrecht von Haller, Caspar Friedrich Wolff, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer, Naturphilosophie

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226520797
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226520827.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John H. Zammito, author
Rice University