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Modern NatureThe Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany$
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Lynn K. Nyhart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226610894

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610924.001.0001

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Introduction: The Biological Perspective and the Problem of a Modern Nature

Introduction: The Biological Perspective and the Problem of a Modern Nature

(p.1) Chapter One Introduction: The Biological Perspective and the Problem of a Modern Nature
Modern Nature
University of Chicago Press

This book addresses the relationship of the emergence of modern society to the construction of a modern vision of nature. It argues that the biological perspective embodied both the challenges and the opportunities presented by modern German society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It demonstrates that this biological perspective provided the conceptual foundation for the German version of animal ecology that developed in the early twentieth century. Moreover, it tries to illuminate the history of popular natural history in Germany by situating it in relation to the elite ideas understood to constitute “science” and the relations among the communities that produced both popular and elite knowledge of nature. The importance of Charles Darwin, Alexander von Humboldt, and Rudolf Leuckart is then discussed. An overview of the chapters included in this book is finally given.

Keywords:   modern German society, animal ecology, popular natural history, Charles Darwin, Alexander von Humboldt, Rudolf Leuckart

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