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The Romantic Conception of LifeScience and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe$
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Robert J. Richards

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226712109

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226712185.001.0001

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The Early Romantic Movement

The Early Romantic Movement

(p.17) Chapter 2 The Early Romantic Movement
The Romantic Conception of Life
University of Chicago Press

The romantic mentality that ramified through Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was nurtured in the friendships and passions that held together the group that became known as “the early Romantics.” The early Romantics were poets and painters, philosophers and historians, theologians and scientists. The Romantics, however, often appreciably diverged from one another in their conceptions of the operations of sensation, imagination, and reason; and, indeed, they frequently assessed the functions of these faculties differently at different stages of their own intellectual developments. The powerful passions that held them together refracted their philosophical commitments, but then eventually repelled them from one another—passions that transmogrified from lingering fascination, to erotic love, and finally to destructive hate. The Romantic “movement” or “school,” then, is best conceived as constituted not by a group displaying a unanimity of ideas but by sympathetically minded individuals, by thinkers whose mutually supportive considerations of philosophy, literature, and science became enmeshed in the tangle of their personal and professional relationships.

Keywords:   romantic movement, historians, scientists, early Romantics, development

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