Cloth $46.00 ISBN: 9780226712109 Published December 2002
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226712116 Published September 2004
E-book $7.00 to $22.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226712185 Published April 2010

The Romantic Conception of Life

Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe

Robert J. Richards

The Romantic Conception of Life
Bookmark and Share

Robert J. Richards

606 pages | 5 color plates, 39 halftones, 10 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2002
Cloth $46.00 ISBN: 9780226712109 Published December 2002
Paper $22.50 ISBN: 9780226712116 Published September 2004
E-book $7.00 to $22.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226712185 Published April 2010
"All art should become science and all science art; poetry and philosophy should be made one." Friedrich Schlegel's words perfectly capture the project of the German Romantics, who believed that the aesthetic approaches of art and literature could reveal patterns and meaning in nature that couldn't be uncovered through rationalistic philosophy and science alone. In this wide-ranging work, Robert J. Richards shows how the Romantic conception of the world influenced (and was influenced by) both the lives of the people who held it and the development of nineteenth-century science.

Integrating Romantic literature, science, and philosophy with an intimate knowledge of the individuals involved—from Goethe and the brothers Schlegel to Humboldt and Friedrich and Caroline Schelling—Richards demonstrates how their tempestuous lives shaped their ideas as profoundly as their intellectual and cultural heritage. He focuses especially on how Romantic concepts of the self, as well as aesthetic and moral considerations—all tempered by personal relationships—altered scientific representations of nature. Although historians have long considered Romanticism at best a minor tributary to scientific thought, Richards moves it to the center of the main currents of nineteenth-century biology, culminating in the conception of nature that underlies Darwin's evolutionary theory.

Uniting the personal and poetic aspects of philosophy and science in a way that the German Romantics themselves would have honored, The Romantic Conception of Life alters how we look at Romanticism and nineteenth-century biology.

The University of Chicago Press: Gordon J. Laing Award
Won

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Contents
Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue
1. Introduction: A Most Happy Encounter
PART ONE - THE EARLY ROMANTIC MOVEMENT IN LITERATURE PHILOSOPHY, AND SCIENCE
2. The Early Romantic Movement
3. Schelling: The Poetry of Nature
4. Denouement: Farwell to Jena
PART TWO - SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATIONS OF THE ROMANTIC CONCEPTION OF LIFE
5. Early Theories of Development: Blumenback and Kant
6. Kielmeyer and the Organic Powers of Nature
7. Johann Christian Reli's Romantic Theories of Life and Mind, or Rhapsodies on a Cat-Piano
PART THREE - GOETHE, A GENIUS FOR POETRY, MORPHOLOGY, AND WOMEN
10 - The Erotic Authority of Nature
11 - Goethe's Scientific Revolution
12 - Conclusion: The History of a Life in Art and Science
PART FOUR - EPILOGUE
13. The Romantic Conception of Life
14. Darwin's Romantic Biology
Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: Literature

Events in Literature

Keep Informed

JOURNALs in Literature