Hermann Lotze

Hermann Lotze : An Intellectual Biography

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As a philosopher, psychologist, and physician, the German thinker Hermann Lotze (1817-81) defies classification. Working in the mid-nineteenth-century era of programmatic realism, he critically reviewed and rearranged theories and concepts in books on pathology, physiology, medical psychology, anthropology, history, aesthetics, metaphysics, logic, and religion. Leading anatomists and physiologists reworked his hypotheses about the central and autonomic nervous systems. Dozens of fin-de-siecle philosophical contemporaries emulated him, yet often without acknowledgment, precisely because he had made conjecture and refutation into a method. In spite of Lotze's status as a pivotal figure in nineteenth-century intellectual thought, no complete treatment of his work exists, and certainly no effort to take account of the feminist secondary literature. Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography is the first full-length historical study of Lotze's intellectual origins, scientific community, institutional context, and worldwide reception.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 30 b/w illus.
  • 1139027417
  • 9781139027410

Table of contents

Introduction: a scientific biography between Biedermeier and modern cosmopolitan thought; Part I. Youth in Biedermeier: 1. Ancestry and education of a cultural reformer (1817-34); 2. Education in medical thought and practice: working explanations (1834-8); 3. Education in philosophy: the mathematical construction of space (1834-9); 4. A Gestalt metaphysics: laws, events, and values (1838-41); 5. Applying hypotheses in pathology and therapy (1838-42); 6. The dual model of explanation and speculation (1838-43); Part II. Emerging Bourgeois Liberalism: 7. Levels of physiological explanation (1843-51); 8. The physical-mental mechanism: an alternative to psychophysics (1846-52); 9. Inner migration or disguised reform: political interests of philosophical anthropology (1852-64); 10. Educating the bourgeois liberal in a culturally conservative time (1852-8); 11. The psychological turn of liberal theology (1858-64); Part III. The System in the Bismarck Period: 12. Empathy and beauty: moving aesthetics into the public sphere (1864-7); 13. Logic between scientific inquiry and speculative thought (1867-74); 14. The metaphysical foundations of modern science (1874-9); 15. The personal is the political: a cosmopolitan ethics (1864-81); Postscript: historiographic lessons of Lotze research.
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Review quote

'This is a work of the highest significance ... it promises to be, first, the only contemporary study of a seminal but neglected thinker and, second, an important contribution to the still nascent, yet growing and much-needed, intellectual history of the academic nineteenth century. This marvelous book is a remarkable and groundbreaking accomplishment.' David Sullivan, Metropolitan State University of Denver 'This book is admirable and ambitious, and the scholarship is outstanding. Dr Woodward's command of the diverse, technically complex body of intellectual history is truly impressive.' R. Steven Turner, University of New Brunswick 'Woodward's book offers much previously unavailable information along with many illuminating insights into Lotze's life and thought. It will prove an indispensable resource for those who explore Hermann Lotze and should help spur interest in this most important philosopher of the mid-nineteenth century.' Nikolay Milkov, Metascience 'William Woodward's biography of the philosopher, physician, natural scientist, and psychologist Hermann Lotze (1817-1881) is the first complete intellectual biography of Lotze. It includes an overview of his theories, as well as of his life path. As the title suggests, this biography is oriented toward classical intellectual history and the history of ideas, rather than toward the new(er) cultural history and discourse analysis.' Laura Meneghello, Isis
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