Chapter

Scenes of Natural History

Nicholas Jardine

in The Scenes of Inquiry

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250395
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681288 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198250395.003.0002
Scenes of Natural History

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This chapter examines the notion of transformation of a scientific discipline, a major change in the range of questions real for certain communities of its practitioners. The opening sections present an account of the agenda of natural history in the mid-18th century and indications of the natural historical controversies of the latter half of that century. Then it looks into a specific framework that was widely adopted in the German lands for the pursuit of natural history set out by Immanuel Kant and J. F. Blumenbach around 1800. This framework defines the range of concerns of natural historians. The following sections consider the other schemes of Goethe, Schelling, and Oken. The final section illustrates an interpretation of the changes in terms of shifts of inquiry.

Keywords: historical controversies; Oken; Schelling; Goethe; Kant; Blumenbach; inquiry

Chapter.  17785 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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