Chapter

Early Theories of Development: Blumenbach and Kant

in The Romantic Conception of Life

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780226712109
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226712185 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226712185.003.0005
Early Theories of Development: Blumenbach and Kant

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Goethe's experiences, his ideas, even his scientific theories can be found transmuted, emerging under protean forms, in his poetry and plays. This chapter discusses various theories of life that animated biological discourse during the early Romantic period. Scholars used to maintain that Schelling and Goethe had anticipated the principal evolutionary theories of the nineteenth century, those of Lamarck and Darwin in particular. The principal objection, however, to amalgamation of the Kantian and Blumenbachean research projects concerns their respective understanding of the science of life. For Kant, an organism was one in which “every part is reciprocally an end and a means.” Blumenbach made no distinction between a regulative, reflective principle and a constitutive, determinate principle.

Keywords: Blumenbachean; Kantian; principle; Romantic period; Schelling

Chapter.  12875 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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