Chapter

Klelmeyer and the Organic Powers of Nature

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/9780226712185.003.0006
Klelmeyer and the Organic Powers of Nature

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Kielmeyer remains an enigmatic figure. Kielmeyer attempted to demonstrate from inductive evidence that teleological laws operated in nature in the same manner as mechanistic laws and that such telic laws explained the balance of faculties throughout the animal kingdom. These laws gave an account not only of the development of the embryo, but also the development of species out of one another and, ultimately, out of the inorganic. Kielmeyer distinguished five different organic forces. Kielmeyer drew some far-reaching conclusions from his analysis of the shifting equilibria expressed throughout the living world. These conclusions had to do with the origin of species. Kielmeyer developed a conception of organic powers, much in the tradition of his own teacher Blumenbach, that closely allied his ideas with those of the Naturphilosophen, especially Schelling.

Keywords: Kielmeyer; organic; nature; mechanistic laws; equilibria

Chapter.  6379 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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