Conclusion: Mechanism, Teleology, and Evolution

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:
Conclusion: Mechanism, Teleology, and Evolution

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  • History of Science and Technology


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Scientific thinkers have postulated special force to explain the distinctive properties and activities of the living and nonliving worlds. Aristotle's conception of the world began to appear by turns both too circumscribed and too complex. It was too circumscribed for the likes of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton, under whose mathematical operations the spatially and temporally constrained universe of the ancients and medievals began to expand into infinity. Kant's mechanistic analysis of nature required a given: the noumenal realm had to provide the contingent factors of sensible qualities, which then would be organized through the activities of reason. Schelling's understanding of nature had other sources that directed him against the Newtonian conception of a mechanical universe.

Keywords: evolution; thinkers; medival; mechanistic analysis; Newton

Chapter.  6886 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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