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The Gestation of German Biology

Philosophy and Physiology from Stahl to Schelling

John H. Zammito

The Gestation of German Biology

John H. Zammito

560 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226520797 Will Publish December 2017
E-book $45.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226520827 Will Publish December 2017
The emergence of biology as a distinct science in the eighteenth century has long been a subject of scholarly controversy. Michel Foucault, on the one hand, argued that its appearance only after 1800 represented a fundamental rupture with the natural history that preceded it, marking the beginnings of modernity. Ernst Mayr, on the other hand, insisted that even the word "biology" was unclear in its meaning as late as 1800, and that the field itself was essentially prospective well into the 1800s.
 
In The Gestation of German Biology, historian of ideas John Zammito presents a different version of the emergence of the field, one that takes on both Foucault and Mayr and emphasizes the scientific progress throughout the eighteenth century that led to the recognition of the need for a special science. The embrace of the term biology around 1800, Zammito shows, was the culmination of a convergence between natural history and human physiology that led to the development of comparative physiology and morphology—the foundations of biology. Magisterial in scope, Zammito’s book offers nothing less than a revisionist history of the field, with which anyone interested in the origins of biology will have to contend.
Contents

Introduction. The Gestation of German Biology

Chapter One. Animism and Organism: G. E. Stahl and the Halle Medical Faculty
Chapter Two. Making Life Science Newtonian: Albrecht von Haller’s Self-Fashioning as Natural Scientist
Chapter Three. Albrecht von Haller as Arbiter of German Medicine: Göttingen and Bern (1736–1777)
Chapter Four. French Vital Materialism
Chapter Five. Taking Up the French Challenge: The German Response
Chapter Six. From Natural History to History of Nature: From Buffon to Kant and Herder (and Blumenbach)
Chapter Seven. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and the Life Sciences in Germany: His Rise to Eminence from the 1770s
Chapter Eight. Blumenbach, Kant, and the “Daring Adventure” of an “Archaeology of Nature”
Chapter Nine. Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer and “an Entirely New Epoch of Natural History”
Chapter Ten. Polarität und Steigerung: The Self-Organization of Nature and the Actualization of Life
Chapter Eleven. Naturphilosophie and Physiology

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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