By Denise Phillips
Although a few of the sensible and highbrow traditions that make up glossy technological know-how date again centuries, the class of “science” itself is a relative novelty. within the early eighteenth century, the trendy German note that will later suggest “science,” naturwissenschaft, used to be no longer even integrated in dictionaries. via 1850, even though, the time period was once in use all over. Acolytes of Nature follows the emergence of this crucial new type inside of German-speaking Europe, tracing its upward thrust from a trifling eighteenth-century neologism to a defining rallying cry of recent German culture.
Today’s inspiration of a unified normal technological know-how has been deemed an invention of the mid-nineteenth century. but what Denise Phillips unearths here's that the belief of naturwissenschaft acquired a famous position in German public existence a number of many years prior. Phillips uncovers the evolving outlines of the class of traditional technology and examines why Germans of various social station and highbrow commitments got here to discover this label valuable. An increasing schooling procedure, an more and more bright buyer tradition and concrete social lifestyles, the early levels of industrialization, and the emergence of a liberal political move all essentially altered the area during which trained Germans lived, and in addition reshaped the best way they categorised knowledge.
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Additional info for Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850
But it mapped onto an intellectual world with decidedly different structures, access points, and internal expectations. The central features of this learned public came from the evolving traditions of the early modern republic of letters. By the late eighteenth century, this knowledgeable, learned public was intertwined with the wider reading public but had not dissolved into it entirely. An anonymous reviewer in the Journal aller Journale described this difference clearly in an article about a recent Hamburg production of Schiller’s Don Carlos.
5 With this deﬁnition, we might seem to have already arrived at a crucial watershed. At least in broad terms, Gehler employed the word in a way that looks much like later nineteenth-century usages; “natural science” was an umbrella term for all the disciplines that studied nature. Drawing on previous work on nineteenth-century German science, we might imagine a clear way forward from here. We might predict that this new overarching category grew more powerful as the old tripartite division of natural history, natural philosophy, and applied mathematics continued to decay in the face 27 CHAPTER 1 of modern scientiﬁc specialization.
Everyone needed access to the right kinds of 44 N AT U R A L K N O W L E D G E A N D T H E L E A R N E D P U B L I C books. 92 The learned world was also held together by forms of exchange that stretched beyond the world of print. Schlosser was wrong to argue that these older forms of learned sociability and correspondence had completely decayed by the 1780s. As L. W. B. 93 Such activities were also important in learned societies. 95 When the Society of Nature-Researching Friends described how it made reliable knowledge, the personal connections among all its members remained central.
Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850 by Denise Phillips