By Denise Phillips
Although some of the sensible and highbrow traditions that make up glossy technology date again centuries, the class of “science” itself is a relative novelty. within the early eighteenth century, the fashionable German note that may later suggest “science,” naturwissenschaft, used to be no longer even integrated in dictionaries. via 1850, even if, the time period was once in use far and wide. Acolytes of Nature follows the emergence of this significant new class inside German-speaking Europe, tracing its upward thrust from a mere eighteenth-century neologism to a defining rallying cry of contemporary German culture.
Today’s inspiration of a unified common technology has been deemed an invention of the mid-nineteenth century. but what Denise Phillips finds here's that the assumption of naturwissenschaft acquired a admired position in German public existence a number of a long time 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 helpful. An increasing schooling procedure, an more and more shiny patron tradition and concrete social existence, the early phases of industrialization, and the emergence of a liberal political circulation all essentially altered the area within which knowledgeable Germans lived, and in addition reshaped the best way they categorized knowledge.
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Extra resources for Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850
9 The transition to a more complicated disciplinary array seems to have done nothing in and of itself to raise the status of “Naturwissenschaft” as an overarching term. “Natural science” gained prominence through different channels than these, and its presence in the 1824 Brockhaus lexicon gives us a clue to where we might look to better understand the word’s history. As we will see in later chapters, this category was the product of the border zone where learned natural researchers met the broader public; it played an important role in attempts to clarify the relationship between learned experts and an expanding lay audience of readers, authors, and collectors.
52 In print forums, too, natural history and natural philosophy were often joined together with practical economic or technical topics. A journal like the Leipziger Magazin zur Naturkunde, Mathematik, und Oekonomie was one example among many. 53 Even bibliographies that did not advertise that they included works of Oekonomie often did. 55 This scheme of classiﬁcation, the roots of which could be traced back to antiquity, took on new life in the late eighteenth century. 56 In describing the ways that natural philosophy or natural history could be useful to economic practice, eighteenth-century authors proceeded differently than would their nineteenth-century grandchildren.
A taste for nature and a concern for utility were not opposing values in late eighteenthcentury Germany; indeed, they were not necessarily formally distinct. 26 A Naturkenner knew more about nature than other people did; he or 33 CHAPTER 1 she also had a special emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic relationship to the natural world. The enlightened natural researcher, in other words, was not “objective” in the modern sense (his successors in the ﬁrst half of the nineteenth century would not be either).
Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850 by Denise Phillips