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,,... die Biologie als die Krone oder der höchste Strebepunct aller Wissenschaften.“

Zur Rezeption des Biologiebegriffs in der romantischen Naturforschung (Lorenz Oken, Ernst Bartels, Carl Gustav Carus)


During the first decade after the publication of the first volume of Treviranus’ fundamental work Biologie oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur (6 vols, 1802–1822), three German naturalists and physicians – Oken, Bartels, and Carus, all inspired by the natural philosophy of Schelling –, used the term “biology” in the titles of some of their books.An analysis of these works shows, that their objective was somewhat different from what Treviranus himself had intended. In contrast to Treviranus’ idea of a “doctrine of life”, which should be separated as a discipline from the physical sciences, they generated the conception that also the universe is a living thing.This preoccupation of the term biology by the Naturphilosophen was just a short interplay in what may be called the period of “romantic biology”.Yet it is not improbable that this romantic notion of “biology” may have been an major obstacle to the formation of the academic discipline biology.

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Correspondence to Kai Torsten Kanz.

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Kanz, K.T. ,,... die Biologie als die Krone oder der höchste Strebepunct aller Wissenschaften.“. N.T.M. 14, 77–92 (2006).

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