By Denise Phillips
Although the various functional 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 might later suggest “science,” naturwissenschaft, was once no longer even integrated in dictionaries. through 1850, even if, the time period used to be in use all over the place. Acolytes of Nature follows the emergence of this crucial new classification inside German-speaking Europe, tracing its upward push from a trifling eighteenth-century neologism to a defining rallying cry of contemporary German culture.
Today’s thought of a unified usual 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 well-known position in German public lifestyles numerous a long time previous. Phillips uncovers the evolving outlines of the class of typical technology and examines why Germans of various social station and highbrow commitments got here to discover this label priceless. An increasing schooling process, an more and more brilliant purchaser tradition and concrete social existence, 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 way in which they labeled knowledge.
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Even if a number of the sensible and highbrow traditions that make up smooth technological know-how date again centuries, the class of “science” itself is a relative novelty. within the early eighteenth century, the fashionable German observe that might later suggest “science,” naturwissenschaft, was once now not even integrated in dictionaries.
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Additional resources for Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850
The learned were still to be in the world, just not absorbed by it. 73 Seeing Schlosser as an early voice in favor of a modern scientiﬁc community also distorts crucial features of his cultural horizons. Reading his complaints as an early effort to “institutionalize science” obscures the speciﬁc forms of status and community that characterized the late 40 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 eighteenth century. Schlosser was unusually draconian to suggest a rejection of publicity tout court.
68 When the learned embraced le monde, according to Schlosser, they had paid a high price. In trying to cut a pleasing ﬁgure before the ladies and gentlemen of good society, they had traded the true quest for knowledge for the shallow pleasures of curiosity. They had abandoned systematic thought for entertaining anecdotes. In the process, the ties that once bound together the “truly learned” had decayed. Learned socializing, correspondence, and travel had once smoothed the sharp edges of critical debate.
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). Late nineteenthcentury ideals of objectivity tried to eliminate the subjectivity of the knower from the process of making knowledge. 27 An eighteenth-century Kenner was both an expert and a connoisseur; he had a trained eye and a warm heart.
Acolytes of nature : defining natural science in Germany, 1770-1850 by Denise Phillips