Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment

Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment This far reaching study redraws the intellectual map of the Enlightenment and boldly reassesses the legacy of that highly influential period for us today Peter Hanns Reill argues that in the middle of

  • Title: Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment
  • Author: Peter Hanns Reill
  • ISBN: 9780520241350
  • Page: 328
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This far reaching study redraws the intellectual map of the Enlightenment and boldly reassesses the legacy of that highly influential period for us today Peter Hanns Reill argues that in the middle of the eighteenth century, a major shift occurred in the way Enlightenment thinkers conceived of nature that caused many of them to reject the prevailing doctrine of mechanismThis far reaching study redraws the intellectual map of the Enlightenment and boldly reassesses the legacy of that highly influential period for us today Peter Hanns Reill argues that in the middle of the eighteenth century, a major shift occurred in the way Enlightenment thinkers conceived of nature that caused many of them to reject the prevailing doctrine of mechanism and turn to a vitalistic model to account for phenomena in natural history, the life sciences, and chemistry As he traces the ramifications of this new way of thinking through time and across disciplines, Reill provocatively complicates our understanding of the way key Enlightenment thinkers viewed nature His sophisticated analysis ultimately questions postmodern narratives that have assumed a monolithic Enlightenment characterized by the dominance of instrumental reason that has led to many of the disasters of modern life.

    One thought on “Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment”

    1. I have been interested in eighteenth century vitalism for a long time. My interest focused on physiological theories and how they influenced medicine and perhaps psychiatry. Reill takes a much broader view of Vitalism including chemistry and natural history. He also looks beyond the eighteenth century into the rise of nineteenth century Romanticism. By enlarging his vision of Vitalism he manages to raise questions about the fundamental character of the Enlightenment. In doing this he launches a [...]

    2. History books can be difficult, but this one was very well written and engaging. Definitely read it if you're interested in the rise of vitalism during the late Enlightenment.

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