As a philosopher, psychologist, and physician, the German thinker Hermann Lotze defies classification. Working in the mid-nineteenth-century era of programmatic realism, he critically reviewed and rearranged theories and concepts in books on pathology, physiology, medical psychology, anthropology, history, aesthetics, metaphysics, logic, and religion. Leading anatomists and physiologists reworked his hypotheses about the central and autonomic nervous systems. Dozens of fin-de-siècle philosophical contemporaries emulated him, yet often without acknowledgment, precisely because he had made conjecture and refutation into a method. In spite (...) of Lotze's status as a pivotal figure in nineteenth-century intellectual thought, no complete treatment of his work exists, and certainly no effort to take account of the feminist secondary literature. Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography is the first full-length historical study of Lotze's intellectual origins, scientific community, institutional context, and worldwide reception. (shrink)
Situating Lotze in the School of Speculative Theology, I use debates about Schelling’s critique of Hegel—then and now—to understand Lotze’s critique of Hegel. Lotze’s early metaphysics seems to employ a version of Hegel’s dialectical analysis of being, phenomena, and mind emphasizing “the interconnection of things.” One can equally argue that he proceeds in an analytic style of reviewing and testing alternative theories. My tentative conclusion is that he assumes the existence of reality (the Absolute) like Schelling, and makes cognition a (...) process subordinate to that reality. In this respect, he goes beyond his Kantian mentors J. F. Fries and E. F. Apelt. From all these sources came a radically original Gestalt metaphysics. For example, he reverses Kant’s forms of intuition (Anschauung) into “forms of intuitability”(Anschaulichkeit), including the relational categories of space, time, motion, mechanism, organism, law, and event. He then makes the categories into ethical levels of a “teleological idealism.” In this way he overcomes his Herbartian teachers’ separation of metaphysics from ethics, evincing his center Hegelian roots. (shrink)
The question of the social commitment of the sociologist, and the scientist in general, has become a burning issue facing the sociology of East and West alike, — though it may take different forms. (P. C. Ludz, “Sociology”, in C. D Kernig (ed.), Marxism, communism, and Western society (New York, 1973), vol. viii, p. 46.).
This book is about the eminent behavioral scientist B. F. Skinner, the American culture in which he lived and worked, and the behaviorist movement that played a leading role in American psychological and social thought during the twentieth century. From a base of research on laboratory animals in the 1930s, Skinner built a committed and influential following as well as a utopian movement for social reform. His radical ideas attracted much public attention and generated heated controversy. By the mid-1970s, he (...) had become the most widely recognized scientist in America, surpassing even Margaret Mead and Linus Pauling. Yet Skinner himself was an unassuming family man from a modest middle-class background, a machine-shop tinkerer whose tastes ran to English and French literature. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and historical styles appropriate to the evidence, the authors assembled in this volume examine Skinner's remarkable rise to prominence in the wider context of America's intellectual, cultural, and social history. (shrink)