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Hans Christian ØrstedReading Nature's Mind$
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Dan Ch. Christensen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.001.0001

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| 1777–1851 | 1777–1851 Introduction

| 1777–1851 | 1777–1851 Introduction

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) 1 | 1777–1851 Introduction
Source:
Hans Christian Ørsted
Author(s):

Dan C. Christensen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.003.0001

The prologue introduces Hans Christian Ørsted and his main accomplishments in scientific research and education. Although this is the first comprehensive and contextual biography his achievements have, of course, been widely discussed by a number of historians of science. This historiography is briefly introduced and the key questions raised by Danish as well as international scholars (Meyer, Oswald, Stauffer, Williams, Caneva, Wilson, Friedman, Gower) are brought out. The assertion that Ørsted was strongly influenced by Naturphilosophie is preliminarily contested, and attention is drawn to the inspiration he drew from Kantian metaphysics against the prevailing Laplacean views entertained at the University of Copenhagen in which he was enrolled. Moreover, I argue that right from the outset Hans Christian in a lifelong cooperation with his brother, Anders Sandøe, the leading jurist, engulfed himself in philosophical dualism, which came to dominate Danish cultural life in the so-called Danish Golden Age.

Keywords:   biography, historiography, revolutionizing scientific research, a man of two cultures, kantian metaphysics, lifelong cooperation with his brother

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