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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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| 1849–50 | 1849–50 The Soul in Nature

| 1849–50 | 1849–50 The Soul in Nature

Chapter:
(p.621) 58 | 1849–50 The Soul in Nature
Source:
Hans Christian Ørsted
Author(s):

Dan C. Christensen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.003.0058

The composition of this philosophical testament is explained as reflections of a scientist on the relevance of his research to aesthetics politics, pedagogy, and religion. The book is translated into German and English. Ørsted approaches Herschel in vain to have his book published in Britain. In the end the Horner sisters take care of the translation from German into English and its publication in Britain. The Danish reception of The Soul in Nature is ambiguous. Molbech criticizes Ørsted's aesthetics of nature by arguing that art should be absolutely independent of laws of nature. Bishop Mynster, otherwise his lifelong friend, found it to be pantheistic and atheistic. Goldschmidt is delighted with the book, and Andersen is appalled by the bishop's anti-rationalist remarks commenting on it in In Sweden (‘A Story’, ‘Faith and Science’, Poetry's California’). The German reception judging the book in the light of Kantian philosophy is predominantly positive. Darwin found it just ‘dreadful’.

Keywords:   the soul in nature, Herschel, the Horner sisters, reception in Denmark, Germany, and Britain, Molbech, Mynster, Goldschmidt, Andersen, Darwin

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