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Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2005

Mathias Grote
Pages 7-25
DOI: 10.5840/cultura2005221

Die „Kräfte des Organischen" Transformationen des Naturbildes in C.F. Kielmeyers Karlsschulrede

The so-called .Karlsschulrede. (1793) of the German naturalist Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer can be considered as a keystone to the understanding of "Naturphilosophie" both in German idealism (Schelling) and the romantic period. Kielmeyer's work considers life as the result of specific forces in the organic realm and thereby searches to explain the harmony of organic existence and development. Taking into account Kant.s outlines for a lifescience in the "Kritik der Urteilskraft" (1790), Kielmeyer's notion of teleological processes in nature is sketched. The historical and epistemological relevance of this "vital-materialistic" (Lenoir) theory of life can be characterized by three major transformations in the understanding of nature in the "Karlsschulrede": First, the development of a holistic, organological view on the world, second, the emphasis on phenomena of life as historical processes and third the analogy between organism and mind. These issues found the strong influence of Kielmeyer's text on philosophy and science in the early 19th-century.