For many years Stefano Poggi has pondered the history of science in the 19th century and its links to philosophy and literature. This new volume is the end product of a lengthy study of German Romantic culture, aimed at exploring how, at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, scientific research and thought were part of a strongly unified notion of knowledge, and how scientists, philosophers and men of letters shared the same basic interests. The Romantic Era in Germany witnessed not only a great blossoming of literature and philosophy, but an impetuous growth of scientific endeavour, which was accompanied by radical changes in politics, society and economy. Science and philosophy were tightly involved in a relationship of give-and-take; philosophical principles guided investigation, and research findings supported philosophical reflection. Even men of letters such as Novalis and Goethe place science at the centre of attention. Poggi's volume examines this fruitful association of knowledge and interest around scientific research, from Kant to Goethe, from Kielmeyer to Baador, from Schelling to a wide array of minor scientists and philosophers. Poggi highlights the central role of German science in those decades for the scientific progress which would follow.
Stefano Poggi teaches History of Philosophy in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Florence.