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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter charts the debates in the Romantic period on medicine and its related life sciences. Medicine seemed the most promising candidate to generate advances; or, at least, the rationalization of the vital by medical science could be taken further than by other sciences. The more empirical study of uniquely vital process in Paris would yield more results than the formally more direct but methodologically immature confrontation of the vital by Paris’s main rival, Montpellier. Paris maintained controversy within its own approach, and medicine had to reconcile competing hierarchies of form and function. Nonetheless, it was the generative capacity of these initiatives that made what we call nineteenth-century science possible. And that, you might say, was their Romantic legacy.

Keywords: medicine, life ciences, Naturphilosophie, empiricism, reflection

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