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ABSTRACT. The paper analyzes how the evolution of the 19th century life sciences was adopted and reflected by the contemporary philosophy. As the paper shows, there have been manifold (and nowadays very little known) connections between life sciences and philosophy. In the spotlight of this very controversial argument stood the concept of life. Whereas the life sciences (cell theory, materialism debate, and Darwinism) attempted to grasp this concept in a strictly reductive manner, the German life-philosophy (“Lebensphilosophie”) established an integral and often highly metaphysical view of man and culture that was in many cases based on the concepts of 19th century life sciences. The paper shows how the concept of life put forward by the life sciences was criticized by Friedrich Nietzsche and Georg Simmel who thus formulated a metaphysical but yet non-transcendental concept of life and culture. pp. 93–106

Keywords: 19th century, life sciences, Nietzsche, Simmel

 

DIRK SOLIES
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Johannes Gutenberg University-Mainz

 
 
 

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