As a philosopher, psychologist, and physician, the German thinker Hermann Lotze (1817-81) defies classification. Working in the mid-nineteenth-century era of programmatic realism, he critically reviewed and rearranged theories and concepts in books on pathology, physiology, medical psychology, anthropology, history, aesthetics, metaphysics, logic, and religion. Leading anatomists and physiologists reworked his hypotheses about the central and autonomic nervous systems. Dozens of fin-de-siecle philosophical contemporaries emulated him, yet often without acknowledgment, precisely because he had made conjecture and refutation into a method. In spite of Lotze's status as a pivotal figure in nineteenth-century intellectual thought, no complete treatment of his work exists, and certainly no effort to take account of the feminist secondary literature. Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography is the first full-length historical study of Lotze's intellectual origins, scientific community, institutional context, and worldwide reception.
William R. Woodward is a Professor of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire.
Introduction: a scientific biography between Biedermeier and modern cosmopolitan thought; Part I. Youth in Biedermeier: 1. Ancestry and education of a cultural reformer (1817-34); 2. Education in medical thought and practice: working explanations (1834-8); 3. Education in philosophy: the mathematical construction of space (1834-9); 4. A Gestalt metaphysics: laws, events, and values (1838-41); 5. Applying hypotheses in pathology and therapy (1838-42); 6. The dual model of explanation and speculation (1838-43); Part II. Emerging Bourgeois Liberalism: 7. Levels of physiological explanation (1843-51); 8. The physical-mental mechanism: an alternative to psychophysics (1846-52); 9. Inner migration or disguised reform: political interests of philosophical anthropology (1852-64); 10. Educating the bourgeois liberal in a culturally conservative time (1852-8); 11. The psychological turn of liberal theology (1858-64); Part III. The System in the Bismarck Period: 12. Empathy and beauty: moving aesthetics into the public sphere (1864-7); 13. Logic between scientific inquiry and speculative thought (1867-74); 14. The metaphysical foundations of modern science (1874-9); 15. The personal is the political: a cosmopolitan ethics (1864-81); Postscript: historiographic lessons of Lotze research.