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Reenchanted Science: Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  3 reviews
By the 1920s in Central Europe, it had become a truism among intellectuals that natural science had disenchanted the world, and in particular had reduced humans to mere mechanisms, devoid of higher purpose. But could a new science of wholeness heal what the old science of the machine had wrought? Some contemporary scientists thought it could. These years saw the spread of ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 31st 1999 by Princeton University Press (first published July 22nd 1996)
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Joshua Buhs
I wanted to like this book more than I did.

There are a couple of reasons, not all of which are fair.

The first reason is it is relatively dated. The book looks at the response of some German scientists to the perceived disenchantment of the world from about the 1890s until just after World War II. It starts, of course, with Max Weber’s famous talk,, “Science as a Vocation,” which Harrington interprets as Weber telling Germans that they would just have to suck it up and accept that the world was d
...more
Aljoša
Mar 25, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: teoretske
A nice discussion of how Newton’s materialistic world came to be associated with everything bad in modernity, so that the descendants of Kant’s and Goethe’s holistic views of the world came to promise both a potent new science and a political ideology that would re-enchant life with meaning. In some sense, German thought (defended by the nazi state) has a final stand against the dead mechanistic universe of “jewish science”. Therefore the war is also a clash of worldviews.

The book shows how scie
...more
Cath Holden
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating
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