We are glad to give notice of the new book Romantic Empiricism. Nature, Art, and Ecology from Herder to Humboldt by Dalia Nassar (Oxford University Press, 2022).
From the publisher’s website:
In Romantic Empiricism, Dalia Nassar distinguishes and explores an understudied philosophical tradition that emerged in Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, traces its development, and argues for its continued significance. Moving from the late Kant’s notion of reflecting judgment, to Herder’s articulation of the idea of “animal worlds,” Goethe’s explication of the obligations of the scientist, and Alexander von Humboldt’s aesthetic science, Nassar demonstrates how these thinkers developed a sophisticated empirical approach to the natural world, which focuses on the phenomenon while also recognizing the creative role of the knowing subject and the cognitive value of art and aesthetic experience. She explores how these four thinkers worked together-sometimes as rivals, but more often than not as teachers and collaborators-and illustrates how their search for a new methodology culminated in a new, ecological understanding of the world and the human place within it.
Revisiting their thought, especially their distinctive approach to the study of nature, Nassar demonstrates, has the potential to redirect contemporary environmental debates and respond to urgent ecological questions in new and productive ways.
Here the table of contents.
Chapter 1: Setting the Stage: Kant and the Critique of the Power of Judgment
Chapter 2: The Hermeneutics of Nature: Herder on Animal and Human Worlds
Chapter 3: The Science of Describing: Herder, Goethe and the Hauptform
Chapter 4: Aesthetic Education and the Transformation of the Scientist
Chapter 5: Intuitive Judgment and Goethe’s Ethics of Knowledge
Chapter 6: Organism and Environment: The Aesthetic Foundations of Humboldt’s Ecological Insight
Chapter 7: Embodied Cognition: Humboldt and the Art of Science
Conclusion: The Relevance of Romantic Empiricism