Monism: Science, Philosophy, Religion, and the History of a Worldview

Hardcover | August 7, 2012

EditorTodd H. Weir

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This groundbreaking volume casts light on the long shadow of naturalistic monism in modern thought and culture. When monism's philosophical proposition - the unity of all matter and thought in a single, universal substance - fused with scientific empiricism and Darwinism in the mid-nineteenth century, it led to the formation of a powerful worldview articulated in the work of figures such as Ernst Haeckel. The compelling essays collected here, written by leading international scholars, investigate the articulation of monism in science, philosophy, and religion and its impact on a range of social movements, from socialism and early feminism to imperialism and eugenics. The result is a broad and comprehensive chronological, disciplinary, and geographic map of a century of monism, as well as a bellwether for innovative new directions in the interdisciplinary study of science, religion, philosophy, and culture.

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This groundbreaking volume casts light on the long shadow of naturalistic monism in modern thought and culture. When monism's philosophical proposition - the unity of all matter and thought in a single, universal substance - fused with scientific empiricism and Darwinism in the mid-nineteenth century, it led to the formation of a power...

TODD H. WEIR is a lecturer in Modern European History at Queen's University Belfast. His research is currently focused on the relationships between religious dissent, anticlericalism, popular science and radical politics in modern Germany. He has been a Fellow of the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies and Visiting...

other books by Todd H. Weir

Secularism and Religion in Nineteenth-Century Germany: The Rise of the Fourth Confession
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Format:HardcoverDimensions:268 pages, 8.82 × 5.77 × 0.76 inPublished:August 7, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230113737

ISBN - 13:9780230113732

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Table of Contents

The Riddles of Monism: An Introductory Essay - Todd H. Weir * Proto-monism in German Philosophy, Theology, and Science, 1800 to 1845 - Frederick Gregory * Alexander von Humboldt and Monism - Nicolaas Rupke * Monism and Suffering: A Theosophical Perspective - Gauri Viswanathan * Spinozist Monism: Perspectives from within and without the Monist Movement - Tracie Matysik * Monism and Morphology at the Turn of the Twentieth Century - Sander Gliboff * Monist Philosophy of Science: Between Worldview and Scientific Meta-reflection - Paul Ziche * Monism in Britain: Biologists and the Rationalist Press Association - Peter J. Bowler * Between Hegel and Haeckel: Monistic Worldview, Marxist Philosophy and Biomedicine in Russia and the Soviet Union - Igor J. Polianski * Monism, Racial Hygiene, and National Socialism - Heiner Fangerau

Editorial Reviews

Hear an interview with editor Todd H. Weir on New Books in Intellectual History, here: http://newbooksinintellectualhistory.com/2013/11/25/todd-h-weir-monism-science-philosophy-religion-and-the-history-of-a-worldview-palgrave-2012/ 'Monism is a devilish shapeshifter. This volume takes up the challenge of recognizing and analysing monism in a wide diversity of forms, from the early nineteenth century to 1945. Collectively, its authors deepen the discussion of monism as a worldview while extending our understanding of its philosophical, social and political locations.' - German History'This set of wonderfully probing essays greatly deepens our understanding of monism as both intellectual movement and cultural mood. The expansive scope of the monist empire is matched by an interdisciplinary range of authors who collectively deliver a remarkable interrogation of a subject much in need of renewed scrutiny. In a time when monism snakes its way through a good deal of both popular science and New Age spirituality, this careful reassessment of its diverse historical trajectories is most welcome.'—David N. Livingstone, author of Putting Science in its Place, and Adam's Ancestors: Race, Religion and the Politics of Human Origins 'The contributors pull out of obscurity a world-view that aimed at overcoming the philosophical tradition of separating mind and matter, only to enjoy considerable popularity, especially in the German-speaking world, after 1840 and well into the twentieth century. The collected essays provide ample evidence for connecting monist ideas with broader strands of popular science and indicate, too, a renewed interest in anti-dualistic philosophies today. Monism thus appears in this volume as a set of ideas, always radiating into in the public arena, whose analysis can effectively connect questions from the history of science and a broadly conceived intellectual history.'—Andreas W. Daum, professor of History, State University of New York at Buffalo 'This fascinating collection of essays explores the origins of monism in nineteenth-century Germany and its impact on biology, medicine, eugenics, feminism, philosophy, and religion up through the 1940s, including in the Soviet Union and the Third Reich. This volume is a major contribution to European intellectual history, highlighting the vitality and influence of a movement that operated along the boundaries between idealism and materialism, academic and popular science, secularism and established religion, and right and left-wing forms of collectivism and dissent.'— George S. Williamson, author of The Longing for Myth in Germany: Religion and Aesthetic Culture from Romanticism to Nietzsche