Politics and the Sciences of Culture in Germany, 1840-1920

Hardcover | December 1, 1993

byWoodruff D. Smith

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Examining the ways in which politics and ideology stimulate and shape changes in human science, this book focuses on the cultural sciences in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Germany. The book argues that many of the most important theoretical directions in German cultural science hadtheir origins in a process by which a general pattern of social scientific thinking, one that was closely connected to political liberalism and dominant in Germany (and elsewhere) before the mid-nineteenth century, fragmented in the face of the political troubles of German liberalism after thattime. Some liberal social scientists who wanted to repair both liberalism and the liberal theoretical pattern, and others who wanted to replace them with something more conservative, turned to the concept of culture as the focus of their intellectual endeavors. Later generations of intellectualsrepeated the process, motivated in large part by the experiences of liberalism as a political movement in the German Empire. Within this framework, the book discusses the formation of diffusionism in German anthropology, Friedrich Ratzel's theory of Lebensraum, folk psychology, historicaleconomics, and cultural history. It also relates these developments to German imperialism, the rise of radical nationalism, and the upheaval in German social science at the turn of the century.

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From Our Editors

Examining the ways in which politics and ideology stimulate and shape changes in human science, Politics and the Sciences of Culture in Germany focuses on the effects that the political fragmentation of social scientific thinking had upon the development of cultural sciences in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany.

From the Publisher

Examining the ways in which politics and ideology stimulate and shape changes in human science, this book focuses on the cultural sciences in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Germany. The book argues that many of the most important theoretical directions in German cultural science hadtheir origins in a process by which a general...

Woodruff D. Smith is at University of Texas, San Antonio.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.49 × 6.5 × 1.22 inPublished:December 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195065360

ISBN - 13:9780195065367

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From Our Editors

Examining the ways in which politics and ideology stimulate and shape changes in human science, Politics and the Sciences of Culture in Germany focuses on the effects that the political fragmentation of social scientific thinking had upon the development of cultural sciences in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany.

Editorial Reviews

"A thoroughly competent appraisal in its own terms of an interesting intellectual tradition, and a useful primer for those who wish to explore more deeply."--Nineteenth-Century Contexts