Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ: German Romanticism between Leibniz and Marx (Forms of Living)

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Around 1800, German romanticism developed a philosophy this study calls “Romantic organology.” Scientific and philosophical notions of biological function and speculative thought converged to form the discourse that Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ reconstructs―a metaphysics meant to theorize, and ultimately alter, the structure of a politically and scientifically destabilized world.

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“In Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ, Leif Weatherby gives us a fundamentally new view on Romanticism and its contribution to German Idealism. In Hölderlin, Schelling, and Novalis, Weatherby unearths a surprisingly coherent discussion of the ‘organ.’ We see the Romantic philosophers and poets intervene in the age old Western debate on techne, physis and metaphysics, with the emphasis, however, on techne’s interventions in it. A discourse emerges which neither subordinates techne to nature in the Aristotelian tradition nor hypostatizes technology in a Heideggerian reversal of the order of things. Rather, Romantic ‘organology’ is shown to introduce historicity and contingency into the heart of metaphysics. This is a discovery in the history of ideas, and it opens new ways of thinking technology today.” Author: ―Rudiger Campe Source: Yale University

“Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ is a truly impressive work of scholarship. The author has a breathtaking command of the German philosophical tradition, including major figures, such as Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling, as well as those who are less well-known outside the field of German studies. He has taken a single, somewhat innocuous concept―the 'organ'―and revealed it to be at the crux of a rapidly changing philosophical landscape whose terrain encompasses metaphysics, subject philosophy, the history of science, literature, and aesthetics. Accordingly, it should be of interest to anyone working in these fields.” Author: ―Jocelyn Holland Source: University of California, Santa Barbara

Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ covers a wealth of historiographical material in its exploration of the myriad disciplinary debates that contributed to the development of the concept of the organ and to its use by the German Romantics. Source: The British Society for Literature and Science

Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ is a very detailed study of the Romantic organology... this book develops many observations or remarks that give pause for thought. Source: Universa: Recensioni di Filosofia

Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ is a deeply impressive work of scholarship. It will serve some readers as a renewed introduction to and impetus to engage with Romantic metaphysics, while others might find in it a means of returning to the metaphorics of technology and its conceptual history... this book will act as a foundation, if not a theoretical position, for future analyses of the "organ" and the possibilities of conceptuality. Source: Postmodern Culture

Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ is a truly impressive work of historical scholarship. Source: Modern Language Notes

This is an ambitious, disciplined study that reveals new aspects of Romanticism: it is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in German Romanticism. Source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

About the Author:

Leif Weatherby is Assistant Professor of German at New York University.

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