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A Speech For The Academy

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Chapter Summary

On March 28th, 1806, as the Bavarian Academy of the Sciences celebrated the forty-seventh anniversary of its founding by Maximilian III Joseph in 1759, Johann Wilhelm Ritter was granted the honor of giving a speech he titled "Physics as Art. An Attempt to Interpret the Tendency of Physics from its History". Ritter conceptualized his speech in two parts: a prologue in which he sets up the historical problem of a divide with nature, followed by a hortatory exposition which incites his readers and listeners to overcome it. In his correspondence with Ørsted, Ritter gives a clue as to which source texts are important for the prologue when he describes it as "a faithful translation of the Document with consideration for the end of Kant's Critique of Judgment, especially as Baader expresses it in the Elementary Physiology".

Keywords: Ørsted; Bavarian Academy of the Sciences; Johann Wilhelm Ritter; Kant



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