Jun 30, 2008

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Anthropologie für Aerzte und Weltweise. Leipzig 1772

Ernst Platner’s Anthropologie für Aerzte und Weltweise (1772) became the focus of a new intellectual fashion during the period of the late Enlightenment, where anthropology denotes a concept explaining the interaction of body and soul through physical influence. This theory was advocated by the so called ’philosophical doctors‘, who combined metaphysics with medicine. Platner, professor of both discip-lines in Leipzig, was the leading figure of the movement.

The imoprtance of Platner’s work within the intellectual history was recently rediscovered by several historians of both medicine and literature. Its innovative image of the human being can be found not only in the science of psychology, but also in the ’anthropological novel’, in autobiographical characterisations as well as in the ’natural theater‘ of Lessing’s time.

Only a few copies of Platner’s Anthropologie exist in library collections today. [source]

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