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Hans Christian ØrstedReading Nature's Mind$
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Dan Ch. Christensen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.001.0001

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| 1810 | 1810 Dialogue on Mysticism Ritter's Death

| 1810 | 1810 Dialogue on Mysticism Ritter's Death

(p.237) 25 | 1810 Dialogue on Mysticism Ritter's Death
Hans Christian Ørsted

Dan C. Christensen

Oxford University Press

Ørsted presents his dialogue on mysticism to the Scandinavian Literary Society, which had been under way for five years and originally intended for his and Oehlenschläger's abortive ‘Prometheus’. Ørsted resents being labelled and claims philosophical independence. A lengthy discussion of the term ‘mysticism’ concludes that Naturphilosophen are attracted to mysticism, but have no intention of unveiling it, whereas he as an experimental researcher is committed to detect the laws of nature thereby replacing mysticism with science. Subsequently, he argues in favour of Kantian dualism by distinguishing between the terms ‘phenomenal’ and ‘noumenal’ and by discussing the adage ‘what the spirit promises, is kept by nature’. Finally, he explains the Kantian concept ‘teleology’ as the driving force behind ‘the secret plan of Nature’. Ritter's short life comes to a sad end. Ørsted does what he can to alleviate Ritter's hopeless economy. Their friendship and views on Naturphilosophie are evaluated.

Keywords:   Ørsted's ‘Dialogue on Mysticism’, Kant's dualism, phenomenal, noumenal, teleology, summum bonum, Ritter's death, the Ørsted-Ritter friendship evaluated

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