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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2020

| 1824 | 1824 The Ørsted Brothers in the Howitz Controversy

| 1824 | 1824 The Ørsted Brothers in the Howitz Controversy

(p.415) 41 | 1824 The Ørsted Brothers in the Howitz Controversy
Hans Christian Ørsted

Dan C. Christensen

Oxford University Press

There are more additions to the Ørsted family. Dr Howitz challenges A.S. Ørsted concerning the accountability of prisoners of the rasp-house. While Ørsted admits that people are responsible for the actions (and crimes) only to the extent that they are endowed with rationality and free will, Howitz, a phrenologist, claims that physicians rather than judges should decide whether an accused person is accountable or not. The medical case of Miss Hertz is discussed. H.C. Ørsted reveals her disease as simulation. While A.S. Ørsted rejects phrenology as a method to disclose insanity, Dr Howitz and his successor collect skulls to underpin Gall's phrenological system. Thus the Howitz controversy turns out to be a fundamental debate for or against determinism/ Kantian free will.

Keywords:   Human sanity and accountability, A.S. Ørsted, Howitz, phrenology, determinism/ free will, judicial versus medical expertise

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