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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

 | 1796–7  | 1796–7 Hans Christian's Gold Medals

 | 1796–7  | 1796–7 Hans Christian's Gold Medals

(p.47) 5 | 1796–7 Hans Christian's Gold Medals
Hans Christian Ørsted

Dan C. Christensen

Oxford University Press

Prize essays awarded by the University's gold medal were introduced in 1788. While Hans Christian won two gold medals, one in aesthetics and one in medicine, Anders, his brother, won one in law. Hans Christian's first essay dealt with the relationship between poetic and prosaic language and was based on the Charles Batteux' views on 'la belle nature', which he derived from the Aristotelian idea of mimesis. The second prize essay aimed at a chemical analysis of the amniotic fluid. By this time Hans Christian had become the protégé of Professor Manthey, owner of the largest pharmacy in Copenhagen, under whose tutorship he conducted the investigation. At that time the origin and purpose of the amniotic fluid were unresolved puzzles. Ørsted's essay was strictly analytic and he was praised for not succumbing to speculation.

Keywords:   prize essays, gold medals, aesthetics, Batteux, amniotic fluid, chemistry unlikely to become a science

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