Romantic Science and the Experience of Self : Transatlantic Crosscurrents from William James to Oliver Sacks book cover
1st Edition

Romantic Science and the Experience of Self
Transatlantic Crosscurrents from William James to Oliver Sacks

ISBN 9781138340558
Published December 7, 2020 by Routledge
292 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1999, this volume follows the work of five influential figures in twentieth-century transatlantic intellectual history. The work forms the basis for this engaging interdisciplinary study of romantic science. In this book, Martin Halliwell constructs a tradition of romantic science by indicating points of theoretical intersection in the thought of William James (American philosopher); Otto Rank (Austrian psychoanalyst); Erik Erikson (Danish/German psychologist); and Oliver Sacks (British neurologist). Beginning with the ferment of intellectual activity in late eighteenth-century German Romanticism, Halliwell argues that only with William James’ theory of pragmatism early in the twentieth century did romantic science become a viable counter-tradition to strictly empirical science. Stimulated by recent debates over rival models of consciousness and renewed interest in theories of the self, Halliwell reveals that in their challenge to Freud’s adoption of ideas from nineteenth-century natural science, these thinkers have enlarged the possibilities of romantic science for bridging the perceived gulf between the arts and sciences.

Table of Contents

1. William James: The Pragmatic Romantic. 2. Otto Rank: The Creative Romantic. 3. Ludwig Binswanger: The Existential Romantic. 4. Erik Erikson: The Biographical Romantic. 5. Oliver Sacks: The Storytelling Romantic. 6. Conclusion: The Challenge of Romantic Science.

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Martin Halliwell


’Martin Halliwell has here marked out for our consideration a small but potent group of twentieth-century psychological theorists/practitioners whose ’romantic science’ sought to reconcile and heal modernity’s dualistic fractures, particularly the separation between art and science, and between knowledge and morality.’ Wilfred M. McClay, SunTrust Professor of Humanities, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga '[Halliwell] addresses the way in which healers regard and interact with patients in historical and cultural context, making this book worth of a place in medical education generally, as well as in cultural history and psychiatry... this is a book for which many readers - clinicians and patients, teachers and students, historians and philosophers - will give thanks for years to come.' Bull. Hist. Med. 'Martin Halliwell [frames] the development of the self as a theoretical construct within twentieth-century humanities... he exposes both the creative tensions and the inexorable weakness inherent to this intrinsically hybrid tradition.' Hist. Phil. Life Sci.