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 9781138643260
Published October 18, 2017 by Routledge
294 Pages

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Book Description

First published in 1999, this engaging interdisciplinary study of romantic science focuses on the work of five influential figures in twentieth-century transatlantic intellectual history. In this book, Martin Halliwell constructs an innovative tradition of romantic science by indicating points of theoretical and historical intersection in the thought of William James (American philosopher); Otto Rank (Austrian psychoanalyst); Ludwig Binswanger (Swiss psychiatrist); 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 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

Preface;  Introduction:  The Possibilities of Romantic Science;  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;  Conclusion: The Challenge of Romantic Science;  Bibliography;  Index

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"By discussing subjectivity and different sociohistorical understandings of it — particularly with respect to the relationship between romantic and positivist science, Halliwell provides the reader with a comprehensive account of how James developed his unique version of romantic science. In turn, Halliwell’s work illuminates ways in which James made his mark on the (then) fledgling field of psychology, and moves on to consider how James’s ideas endured well into the twentieth century." - Elizabeth Lowry, Arizona State University