Naturphilosophie refers to the philosophy of nature prevalent especially in German phi- losophy, science and literary movements from around 1790 to about 1830. It pleaded for an organic and dynamic worldview as an alternative to the atomist and mechanist outlook of modern science. Against the Cartesian dualism of matter and mind which had given way to the mechanist materialism of the French Encyclopedists, Spinoza’s dual aspect theory of mind and matter as two modes of a single substance was favoured. The sources of this heterogene- ous movement lie in the philosophy of German idealism as well as in late classicism and Ro- manticism. The leading figure, Schelling, assimilated and stimulated the major trends and ideas through his work.
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