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Title: Organic vs. Mechanic. Notes on the History of an Antithesis
Authors: La Vergata, Antonello
Keywords: TechnologyIndustrial Revolutionnaturescienceorganicism
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Antonello La Vergata, "Organic vs. Mechanic. Notes on the History of an Antithesis", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XIV (2012) 1, pp. 86-124
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XIV (2012) 1
The contrast between organic and mechanic arose as part of the reactions against the
French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. It ran throughout the 19th, it fuelled
“Romantic” reactions to Newtonian science and the antithesis between Kultur and
Zivilisation. This contrast is still evident, to a greater or lesser extent, in many of the
present criticisms of industrial society and technology. There is an interesting continuity
between the arguments used by the early critics of what Carlyle would call the «age of
machines» and some of the arguments and ways of thinking that are current today. The
paper is devoted to stress this continuity by considering some representative authors,
including Burke, Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Carlyle, Ruskin, Sombart, Spengler,
Scheler, T. Mann. Their interactions with political and social thought are also discussed.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2012) XIV/1

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