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Title: Keeping the door open : romantic science and the experience of self
Author: Halliwell, Martin
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 1996
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The thesis positions three modem thinkers working in different areas of the human sciences - William James, Ludwig Binswanger and Oliver Sacks - within a framework of romantic science. Romantic science is a term which is developed explicitly in the work of Sacks and also illuminates the central concerns of James and Binswanger. As such, romantic science provides a useful framework in which to discuss conceptual changes in the medical humanities (a branch of the human sciences directed to patient care) since the late nineteenth century. The introduction explores romantic science, firstly, as a modem tradition of research and inquiry in the human and natural sciences, beginning with the ferment of intellectual activity in late eighteenth-century Germany, and, secondly, as a genre of writing, which fuses discontinuous discourses in an attempt to compensate for the inadequacies of more conventional modes of scientific understanding. My central theoretical interest is to trace significant shifts in the terminology of 'the self' in modem manifestations of romantic science. Each of the three thinkers considered in the thesis is both theorist and practitioner (Binswanger was and Sacks is a professional physician and James consulted with private patients), which makes for a peculiar blend of theory directed towards practical ends. Theoretical issues of the self implicate a range of intersubjective problems concerning therapeutic practice. As such, the thesis is also concerned centrally with theories of reading which help to activate the self.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)