books

Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ 
(Fordham, 2016)

Reviews: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (Elizabeth Millàn-Zaibert); Germanic Review 91: 4 (2016), 440-43 (Gabriel Trop); Goethe Yearbook 24 (17),324-326 (Alice Kuzniar); Modern Language Notes 132: 3, 790-93 (Jocelyn Holland); The British Society for Literature and Science (Treena Balds); Postmodern Culture (Robert Dorin Smith); Osservatorio critico della germanistica (Francesco Rossi); Universa. Recensioni di Filosofia 7: 1, 128-132 (Caroline Angleraux); Monatshefte 110 (2), 2018 (Christine Lehleiter)
 

“In Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ, Leif Weatherby gives us a fundamentally new view on Romanticism and its contribution to German Idealism. In Hölderlin, Schelling, and Novalis, Weatherby unearths a surprisingly coherent discussion of the ‘organ.’ We see the Romantic philosophers and poets intervene in the age old Western debate on techne, physis and metaphysics, with the emphasis, however, on techne’s interventions in it. A discourse emerges which neither subordinates techne to nature in the Aristotelian tradition nor hypostatizes technology in a Heideggerian reversal of the order of things. Rather, Romantic ‘organology’ is shown to introduce historicity and contingency into the heart of metaphysics. This is a discovery in the history of ideas, and it opens new ways of thinking technology today.”

-Rüdiger Campe, Yale University

“Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ is a truly impressive work of scholarship. The author has a breathtaking command of the German philosophical tradition, including major figures, such as Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling, as well as those who are less well-known outside the field of German studies. He has taken a single, somewhat innocuous concept—the ‘organ’—and revealed it to be at the crux of a rapidly changing philosophical landscape whose terrain encompasses metaphysics, subject philosophy, the history of science, literature, and aesthetics. Accordingly, it should be of interest to anyone working in these fields.”

Jocelyn Holland, California Institute of Technology

Weatherby’s sustained attention to the “neglected doctrine” of organology is a most impressive contribution to the history of ideas, and it is a book that will certainly generate more interest in the topic of life and nature in German Romanticism. This is an ambitious, disciplined study that reveals new aspects of Romanticism: it is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in German Romanticism.

-Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Transplanting the Metaphysical Organ is a deeply impressive work of scholarship. It will serve some readers as a renewed introduction to and impetus to engage with Romantic metaphysics, while others might find in it a means of returning to the metaphorics of technology and its conceptual history… this book will act as a foundation, if not a theoretical position, for future analyses of the “organ” and the possibilities of conceptuality.

-Postmodern Culture

Elements of a Philosophy of Technology:
On the Evolutionary History of Culture

2018
 • Author: Ernst Kapp
Edited by Jeffrey West Kirkwood and Leif Weatherby Translated by Lauren K. Wolfe
Afterword by Siegfried Zielinski


I am convinced that, with this newly available translation, Kapp’s ideas and concepts—like organ projection or the state as disciplinary machine comprised of parts functioning in circular full-closure—will enter and fortify the international field of media studies as well as, and more so, the more comprehensive field concerned with thinking the relationship of technology and civilization.
—Siegfried Zielinski, from the Afterword


Ernst Kapp’s book is long overdue in translation. This edition masterfully introduces the English speaking world to a text that is essential to both the history and the future of media theory. Elements of a Philosophy ofTechnology is required reading for anyone interested in the study of media and technology.

—Bernhard Siegert, Bauhaus-University Weimar

With its Hegelian inflection, Ernst Kapp’s Elements of a Philosophy ofTechnology tell us of the spirit of a techno-philosophy that anticipatesthe centrality of the modern question of technology in the reconfiguration ofthe human and the meaning of civilization. He invites us not to overcome but tore-invent the human condition through an expanded techno-philosophical enquiry into the possibilities of the projection of techne today.
—Luciana Parisi, Goldsmiths University of London

Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism Mind, Matter, and the Life Sciences after Kant
Editor(s): Edgar Landgraf, Gabriel Trop, Leif Weatherby

“It is very reassuring to see that the emerging paradigm of posthumanism and the posthuman is beginning to receive some solid critical, historical and genealogical contextualisation. Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism: Mind, Matter, and Life Sciences after Kant is a very welcome extension of the idea of posthumanist prefiguration into the Enlightenment, German Idealism and Romanticism. The contributions to this important collection make an excellent case for locating the beginnings of a critique of anthropocentrism, human exceptionalism, mind-body dualism, unified self and free will within 18th- and 19th-century humanist thought. In doing so, they succeed in painting a more complex, less fashionable, more nuanced and thus more powerful picture of the posthumanist paradigm, while also providing an overdue critical reassessment of German Enlightenment and Romantic thought and their continued influence. The individual contributions take their readers on a fascinating journey through the beginnings of modern life and cognitive sciences, the aesthetic and politics of Romanticism and show how figures like Kant, Herder, Hegel, Humboldt, Kleist, Fichte, Goethe and many others already prepare the terrain for current revisions of materialism, the redefinition of the boundaries between human and nonhuman, the questioning of the role of agency and technology, as well as the rethinking of ecology.” 
–  Stefan Herbrechter, Research Fellow, Coventry University, UK

“The essays collected in Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism fully realize this volume’s aim to constitute posthumanism as a “transhistorical ethos” informing Western thought since antiquity, but especially in the era that extends from the German Enlightenment through 19th-century literature and philosophy, with particular reference to discourses on life and nature. The “classical humanism” of post-Kantian German thought proves to be fertile territory for posthumanist rethinkings of our species-specific privileges and prerogatives. Indeed, as the editors suggest, Hegel does have something in common with cybernetics, and Kant does have something to tell us about embodiment. Readers of Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism will have many of their intellectual stereotypes challenged if not overturned and replaced with more generous conceptions.” 
–  Bruce Clarke, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature and Science, Texas Tech University, USA

“The essays in this volume make clear just how turbulent and varied the field of posthuman theory has become; new readers are not obliged to fall in line with a single dominant strand of argumentation but are free to sort through the many intriguing claims for themselves. The essays are tightly interlaced from start to finish. Goethe and Kant, along with a host of nineteenth-century descendants, are woven into the contemporary theory discussion as if those two figures were central to defining posthuman. The average German scholar will be grateful for such careful explanations of the links between the historical sources under investigation and their relevance for the new theory movements. I was impressed over and over again with the many new vantage points contributors offer on canonical texts. This volume could produce an entirely new line of critical interest in both nineteenth-century German science and the established culture around 1800. I read the essays with fervor and I cannot recommend this volume more highly.” 
–  Daniel Purdy, Professor of German Studies, Pennsylvania State University, USA, and author of On the Ruins of Babel: Architectural Metaphor in German Thought (2011)

 

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