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Organism
(1,837 words)

1. Terminological history

The word “organism” (from the Greek órganon/Latin organum, “implement”, “instrument [musical or surgical]”) first appeared in its Latin form in texts of the high Middle Ages. However, only two attestations of the term exist from before the mid-17th century, one from an alchemical context in the 11th century, the other from the context of church music in the 12th [7. 320]. The term “organism” as a derivative of “organic” and “organ,” both known sinc…

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Toepfer, Georg and Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe, “Organism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025060>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



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