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Meteore [Hinzugefügt 2018]

(8,009 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Definition und Allgemeines Im griech. Wortsinn galt als M. ( metéōros) alles, was hoch in der Luft erhoben oder schwebend war, und bezog sich auf sämtliche physikalische Erscheinungen zwischen Erdmittelpunkt und Himmelssphären. Zugleich wurde der Begriff bereits in der Antike auf seelische (Seele) und geistige (Geist) Prozesse angewandt, ein Sich-Erheben über die Erde, ein dort Sich-Verlieren, das Bauen von Luftschlössern, wolkiges Denken. Eben diese metaphorische Bedeutung wurde insbes. von Aristophanes spöttisch genutzt [304]. Als M. wurden elementare Prozesse au…
Date: 2018-11-21

Regen [Hinzugefügt 2018]

(2,728 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Allgemeines und Begriffliches R. gehört zu den wässerigen Meteoren ( Komet) – so die Definition seit der Antike, die teils bis in das 19. Jh. Gültigkeit behielt. Unter Berufung auf die Meteorologie des Aristoteles zählten im geozentrischen Weltbild generell alle sich unterhalb der Mondsphäre abspielenden elementaren Prozesse (Elemente) zu den Meteoren, d.h. sie wurden nicht als Phänomene der unveränderlichen, oberhalb des Mondes verorteten Sternensphäre betrachtet, sondern als Teil der kontingenten und veränderlichen Sphäre unterhalb des Mondes ( Kosmos; Sonne und Mond) [1…
Date: 2018-11-21

Licht und Schatten (Hinzugefügt 2017)

(7,263 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Übersicht »Und Gott sprach: Es werde Licht! Und es ward Licht… Da schied Gott das Licht von der Finsternis und nannte das Licht Tag und die Finsternis Nacht.« Nicht nur in der Genesis (1,3–5), sondern in allen Schöpfungsmythen spielte das L. eine entscheidende Rolle bei dem Zustandekommen des Lebens und der biologischen Formenvielfalt auf der Erde. So war Prometheus in der griech. Mythologie u. a. der L.-Bringer für die Menschen und damit Begründer der menschlichen Kultur – zugleich ihrer Leistungen wie ihrer Schrecken, da Zeus die Menschen mit der alle Übel der Welt in si…

Fetischismus

(2,795 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Begriff Fetisch leitet sich vom portug. feitiço ( »Zaubermittel«, »magisches Objekt«) her, das seinerseits auf das lat. facticius (»künstlich hergestellt«) zurückgeht und in einem Bedeutungsfeld mit den portug. Wörtern feitiçeiro (»Teufelsdiener«) sowie feitiçaria (»zauberische Praktiken«) steht. Seit dem SpätMA hatte sich dieser Terminus in Portugal eingebürgert; er durchlief bis zum Waren-F. Karl Marx' im 19. Jh. eine erstaunliche Karriere [05. 13f.]. Sieglerschmidt, Jörn 2. Afrika Nachdem in Portugal im ersten Edikt gegen die Hexen (1385) bereits von den feitiços di…

Animismus

(2,444 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Begriff Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917) [11], der A. als religionswiss. Begriff einführte, gilt mit seiner Theorie der Religionsentwicklung als einer der Begründer der Religionswissenschaft. Unabhängig vom Evolutionismus dieser Tradition soll A. hier als Anschauung verstanden werden, die eine klare Trennung zwischen unbelebten bzw. unbeseelten Dingen und Lebewesen nicht akzeptiert: »Jeder Gegenstand, gleichgültig ob er aus organischen oder ob er aus anorganischen Substanzen bestand, gleichgültig ob er von Menschen g…

Fetishism

(1,445 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Concept The word ‘fetish’ derives from the Portugues feitiço (“spell”, “amulet”), which in turn derives from the Latin facticius (“artificial”) and is related to  feitiçeiro (“sorcerer”) and  feitiçaria (“sorcery”). The term became established in Portugal from the Late Middle Ages, and subsequently enjoyed an astonishing career in the early modern period, through to Karl Marx’ “commodity fetishism” in the 19th century [5. 13 f.].Jörn Sieglerschmidt 2. Africa Feitiços were already mentioned in Portugal in the first edict against witches (1385), and the word …
Date: 2019-10-14

Chance

(2,345 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Definition and overview Contingency and chance are concepts by which, since the dawn of history, people have sought to understand the world, especially the vicissitudes and shocks of life and natural phenomena. The two belong to the same field of meaning, with contingency denoting the fundamental openness or indeterminacy of human existence and its history. Chance, meanwhile, is invoked in specific circumstances, for instance to explain particular events.Historically speaking, the concept of chance has manifested itself in various guises that considerably exp…
Date: 2019-10-14

Herbarium

(1,013 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Concept and forms A herbarium in the strict sense in the early modern period was a collection of dried specimens of plants and plant parts affixed to paper. Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, who wrote a guide to the preparation of dried plants in 1700, not long after Wilhelm Lauremberg and Moritz Hofmann, saw the advantage as being able to make observations regardless of season [1. 671].In a wider sense known since antiquity, the paintings, and later prints and colored illustrations and descriptions of plants were also considered part of the phenomenon. Coll…
Date: 2019-10-14

Livestock

(1,698 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Definition Livestock are domesticated animals, as opposed to wild animals (which are also frequently of use to humans). The definition is often blurred. For example, all animals bred by humans for particular purposes could be called livestock, including not only worms, which are used in fishing, but also animals used in scientific experiments since the 18th century (Animal experimentation), or the many animals domesticated for human companionship.The term livestock is an anthropocentric one (Anthropocentrism), that is, it has meaning only in its reference…
Date: 2019-10-14

Fire

(1,900 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Definition and overview The control of fire is a cultural technique that, unlike the use of hands, language, tools, or communication, which are also available to animals, is unique to humans. It is thus unsurprising that fire holds a position of some importance in the mythological and philosophical systems of all cultures [7. 11]. In the tradition of European thought, fire was one of the four elements of which all things of the sublunar world (beneath the first planetary sphere) were composed. Called into question in the 17th century by Robert …
Date: 2019-10-14

Landscape

(2,554 words)

Author(s): Lüsebrink, Hans-Jürgen | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn | Blickle, Peter
1. Cultural phenomenonAs a cultural phenomenon, the landscape is a complex “integral system” [2. 14], in which looking at, depicting, and feeling the landscape are as important as its design and ecology (see below, 2.). Landscape in the early modern period (the word “landscape” itself was originally borrowed into English from Dutch  landschap in its artistic sense, extending to the wider sense in the 19th century; Landscape painting) was closely related to the concepts of garden and nature, which together reflect two different ideas and structura…
Date: 2019-10-14

Anthropocentrism

(1,376 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Concept and Christian background In the question of the relationship between human beings and nature, there are various positions, which depend on how the significance of human beings (Humankind) is assessed. The approach of anthropocentrism focuses on the perspective and interests of human beings, not uncommonly in the utilitarian form of a benefit relationship (Utilitarianism): nature was created for humankind and is therefore meaningful solely in proportion to its usefulness. Alternative models…
Date: 2019-10-14

Dimorphism

(1,145 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. DefinitionThe fact that for most known species, reproduction of animal and vegetable life is anisogamous (by the fusion of different gametes) is described by the term dimorphism (or bimorphism). The concept relates to the binary structure of the living world, a structure that is also reflected in many other spheres, such as language. Wherever nature metaphors and analogies are in use, dimorphism is a widespread conceptual and presentational model, even in fields far beyond biology.At all periods, dimorphism as a conceptual figure has also been enlisted to account …
Date: 2019-10-14

Cosmos

(4,052 words)

Author(s): Danielson, Dennis | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Cosmos and order“The Greeks have borrowed a name for the universe from ornament, on account of the variety of the elements and the beauty of the stars. For it is called among them  kosmos. … For with the eyes of the flesh we see nothing fairer than the universe.” (Isidore of Seville, De mundo 13,1; c. 600 CE). Likewise through the modern period and to the present, cosmology—the study of the cosmos (generally synonymous with “universe,” and also with “world” in its comprehensive sense)—has continued to be related not only to physics and astronom…
Date: 2019-10-14

Cyclicality

(3,506 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Concept and overviewFrom Antiquity until well into the early modern period, the idea of repetitive circular motion was a commonplace concept of the course of natural and social processes, both in Europe and in other cultures. It was regarded as the most perfect form of motion, and the circle and sphere as the most perfect geometrical bodies. At the same time, the concept was connected with the idea of eternal return, a revolution in its original sense, still colored by the ideas of Nikolaus Copernicus [3]; [15. 69–71]. The establishment of the heliocentric model in no way pre…
Date: 2019-10-14

Animism

(1,240 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Concept Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917) [11], who coined Animism as a technical term, is regarded by dint of his theory of the development of religion as one of the founders of religious science. Regardless of the evolutionism of this tradition, Animism should here be understood as a position that does not accept a clear distinction between inanimate or unensouled things and living beings. “Every object, irrespective of whether it consisted of organic or inorganic substance, irrespective of wheth…
Date: 2019-10-14

Animal

(5,217 words)

Author(s): Smith, Justin E.H. | Eckart, Wolfgang Uwe | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Natural philosophy 1.1. Distinction from humanDirectly or indirectly, the concept of the animal was frequently contrasted with that of the human in the early modern period [10]. Initially, it was used to define the sphere of philosophical anthropology (Humanity). Only later did “animal” come to denote an object of zoological study (Zoology). This anthropocentric perspective is clearly seen, for instance, in Renaissance printed editions of medieval bestiaries, which present all known species of animals – from the real w…
Date: 2019-10-14

Air

(1,302 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Introduction In the fourfold concept of the natural world that held sway from Antiquity, air was one of the four elements. It was believed to be a weightless element between fire and earth and water. Soon after 1491, the  Heidelberger Schicksalsbuch drew attention to the association between air and meteorological phenomena: “In the air are many transformations of fire, water, and wind. Watery being rain, dew, frost, snow, hail, fog” ( Jn dem lufft werden manigerlay verwandelung fewrs wassers vnd windts. Wässerig als regen taw reiff schne hagel nebel) (107r; [2]). There is no me…
Date: 2019-10-14

Calendar

(5,263 words)

Author(s): Behringer, Wolfgang | Schostak, Désirée | Messerli, Alfred | Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Term The word calendar derives from the name of the first day of the month in Ancient Rome (Latin Kalendae). From Latin kalendarium (‘debt-book’), it later came to refer to the whole system of reckoning time (Time, reckoning of). All known calendars are based on the alternation of day and night, the recurrent phases of the Moon (OE mona = “Moon”; monađ = “month”), and the course of the seasons through the solar year.Wolfgang Behringer 2. Chronology: early manifestations In all cultures, astronomical phenomena (Astronomy) determine the chronological units of year, month,…
Date: 2019-10-14

Animal breeding

(1,503 words)

Author(s): Sieglerschmidt, Jörn
1. Definition and overview Animal breeding in the narrower sense comprises the varyingly targeted selection of parent animals in order to produce offspring with desired characteristics, generally ones that can be successfully exploited economically. In the broader sense the term would include everything necessary for and conducive to the rearing of young animals. In the narrow sense animal breeding presupposes detailed knowledge of the forms of animal reproduction and the rules of heredit…
Date: 2019-10-14
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