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Haeckel, Ernst Heinrich (1834–1919)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC033-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved August 18, 2022, from

Article Summary

Haeckel was the leading German Darwinist. His evolutionary philosophy of monism differed substantially from the views of Darwin or of British evolutionary philosophers such as Herbert Spencer or the dualist T.H. Huxley. Haeckel’s monism asserted the unity of physical and organic nature, and included mental processes and social phenomena. Its initial form was mechanistic, seeking to reduce vital processes to physicochemical laws and substances. However, his efforts to construct the history of life meant that Haeckel became preoccupied with historical processes. In its final form, his monism was pantheistic. Although Haeckel has been regarded as a forerunner of national socialism, a contextual reading of his works does not support this interpretation.

Citing this article:
Weindling, Paul. Haeckel, Ernst Heinrich (1834–1919), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC033-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.

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