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Ørsted, Hans Christian (1777–1851)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC119-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2003
Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Hans Christian Ørsted, the Danish chemist and physicist, discovered electromagnetism in 1820. This epochal discovery fundamentally changed the development of physical science, leading to the ground-breaking research of Michael Faraday, Andre-Marie Ampere, James Clerk Maxwell, Heinrich Hertz, Albert Einstein, and others. In his scientific work, Ørsted espoused a dynamical theory of matter which had its roots in Immanuel Kant’s metaphysics of nature, and he remained committed to the belief in the fundamental interconnection of natural forces, a commitment that can be traced back to his religious instruction as a youth and to Friedrich von Schelling’s Naturphilosophie. During the early years of his career, he strove to provide a rigorous metaphysical foundation for the science of chemistry. Throughout his life and scientific work, Ørsted understood natural laws and phenomena to be the rational revelation of God, and sought to develop a unified view of nature reflecting this belief.

Citing this article:
Wilson, Andrew D.. Ørsted, Hans Christian (1777–1851), 2003, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC119-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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