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Der Kampf ums Dasein als Metapher der Dynamik im letzten Drittel des 19. Jahrhunderts

Zurück zum Heft: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte. Band 59: Metaphorologien der Exploration und Dynamik (1800/1900)
DOI: 10.28937/9783787335923_6
EUR 16,90

This essay explores how Charles Darwin’s concept ›struggle for existence‹ was received in German philosophy and literature. It starts from the idea that the struggle for existence is a cause for dynamic change. According to Ernst Haeckel and others it propels progress (Fortschritt). Exploring the various ways in which the struggle for existence is metaphorically used, the essay argues that the Darwinian formula can be separated from other concepts of struggle (e.g. the Schopenhauerian) by a specific ambivalence. As the struggle for existence causes progress and defeat at the same time, observers and narrators of such a struggle can be repelled or fascinated, or both at the same time. Nietzsche’s early aesthetics and Max Kretzer’s naturalistic novel Meister Timpe (1888) are examples for such an ambivalently conceived struggle.