Abstract

This article briefly outlines Ørsted's early aesthetic thought by placing it in the context of his affiliations with early German romanticism, and by examining the poetics and philosophy of language contained in a prize-winning essay on aesthetics that he wrote in 1796. Further, this article presents an example of how aesthetic and linguistic strategies in his writing helped shape the meaning of the theoretical terms utilized in his early scientific work. Toward this end, the focus of the article will be limited to a central passage from the first installment of his Kemiske Breve (Chemical Letters), which he published in 1798 at the age of twenty-one.

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