Ludwig Buchner

_____Ludwig Buchner ns____
Nationality
German
Known forExtreme materialism
Extreme atheism
Alma matter
University of Giessen University of Strasbourg University of Würzburg University of Vienna
Buchner signature
In existographies, Ludwig Buchner (1824-1899) (IQ:180|#110) (SN:11) (FA:110) (GA:6) (CR:131) was a German physician, physicist, anti-chance philosopher, auto-defined "realist philosopher", labeled: extreme atheist, "gross materialist" (Finck, 1877), "extreme materialism" (Britannica, 1911), noted for his 1855 Force and Matter, a top ranked atheist's bible (#1|6+), in which he applies physics and chemistry to humanity just as it is applied to matter, according to which, similar to Goethe and Empedocles, before him, argued that the chemical affinities of atoms and molecules are manifestations of the actions of the love and hate between people. [1]
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Influences
Buchner, in his Force and Matter, while citing a number of main scientists, e.g. Clausius, Helmholtz, Joule, tends to cite William Grove, and his Correlation of the Physical Forces, more than most; he also cites: John Tyndall, George Drysdale, Goethe, many of the ancient Greek philosophers, e.g. Anaxagoras, the atomic theorists (Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius), Baron d'Holbach, among others.

Atheism
See main: Extreme atheism
Buchner was a self-defined "atheist", per terminology dialogue with Darwin (Ѻ), and labeled by others as an extreme atheist philosopher—see also: Stark classification (1962) on “extreme form” of social mechanism. Some describe Buchner as the "father of German atheistic evangelism"; similar to the English version of Thomas Huxley. Buchner, in his Force and Matter, 1884 edition, opens to the following quotes:

“The universe, that is the all, is made neither of gods nor of men, but ever has been and ever will be an eternal living fire, kindling and extinguishing in destined measure.”
Heraclitus (c.475BC)

“Where there are three students of nature, there are two atheists.”
— Buchner (1884) or an old saying [?]

The controversy surrounding Büchner’s Force and Matter resulted in Buchner being dismissed from post at the University of Tübingen, but he went on to establish the German Freethinkers' League, the first German organization for atheists. (Ѻ)

Buchner man reacts with woman quote (c.1855)

Finck
Buchner, as critiqued by American philosopher Henry Finck (1887), argued that the chemical affinities of atoms and molecules are manifestations of the actions of the love between people; Finck cites the following examples: [2]

“Just as man and woman attract one another, so oxygen attracts hydrogen, and, in loving union with it, forms water, that mighty omnipresent element, without which no life nor thought would be possible.”
— Ludwig Buchner (c.1855), cited by Henry Finck (1887) in Romantic Love and Beauty (pgs. 6-7)

Potassium and phosphorous entertain such a violent passion for oxygen that even under water they burn—i.e. unite themselves with the beloved object.”
— Ludwig Buchner (c.1855), cited by Henry Finck (1887) in Romantic Love and Beauty (pgs. 6-7)

“For it is love, in the form of attraction, which chains stone to stone, earth to earth, star to star, and which holds together the mighty edifice on which we stand, and on the surface of which, like parasites, we carry on our existence, barely noticeable in the infinite universe; and on which we shall continue to exist till that distant period when its component parts will again be resolved into that primal chaos from which it laboriously severed itself millions of years ago, and became a separate planet.”
— Ludwig Buchner (c.1855), cited by Henry Finck (1887) in Romantic Love and Beauty (pgs. 6-7)

Finck classifies Buchner as a "gross materialist" for these views.

Overview
The following is the edited description of Buchner from the 1911 Britannica: [5]

In 1852, Buchner became lecturer in medicine at the university of Tübingen, where he published his great work Kraft und Stoff [Force and Matter] (1855). In this work, the product, according to Lange, of a fanatical enthusiasm for humanity, he sought to demonstrate the indestructibility of matter and force, and the finality of physical force. The extreme materialism of this work excited so much opposition that he was compelled to give up his post at Tübingen. He retired to Darmstadt, where he practised as a physician and contributed regularly to pathological and physiological magazines.

Buchner continued his philosophical work in defense of materialism, and published Natur und Geist [Nature and Spirit] (1857), Aus Natur und Wissenschaft [From Nature and Science] (vol. i., 1862; vol. ii., 1884), Fremdes und Eigenes aus dem geistigen Leben der Gegenwart [Foreign and Private from the Spiritual Life of the Present] (1890), Darwinismus und Socialismus [Darwinism and Socialism] (1894), Im Dienste der Wahrheit [In the Service of Truth] (1899). He died at Darmstadt on the 1st of May 1899.

In estimating Büchner's philosophy it must be remembered that he was primarily a physiologist, not a metaphysician. Matter and force (or energy) are infinite; the conservation of force follows from the imperishability of matter, the ultimate basis of all science. Büchner is not always clear in his theory of the relation between matter and force. At one time he refuses to explain it, but generally he assumes that all natural and spiritual forces are indwelling in matter:

"Just as a steam engine produces motion, so the intricate organic complex of force-bearing substance in an animal organism produces a total sum of certain effects, which, when bound together in a unity, are called by us mind, soul, thought." (Kraft und Stoff, 7th ed., p. 130)

Here he postulates force and mind as emanating from original matter—a materialistic monism. But in other parts of his works he suggests that mind and matter are two different aspects of that which is the basis of all things—a monism which is not necessarily materialistic, and which, in the absence of further explanation, constitutes a confession of failure. Büchner was much less concerned to establish a scientific metaphysic than to protest against the romantic idealism of his predecessors and the theological interpretations of the universe. Nature according to him is purely physical; it has no purpose, no will, no laws imposed by extraneous authority, no supernatural ethical sanction.”

The comment "generally [Buchner] assumes that all natural and spiritual forces are indwelling in matter", this is the theory espoused by Pierre Teilhard, and may not exactly be Buchner's belief (check), e.g. the cited quoted mentions "mind, soul, thought" (but not spirit), but rather adumbration by the 1911 Britannica writer.

Force and Matter
In 1852, Buchner became lecturer in medicine at the University of Tübingen, where he published the work his best-known work the 1855 Force and Matter: Empirico-Philosophical Studies. The extreme materialism of this work excited so much opposition that he was compelled to give up his post at Tübingen (see: two cultures tensions), whereafter he retired to Darmstadt, practicing as a physician and contributing regularly to pathological and physiological magazines.

Entropy
In 1882, Buchner published Light and Life, in which, supposedly, he addressed the law of increasing entropy by saying that only parts of the universe would die but that other parts would go on living. [4]
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Education
Buchner studied studied physics, chemistry, botany, mineralogy, philosophy, and medicine at the University of Giessen graduating in 1848 with a dissertation on "Contributions to the Hallerian Theory of an Excitomotor Nervous System". He then studied at University of Strasbourg, University of Strasbourg, where he studied pathology under Rudolf Virchow, and at the University of Vienna.
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Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Buchner:

“Throughout his life Einstein was a man of the book, to a much higher degree than other scientists. The remarkably diverse collection of volumes in his library grew constantly. If we look only at the German-language books published before 1910 that survived Einstein’s Princeton household, the list includes much of the cannon of the time: Boltzmann, Buchner, Friedrich Hebbel, the works of Heine in two editions, Helmholtz, von Humboldt, the many books of Kant, Gotthold Lessing, Mach, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. But what looms largest are the collected works of Johann von Goethe in a thirty-six volume edition and another of twelve volumes, plus two volumes on his Optics, the exchange of letters between Goethe and Schiller, and a separate volume of Faust.”
— Gerald Holton (2008), on the contents of Einstein’s personal library. [6]

Mach crowed that he had slain the ‘stuff and force’ dragon of the mechanistic materialism of Buchner, Vogt (Ѻ), and Moleschott. Mach, in short, confused the laws with definitions, and inverted the correct logical relation ‘dynamics entails kinematics.’ He thus sacrificed Newtonian mechanics on the idealist altar.”
Mario Bunge (2010), Matter and Mind: a Philosophical Inquiry [7]

References
1. Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two) (pgs. 435-36). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
2. Finck, Henry. (1887). Romantic Love and Personal Beauty: Their Development, Causal Relations, Historic and National Peculiarities (section: Cosmic Attraction and Chemical Affinities, pgs 4-9). MacMillan.
3. (a) Buchner, Ludwig. (1855). Kraft und Stoff: Empirisch-naturphilosophische Studien. Publisher
(b) Buchner, Ludwig. (1864). Force and Matter: Empirico-Philosophical Studies, Intelligibly Rendered. Trubner & Company.
(c) Buchner, Ludwig. (1855). Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon (15th German edition; 4th English edition). London: Asher and Co, 1891.
(d) Buchner, Ludwig. (1891). Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon (4th ed). Peter Eckler.
4. (a) Buchner, Ludwig. (1882). Licht und Leben (Light and Life). Leipzig.
(b) Schutte, Ofelia. (1986). Beyond Nihilism: Nietzsche Without Masks (pg. 205). University of Chicago Press.
5. Buchner, Friedrich Karl Christian Ludwig – Encyclopedia Britannica (1911).
6. Galison, Peter, Holton, Gerald J., and Schweber, Silvan S. (2008). Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture (ch. 1: Who Was Einstein? Why is He Still so Alive?, pgs 3-15; quote: pg. 10). Princeton University Press.
7. Bunge, Mario. (2010). Matter and Mind: a Philosophical Inquiry (pg. 247). Springer.
8. Leiter, Brian. (2014). Nietzsche on Morality (pg. #). Routledge.

Further reading
● Frauenstädt, Julius. (1856). Der Materialismus. Leipzig.
● Janet, Paul. (1866). The Materialism of the Present Day: A Criticism of Dr Büchner's System (translator: Gustave Masson). London: H. Bailliere.
● Buchner, Ludwig and Buchner, Alexander. (1901). Last Words on Materialism and Kindred Subjects. Watts & Co.

External links
Ludwig Buchner – Wikipedia.

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