1824 – 1899
Who was Ludwig Büchner?
Büchner was born at Darmstadt on 29 March 1824. From 1842 to 1848 he studied physics, chemistry, botany, mineralogy, philosophy and medicine at the University of Giessen, where he graduated in 1848 with a dissertation entitled Beiträge zur Hall'schen Lehre von einem excitomotorischen Nervensystem. Afterwards, he continued his studies at the University of Strasbourg, University of Würzburg and at the University of Vienna. In 1852 he became lecturer in medicine at the University of Tübingen, where he published his great work Kraft und Stoff: Empirisch-naturphilosophische Studien. 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 practiced as a physician and contributed regularly to pathological and physiological magazines.
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