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topic of the lecture was not new to him: as a letter he sent to Ludwig Feuer- bach shows, Moleschott was already doing experiments on the influence of light on organisms in 1853.98 But it was not only on the natural sciences that Moleschott’s studies focused in this period: in fact, in another letter to Feuerbach, Moleschott ex- plained his views on philosophy and history. For him, philosophy should only exist as history of philosophy, whereas history should not be limited to the history of West- ern Europe, but become global history. This goes together with his

’s thesis, I have already dealt with Moleschott’s thought at some length and based on archival material;28 however, my approach was very different from that of the present work. In “Jacob Moleschott and the Conception of Science in the 19th Century: Scientific Materialism as ‘Totalizing’ Worldview”, I have inter- rogated the sources mainly from the perspective of the history of philosophy and the history of ideas; however, I have also taken into account the context of nationalism and the political and social environment of unified Italy, as well as the scientific con

expressed in the abovementioned notes and lectures in Ital- ian, however, are already present in his Kreislauf des Lebens: there, Moleschott al- ready tried to develop a unifying system of science, society and the arts, as can be clearly inferred from his admiration for Aristotle. In fact, he mentions Aristotle as a perfect example, finding no equivalent in the history of philosophy and in the history of science, of the all-encompassing natural scientist and systematic philosopher, who was able to investigate “animals, works of art and human beings” starting from his

Heidelberg, Molechott considered Fleischer to be one of his most inti- mate friends.32 Under his guidance, Moleschott read Hegel’s lectures on aesthetics and on the history of philosophy: these lectures would deeply influence his concep- tion of science and of culture. In fact, as he expressed it e.g. his opening lecture given in Turin in 1861, L’unità della vita, according to him science had gradually developed and specialized, but the specialization of disciplines presupposed a unifying princi- ple, or a “common ground”, as he would call it in his Senate speeches on