Karl Friedrich Burdach
Born: 12.06.1776 in Leipzig
Died: 16.07.1847 in Königsberg
Doctorate: 1797 (?) in Leipzig
University lecturer: 1799 - 1811 Leipzig, 1818 - 1814 Dorpat, from 1814 Königsberg
Burdach was the only child of Daniel Christian Burdach, who practised and taught medicine in Leipzig until his untimely death. The son studied the same subject in his native town and qualified as a lecturer there as well. To further his education, he then went to Vienna but returned to Leipzig at the age of 23 to teach and practice. Burdach, who was fascinated by Schelling's natural philosophy, published widely during this period to overcome his financial problems.
After several unsuccessful applications, he received a professorship for anatomy, physiology and forensic medicine in Dorpat in 1811. Burdach, who was now finally financially independent, started to become especially interested in embryology. In 1814 he accepted a call to Königsberg, where he taught as Professor of Anatomy. He also founded an anatomical institute there, and was director of this organisation until 1826. His pro-rectors were the embryologists von Baer and Rathke, who later became very famous in this field.
Burdach's greatest contribution to science was his handbook Die Physiologie als Erfahrungswisssenschaft (physiology as a science of experience). While preparing this work, he fostered contacts with numerous researchers in every branch of the natural sciences. The completed publication was supposed to deal with every factor influencing life, but it remained unfinished as the volumes on movement, sensation and the activity of the soul were never published.
Back to page: Who are the central figures of Romantic Anthropology
This page was designed by Uli Wunderlich and translated by Adam Lawrence. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions. Last update: 14. Februar 1999.