cover of book

The Practical Imagination: The German Sciences of State in the Nineteenth Century
by David F. Lindenfeld
University of Chicago Press, 1997
eISBN: 978-0-226-48244-6 | Cloth: 978-0-226-48241-5 | Paper: 978-0-226-48242-2
Library of Congress Classification H53.G4L56 1997
Dewey Decimal Classification 320.943

Drawing on the work of Foucault and Bourdieu, David Lindenfeld illuminates the practical imagination as it was exhibited in the transformation of the political and social sciences during the changing conditions of nineteenth-century Germany. Using a wealth of information from state and university archives, private correspondence, and a survey of lecture offerings in German universities, Lindenfeld examines the original group of learned disciplines which originated in eighteenth-century Germany as a curriculum to train state officials in the administration and reform of society and which included economics, statistics, politics, public administration, finance, and state law, as well as agriculture, forestry, and mining. He explores the ways in which some systems of knowledge became extinct, and how new ones came into existence, while other migrated to different subject areas.

Lindenfeld argues that these sciences of state developed a technique of deliberation on practical issues such as tax policy and welfare, that serves as a model for contemporary administrations.

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