A Concept of Transfer - Transfers of a Concept Generation in Physiology, Pedagogy, and Politics around 1800

Using the pattern of subsequent generations, contingent processes of historical change can be narrated as if they were something natural. The article explores this naturalizing potential of the modern concept of generation by tracing it back to its origin around the year 1800, when current physiological theories about the “epigenetic“ self-organization of life became applicable to pedagogical and political programs of “new“ and “forthcoming“ generations. The article also discusses the methodological question of how such conceptual transfers can be adequately described.
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