ZUFALL: METAPHORS OF CONTINGENCY AND THE RISE OF THE CASE
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This dissertation investigates the development of the case in the 18th century as a small-form account of individual life in the sphere of medicine and criminal psychology, focusing on the texts’ shift toward contingent and deviant events. The thesis argues that the standardization of case-like forms implies an evolving attitude toward the role of chance in scientific reasoning in the German context and that this paradigm shift toward contingency is reflected in changing perspectives toward deviance in both literary and scientific domains. In its precise narration of particularistic observations, the case possesses a multi-functionality that enables close reading of contingent events while also approximating generalizable conclusions through the plurality of cases in a series. This theme of the contingency of the individuality is then traced through the literature of case studies, beginning with Karl Philipp Moritz’ Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde and concluding with the Kriminalgeschichten of August Gottlieb Meißner, Karl Friedrich Müchler, and Friedrich Schiller.
Case Study; Jakob Bernoulli; Karl Philipp Moritz; Probability; Psychology
Fleming, Paul A.; Schwarz, Anette
Ph. D., Germanic Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis