|Born||1 August 1779|
|Died||11 August 1851 (aged 72)|
Lorenz Oken (1 August 1779 – 11 August 1851) was a
In it he extended to physical science the philosophical principles which
In the Grundriss der Naturphilosophie of 1802 Oken sketched the outlines of the scheme he afterwards devoted himself to perfecting. The position advanced in that work, to which he continued to adhere, is that "the animal classes are virtually nothing else than a representation of the sense-organs, and that they must be arranged in accordance with them." Consequently, Oken contended that there are only five animal classes:
In 1805 Oken made a further advance in the application of the a priori principle in a book on generation (Die Zeugung), in which he maintained that "all organic beings originate from and consist of vesicles or cells. These vesicles, when singly detached and regarded in their original process of production, are the infusorial mass or protoplasma (Urschleim) whence all larger organisms fashion themselves or are evolved. Their production is therefore nothing else than a regular agglomeration of Infusoria—not, of course, of species already elaborated or perfect, but of mucous vesicles or points in general, which first form themselves by their union or combination into particular species."
A year after the production of this treatise, Oken developed his system one stage further, and in a volume published in 1806, written with the assistance of