The Passage To Cosmos

Author: Laura Dassow Walls
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226871843
Size: 75.16 MB
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Explorer, scientist, writer, and humanist, Alexander von Humboldt was the most famous intellectual of the age that began with Napoleon and ended with Darwin. With Cosmos, the book that crowned his career, Humboldt offered to the world his vision of humans and nature as integrated halves of a single whole. In it, Humboldt espoused the idea that, while the universe of nature exists apart from human purpose, its beauty and order, the very idea of the whole it composes, are human achievements: cosmos comes into being in the dance of world and mind, subject and object, science and poetry. Humboldt’s science laid the foundations for ecology and inspired the theories of his most important scientific disciple, Charles Darwin. In the United States, his ideas shaped the work of Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, and Whitman. They helped spark the American environmental movement through followers like John Muir and George Perkins Marsh. And they even bolstered efforts to free the slaves and honor the rights of Indians. Laura Dassow Walls here traces Humboldt’s ideas for Cosmos to his 1799 journey to the Americas, where he first experienced the diversity of nature and of the world’s peoples—and envisioned a new cosmopolitanism that would link ideas, disciplines, and nations into a global web of knowledge and cultures. In reclaiming Humboldt’s transcultural and transdisciplinary project, Walls situates America in a lively and contested field of ideas, actions, and interests, and reaches beyond to a new worldview that integrates the natural and social sciences, the arts, and the humanities. To the end of his life, Humboldt called himself “half an American,” but ironically his legacy has largely faded in the United States. The Passage to Cosmos will reintroduce this seminal thinker to a new audience and return America to its rightful place in the story of his life, work, and enduring legacy.

Views Of Nature

Author: Alexander von Humboldt
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226923193
Size: 75.87 MB
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While the influence of Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) looms large over the natural sciences, his legacy reaches far beyond the field notebooks of naturalists. Humboldt’s 1799–1804 research expedition to Central and South America with botanist Aimé Bonpland not only set the course for the great scientific surveys of the nineteenth century, but also served as the raw material for his many volumes—works of both scientific rigor and aesthetic beauty that inspired such essayists and artists as Emerson, Goethe, Thoreau, Poe, and Frederic Edwin Church. Views of Nature, or Ansichten der Natur, was Humboldt’s best-known and most influential work—and his personal favorite. While the essays that comprise it are themselves remarkable as innovative, early pieces of nature writing—they were cited by Thoreau as a model for his own work—the book’s extensive endnotes incorporate some of Humboldt’s most beautiful prose and mature thinking on vegetation structure, its origins in climate patterns, and its implications for the arts. Written for both a literary and a scientific audience, Views of Nature was translated into English (twice), Spanish, and French in the nineteenth century, and it was read widely in Europe and the Americas. But in contrast to many of Humboldt’s more technical works, Views of Nature has been unavailable in English for more than one hundred years. Largely neglected in the United States during the twentieth century, Humboldt’s contributions to the humanities and the sciences are now undergoing a revival to which this new translation will be a critical contribution.

Alexander Von Humboldt S Translantic Personae

Author: Vera M Kutzinski
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317977505
Size: 63.81 MB
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Who was Alexander von Humboldt? Was he really a lone genius? Was he another European apologist for colonialism in the Americas or the father of Latin American independence? Was he a roving Romanticist, or did his sensibilities belong to the Enlightenment? Naturalist, philosopher, historian, and proto-sociologist--to name just some of the fields to which he contributed--, Humboldt is impossible to contain in a single identity or definition. His voluminous writings range across so many different fields of knowledge that his scholarly-scientific personae multiplied even during his lifetime, and they have continued to proliferate since his death in 1859. A household word throughout the nineteenth century, Humboldt was eventually eclipsed by Charles Darwin (whose own travels had been motivated by Humboldt’s) and disappeared from view for much of the twentieth century, notably in the United States. The essays in this collection testify to the renewed interest that Alexander von Humboldt’s multi-faceted work is inspiring in the twenty-first century, especially among cultural and literary historians from both sides of the Atlantic. This book was originally published as a special issue of Atlantic Studies.

American Environmentalism

Author: J. Michael Martinez
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1466559713
Size: 66.81 MB
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Protecting the natural environment and promoting sustainability have become important objectives, but achieving such goals presents myriad challenges for even the most committed environmentalist. American Environmentalism: Philosophy, History, and Public Policy examines whether competing interests can be reconciled while developing consistent, coherent, effective public policy to regulate uses and protection of the natural environment without destroying the national economy. It then reviews a range of possible solutions. The book delves into key normative concepts that undergird American perspectives on nature by providing an overview of philosophical concepts found in the western intellectual tradition, the presuppositions inherent in neoclassical economics, and anthropocentric (human-centered) and biocentric (earth-centered) positions on sustainability. It traces the evolution of attitudes about nature from the time of the Ancient Greeks through Europeans in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the American Founders, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and up to the present. Building on this foundation, the author examines the political landscape as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry leaders, and government officials struggle to balance industrial development with environmental concerns. Outrageous claims, silly misrepresentations, bogus arguments, absurd contentions, and overblown prophesies of impending calamities are bandied about by many parties on all sides of the debate—industry spokespeople, elected representatives, unelected regulators, concerned citizens, and environmental NGOs alike. In lieu of descending into this morass, the author circumvents the silliness to explore the crucial issues through a more focused, disciplined approach. Rather than engage in acrimonious debate over minutiae, as so often occurs in the context of "green" claims, he recasts the issue in a way that provides a cohesive look at all sides. This effort may be quixotic, but how else to cut the Gordian knot?

Atlantic Biographies

Author: Mark Meuwese
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004259716
Size: 50.57 MB
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Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World, profiles individuals who dramaticaly impacted and shaped a world that connected the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Each contributor sketches a biography that demonstrates how important individuals were to creating and imagining the Atlantic world from 1600 to 1850.

The Oxford Handbook Of Transcendentalism

Author: Joel Myerson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199716128
Size: 76.56 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism offers an ecclectic, comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to the immense cultural impact of the movement that encompassed literature, art, architecture, science, and politics.

Women Travel And Science In Nineteenth Century Americas

Author: Nina Gerassi-Navarro
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319615068
Size: 51.64 MB
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This book offers a new and insightful look at the interconnections between the United States, Brazil and Mexico during the nineteenth century. Gerassi-Navarro brings together U.S. and Latin American Studies with her analysis of the travel narratives of Frances Calderón de la Barca and Elizabeth Cary Agassiz. Inspired by the writings of Alexander von Humboldt these women, in their travels, expand his views on the tropics to include a social dimension to their observations on nature, culture, race, and progress in Brazil and Mexico. Highlighting the role of women as a new kind of observer as well as the complexity of connections between the United States and Latin America, Gerassi-Navarro interweaves science, politics, and aesthetics in new transnational frameworks.

The German Roots Of Nineteenth Century American Theology

Author: Annette G. Aubert
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199915334
Size: 47.88 MB
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By exploring the significant influence of German theology, especially mediating theology, on American religious thought, this book sheds new and welcome light on nineteenth-century American Reformed theology. It is the first full-scale examination of that influence on the Mercersburg theology of Emanuel V. Gerhart and the Princeton theology of Charles Hodge. Annette Aubert shows that in the development of their works, Gerhart and Hodge took into account both the tradition of the church and the contemporary theological developments in Europe, especially Germany. Aubert masterfully incorporates the German sources of Schleiermacher, Ullmann, Tholuck, Hagenbach, Dorner, Hengstenberg, and other nineteenth-century German scholars to show that the work of Gerhart and Hodge is much better appreciated when interpreted in a wide intellectual and religious context. Aubert's organic and transatlantic approach offers a deeper understanding of the American Reformed theology of two influential thinkers and illuminates the extent of the cross-fertilization between American and German thought.

Lines Of Geography In Latin American Narrative

Author: Aarti Smith Madan
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331955140X
Size: 70.60 MB
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This book looks to the writings of prolific statesmen like D.F. Sarmiento, Estanislao Zeballos, and Euclides da Cunha to unearth the literary and political roots of the discipline of geography in nineteenth-century Latin America. Tracing the simultaneous rise of text-writing, map-making, and institution-building, it offers new insight into how nations consolidated their territories. Beginning with the titanic figures of Strabo and Humboldt, it rereads foundational works like Facundo and Os sertões as examples of a recognizably geographical discourse. The book digs into lesser-studied bulletins, correspondence, and essays to tell the story of how three statesmen became literary stars while spearheading Latin America’s first geographic institutes, which sought to delineate the newly independent states. Through a fresh pairing of literary analysis and institutional history, it reveals that words and maps—literature and geography—marched in lockstep to shape national territories, identities, and narratives.

The Republic Of Nature

Author: Mark Fiege
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295804149
Size: 79.42 MB
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In the dramatic narratives that comprise The Republic of Nature, Mark Fiege reframes the canonical account of American history based on the simple but radical premise that nothing in the nation's past can be considered apart from the natural circumstances in which it occurred. Revisiting historical icons so familiar that schoolchildren learn to take them for granted, he makes surprising connections that enable readers to see old stories in a new light. Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education. By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience. For more information, visit the author's website: http://republicofnature.com/