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Humboldteanización del mundo occidental? La importancia del viaje de Humboldt para Europa y América Latina

Author(s): Michael Zeuske

Journal: HiN. Alexander von Humboldt im Netz
ISSN 1617-5239

Volume: IV;
Issue: 6;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Alexander von Humboldt | Michael Zeuske | 1799-1804 | Latin America

Article in Spanish, Abstracts in English and German.The article “Humboldization of the Western world? The importance of the travel of Humboldt for Europa and for Latin America”, treats the empirical Prussian Scientist as a globalist (Universalgelehrten), in accordance to the conceptualization made by Ottmar Ette. Humboldt was one, if not the most important founder of Western moderne. As opposed to the well-known founders of the moderne (Descartes, Kant, Buffon, Schiller, Hegel, Marx ... etc.), Alexander von Humboldt was an empirical and a global thinker. He did this in transcultural manners, sometimes already in intercultural manners. But most of times, his point of view is based in the European tradition of roman-classicist and aesthetic thinking. The article tries to demonstrate three types of knowledge in Humboldt and also, that the humboldtian universalism has important intercultural bases in the comunication with American scientists and in the American empiricism (“local knowledge”). One importance of such a conceptualization of Humboldt is shown – in negation – in the actual debates over diaspora and race in the Atlantic world (“Black Atlantic”). Humboldt knowledge of American slaveries and his absolute condemnation of slavery in his “Island of Cuba” is not present in these debates. In the second part the article demonstrates possibles manners of reading the diaries of Humboldt, by constructing “essais imaginaires” about colonialism, slavery, Peru, the Pacific ocean etc.
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