Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt: An exchange of looks between two famous naturalists

HiN - Internationale Zeitschrift für Humboldt Studien <br />          ISSN: 1617-5239

Authors: Miguel-Ángel Puig-Samper and Sandra Rebok

published in HiN XI, 21 (2010)

We have always thought, in Newton’s phrase, that an emerging scientist stands on the shoulders of a previous giant of science in order to be able to see further into the discovery of new laws, or simply to increase his knowledge. Today we can look at a case in point, and observe the phenomenon where one giant climbs on the shoulders of another, still living, to go further in the fields of science. This comparison of mutual observations is perhaps particularly topical at this moment, when we are commemorating not only the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth but also the death of Humboldt 150 years ago in 1859. This exchange of looks, furthermore, helps us to catch a glimpse of how these two scholars perceived each other. This article shall give a detailed analysis of the different levels of contact between the two individuals, both in their actual contact, personally or through their correspondence, as well as in their meeting of ideas. >> read full article

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • References to Humboldt in Darwin’s correspondence
  • References to Humboldt in the Works of Darwin
  • References to Darwin in the writings of Humboldt
  • Personal contact between Humboldt and Darwin
  • Bibliography

Katharina Einert

Katharina Einert - Studium der Romanistik und Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft an der Universität Potsdam. Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für französisch- und spanischsprachige Literatur (Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette), Institut für Romanistik, Universität Potsdam. Seit 2011 Promotion unter Betreuung von Prof. Dr. Gesine Müller, Romanisches Seminar, Universität zu Köln.

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