Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.344052
Title: Carl Ritter's early geographic thought (1779-1817)
Author: Boettcher, Walter Eric
ISNI:       0000 0001 3468 914X
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1990
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Abstract:
The German geographer Carl Ritter (1779-1859) created a new geographical science by applying the logical structure of eighteenth-century German educational psychology to the encyclopedic body of existing geographical knowledge. He expanded the domain of Geography by including physical deterministic forces to explain cultural variation, and applied historical linguistic analysis to derive useful information from classical, medievel and contemporary geographic texts. His general comparative methodology is not well understood by geographers today because his logical diction is unfamiliar. His scientific vocabulary is adopted from eighteenth-century theories of knowledge (Erkennmistheorie), especially brightness theory (Helligkeitstheorie). The sources of Ritter's pedagogic and scientific thought include: the Salzmann Institute in Schnepfenthal where he was educated in accordance with the principles of Rousseau and Basedow; Halle University where he studied Kantian logic, Leibniz-Wolffian aesthetics, and the new logical foundations of natural science, philology and pedagogy; and his own independent study as a private tutor in Frankfurt-am-Main where he deepened his knowledge of science and pedagogy by discussions with many eminent scientists and pedagogues. His meetings with J.H. Pestalozzi and Alexander von Humboldt in 1807 were crucial to his intellectual development, for von Humboldt endorsed his attempt to adopt the theory behind Pestalozzi's method as a new logical basis for Geography. This indirectly owed much to Fichte's philosophy of science. In Gottingen during the wars of liberation, Ritter formulated his new system as a contribution to the revival of German national identity (Volksaufklärung). This culminated in 1817 in the first volume of Die Erdkunde which was applauded throughout Germany and led to the establishment of Geography as a legitimate academic discipline. He received joint appointments to the faculties of the War College and University of Berlin where he became the first Professor of Geography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.344052  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History
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