Between 1814 and 1819 humboldt produced an impres

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A History of Modern Psychology
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 3
A History of Modern Psychology
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Between 1814 and 1819, Humboldt produced an impres- sive multivolume Personal Narratives of Travels much like the lavishly illustrated reports by Cook and Bougainville. The expense bankrupted him, sending him to the Prussian court in search of fi nancial support. Humboldt’s investiga- tions provide an important link between the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century science. Humboldt, in good Enlightenment fashion, attempted to demonstrate that cli- mate and physical environment determined which forms of life would survive in any given region. These investiga- tions would continue in nineteenth-century discussions of evolutionary change. Charles Darwin referred to Humboldt as “the greatest scientific traveler who ever lived,” and the German scientist’s writing inspired Darwin’s voyage to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Thus Europeans who looked outward did so for a vari- ety of reasons and reached very different conclusions. For some Enlightenment thinkers and rulers, scientific reports from overseas fitted into a broad inquiry about civilization and human nature. That inquiry at times encouraged self- criticism and at others simply shored up Europeans’ sense of their superiority. These themes reemerged during the nineteenth century, when new empires were built and the West’s place in the world was reassessed. THE RADICAL ENLIGHTENMENT How revolutionary was the Enlightment? Enlightenment thought did undermine central tenets of eighteenth-century culture and politics. It had wide resonance, well beyond a small group of intellectuals. Yet Enlightenment thinkers did not hold to any single political position. Even the most radical among them disagreed on the implications of their thought. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Mary Wollstonecraft provide good examples of such radical thinkers. The World of Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( roo-SOH, 1712–1778) was an “out- sider” who quarreled with the other philosophes and contra- dicted many of their assumptions. He shared the philosophes search for intellectual and political freedom, attacked inher- ited privilege, and believed in the good of humanity and the possibility of creating a just society. Yet he introduced other strains into Enlightenment thought, especially morality MAORIS IN A WAR CANOE NEAR LOOKOUT POINT. This copy of an illustration by Sidney Parkinson, who accompanied James Cook’s explorations, is typical of the images of the South Pacific that may have circulated in Europe in the late eighteenth century. What questions might have been prompted among Enlightenment thinkers by an increased awareness of different cultures throughout the globe?
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A History of Modern Psychology
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Chapter 5 / Exercise 3
A History of Modern Psychology
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530 | CHAPTER 17 The Enlightenment and what was then called “sensibility,” or the cult of feel- ing. Rousseau’s interest in emotions led him to develop a more complicated portrait of human psychology than that of Enlightenment writers, who emphasized reason as the most important attribute of human beings. He was also considerably more radical than his counterparts, one of the fi rst to talk about popular sovereignty and democracy. He

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