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The contact between Mediterranean and Eastern Europe in the light of “philosophic geography”

Alen Tafra ; Pula, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 351 Kb

str. 67-82

preuzimanja: 645



The birth of a number of modern social sciences and humanities (e.g. anthropology, ethnology, comparative linguistics) is inseparable from western imperialism and the intellectual revolution in natural philosophy. Within the interlaced cultural-political context of the “Age of Enlightenment” even travels became “philosophical” projects of total cognition. To that extent travelogues represent privileged testimonies of Philosophic Geography in which Enlightenment thinkers subordinate their conception of backward parts of Europe to philosophical values of Civilization. Established on the scientific naturalization of time, universal scale of evolutionary sequences thereby implies diachronical degradation of the Others, intensifying in the process their relative geographical marginalization. However, exactly the travelogues of two Mediterranean natural scientists – Ruđer Bošković and Alberto Fortis – demonstrate that imagological analysis of their contribution to inherited Orientalist discourse shouldn't disregard factor of author's creativeness. Namely, if we look across the binary conceptual borders, Bošković provides unconventional map of Eastern Europe. On the other hand, Fortis – due to utopian aspects of his depiction of contact with Other – might serve instructively to the critique of essentialized constructs of cultural-historical epochs like Enlightenment and Romanticism.

Ključne riječi

anthropology, philosophy of history, Enlightenment, romanticism, eurocentrism, imperialism, orientalism, Alberto Fortis, Ruđer Josip Bošković, allochronism

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