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Humbolt’s Proto-Ecological Thinking
February 26, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was one of the most important scientific and humanist thinkers of the nineteenth century, with foresights that resonate in many current environmental debates. In accordance with his understanding of nature as spatial, dynamic, and fluid, Humboldt did not limit himself to one single subject matter but worked in fields labeled today as geology, geography, meteorology, biology, physiology, and anthropology. Rather than describing the physical world around him as static, Humboldt focused on processes and interrelations, studying both the distribution of matter and organisms and their interactions, and looking for bridges and connections that have by now become a defining centerpiece of any ecological inquiry.