Department of History of Science and Ideas

(CANCELLED) Jonas Gerlings: "Linnaean Science in Kant’s Königsberg"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - The Rausing Room
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas
  • Contact person: H. Otto Sibum
  • Seminarium

Office for History of Science

(NB Cancelled)

Jonas Gerlings, University of Copenhagen: "Linnaean Science in Kant’s Königsberg"


Abstract
In 1737 Johann Bartsch, a scholar from Königsberg, travelled to Surinam in the place of his distinguished friend Carl von Linnaeus. Bartsch’s early death in 1738 seemingly ended the scientific exchange between Königsberg and Uppsala before it ever began. Subsequently, when drawing the intellectual map of the Baltic Sea region historians have predominantly delineated two distinct Enlightenment cultures: Uppsala, personified by Linnaeus’s exploration of nature and Königsberg, personified by Immanuel Kant’s devotion to metaphysics. Yet, focusing on the transfer of ideas across the Baltic Sea, intellectual historians have associated Linnaeus and Kant in a shared endeavour to establish a science of man. The presentation introduces a novel view on this endeavour: By focusing on the development of the local natural historians in and around Königsberg that fostered both Bartsch and Kant the presentation contrasts the intellectual history of contestation with the underlying current of institutionalization of Linnaean science in Königsberg.