Darwin-L Message Log 8:76 (April 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<8:76>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Apr 22 13:00:02 1994

Date: Fri, 22 Apr 1994 13:59:54 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 22 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


1724: IMMANUEL KANT is born at Konigsberg, Germany (later Kaliningrad,
Russia).  Before turning to philosophy, for which he will be best remembered,
Kant will devote much study to astronomy and anthropology.  His cosmological
speculations on the history of the universe, _Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und
Theorie des Himmels, oder Versuch von der Verfassung und dem mechanischen
Ursprunge des ganzen Weltgebaudes nach Newtonischen Grundsatzen abgehandelt_,
will appear in 1755, and his many works on the history of the human races will
include "Von der Verschiedenheit der Racen uberhaupt" (1777): "It is evident,
that the knowledge of natural objects as they are at present, would still
leave the desire for knowledge of them as they have been in former times, and
of the series of changes they have undergone in order to attain their present
condition in every locale.  The history of nature, which we still almost
wholly lack, would teach us the changes of the earth's form, and likewise
those which the earth's creatures (plants and animals) have undergone through
natural changes, and their alterations which have thence taken place away from
the original form of the stem genus.  This presumably would trace back a great
many apparently different species to races of one and the same genus, and thus
convert the presently greatly extended formal system of the description of
nature into a physical system for the understanding."

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