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Klimat och karaktär: Naturen och människan i sent svenskt 1700-tal
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with the influence of the notion of climate in Sweden 1750-1800. The theory of climate played an important role in many contexts in eighteenth century Sweden. In different ways it came to be used in historiography, political economy and, in time, in the study of man in the emerging discipline of anthropology. In particular the theory of climate became a tool used in three specific discourses: the Gothic, the economic and the anthropological. In the eighteenth century the term "climate" was a considerably broader concept than it is today. Climate covered not only meteorological conditions but also a country's topography, geography, altitude etc. With this, "climate" became almost identical with "physical living environment".

In the Era of Liberty (1719-72) in particular, the idea of the Swedish countryside as a repository of inexhaustible natural resources became enormously popular. In the mid-1760s the Academy of Sciences even arranged a prize competition on the theme "The Benefits and Inconveniences of the Swedish Climate". In the mid-eighteenth century the doctrine of climate became important also in the study of man, early anthropology. According to the theory of monogenism humanity consisted of a single species. But to the monogenists there of course remained the problem of explaining how mankind -if all its members belonged to the same species - could show so many differences. In this context climatic theory became an important instrument.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 259 p.
Keyword [en]
History of science and ideas, climate, climatic theory, topography, history writing, race, national character, 18th century science, history of medicine
Keyword [sv]
Idé- och lärdomshistoria
National Category
History of Ideas
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-10ISBN: 91-27-08369-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-10DiVA: diva2:160532
Public defence
2000-12-02, Museum Gustavianum, Auditorium Minus, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-11-11 Created: 2000-11-11Bibliographically approved

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