This study in the history of ideas consults a wide range of sources both known and less familiar to trace the development in the 18th century of an anthropological historiography, which aims to ascertain the unity of human nature and human cultural history. The study unfolds a picture of European enlightenment thinking that reflects seemingly irrational phenomena of imagination together with the cultural practices and mythologies of ‘uncivilized’ peoples and thus formulates fundamental questions for modern anthropology and the philosophy of history.
Lucas Marco Gisi, Universität Basel, Schweiz.
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