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Geognosie versus Geologie: Nationale Denkstile und kulturelle Praktiken bezüglich Raum und Zeit im Widerstreit


Geognosy versus Geology: National Modes of Thought and Cultural Practices Concerning Space and Time in Competition. Natural science investigators at the end of the eighteenth century made use of conflicting labels to position their respective preferred fields of activity in the Earth sciences. This mania for labelling marked their break with natural science and the umbrella term ‘mineralogy’. In this conflict situation of specialist classifications and explanations, two terms in particular were established: geognosy and geology, which covered the very promising project of research in the areas of the ‘origin of the Earth’ and the ‘formation of the Earth’. These and the associated research goals were subsequently accorded a dazzling career. Proceeding from the conceptual core‐meaning in the formation of terms und its semantic spectrum and conceptual shifts in a time of change, my study will look at the identity and heterogeneity functions of geology and geognosy. For whereas in French and English speaking countries the term geology came to be used exclusively (geology, géologie), this was avoided in German, particularly because the term geognosy was preferred. These national differences may be explained with reference to the different cultural and national styles of science: for example the social embedding of geology in the culture of the English gentleman or the French museum culture, and the close connection of ‘German’ geognosy to mining. A further starting point in the analysis of the double use of both geology and geognosy in German speaking countries until 1840 is provided by the different references to temporalization and spatialization of the two terms. And we should also include the practical implications and the epistemic requirements that were bound up with the defence of geognosy in the German speaking world.

Autoren:   Marianne Klemun
Journal:   Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Band:   38
Ausgabe:   3
Jahrgang:   2015
Seiten:   227
DOI:   10.1002/bewi.201501728
Erscheinungsdatum:   02.09.2015
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