Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attempts to frame European Romanticism against the background of that ‘somewhat enigmatic event’ which, between the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, was said by Foucault to have begun European modernity: the discovery of ‘the historicity of knowledge’. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the monogenetic assumption that humankind was of a single Adamitic origin, created by one God, and universally attending to one divinely ordained natural law, had already fallen into disrepute under the attack of Reason; once Reason too, along with its presumption of one ‘unchanging human nature’, was relativized after the European discoveries of different cultures and ancient civilizations, a new outlook on life, which Meinecke called historismus, ‘rose’ to change once and for all European culture’s very understanding of its world.

Keywords: historicity, relativism, Europe, modernity, natural law, reason, geography.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.