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Social Darwinism in American geography: a study of selected works of Ellsworth Huntington and Ellen Semple

Grant number: 16/18128-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Mendes Antas Jr
Grantee:Fernando José Coscioni
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The research will seek to understand the impact of Social Darwinism on the social and political thought of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century to establish relations between this current of thought and the epistemological and philosophical foundations of Human Geography developed by Ellsworth Huntington (1876 -1947) and Ellen Semple (1863-1932). We will try to elucidate the relationship between the institutionalization of academic geography in the United States, the strength of Social Darwinism as a philosophical and epistemological framework in the intellectual field of the period, the trajectories of the two authors and ideas contained in the works "Civilization and Climate" (1915),from Ellsworth Huntington, and "Influences of Geographic Environment" (1911), from Ellen Semple. The choice of these two works in the midst of vast intellectual production of both occurred because they coalesce so quite exemplary some elements that show the impact of Social Darwinism on Human Geography of the period and can be used for the formulation of more general assumptions about the relationship between discipline and this current of thought, thus contributing to a better understanding of the genesis of modern geography. (AU)