Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Barash R. Alexander von Humboldt: the Outstanding Natural Scientist, the Silent Ideologist of Multiculturalism. Problems of Philosophy. 2021. No. 5. Pp. 17–20.



Barash R. Alexander von Humboldt: the Outstanding Natural Scientist, the Silent Ideologist of Multiculturalism. Problems of Philosophy. 2021. No. 5. Pp. 17–20.
ISSN 0042-8744
DOI 10.21146/0042-8744-2021-5-17-20
РИНЦ: https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=45719226

Posted on site: 29.07.21

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Abstract

The author studies the reception of A. von Humboldt of the humanitarian problems of his time. In his works Humboldt articulated many ideas of the just social order and even of multiculturalism. But despite great interest towards the natural science of the regions he visited, the researcher avoided public judgments about social problems of these states’ residents. A. Humboldt criticized many actual social problems: aggressive cultural assimilation, colonialism, slavery, social inequality etc., but avoided public demands of social transformations in the regions he visited. He either could reject any violent social transformations or looking for loyalty of the state’s authorities, that financed and organized his expeditions. A. Humboldt, the opponent of slavery, never once spoke critically about slavery in a personal conversation or correspondence with T. Jefferson. During his journey across Russia, the scientist was extremely careful in his judgments about the Russian bondmen. The inconsistency of the Humboldt’s personal liberal position and his humanitarian blindness to socio-political problems illustrates the problem of the relationship between people of authority and people of knowledge, that was announce by F. Znanetsky. Humboldt who was primarily such a lay counselor just focused on his own academic research thar was his main priority.