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Homo Viator: Knowledge of the Earth and Theory of the World in the Age of the First Transatlantic Voyages

  • Peter Carravetta
Chapter

Abstract

Geography, the writing of the earth and the seas, is also inextricably human geography, a form of relating to our living-on-the-earth in which the physical and the cultural are not so easily disjoined, and where the politics of place plays a determining role. This paper examines how the travelers (explorers mostly) motivated their yearning for unknown lands (terra incognita), acted on that impulse, finally saw, recorded and reported objects and facts about the unknown as primary information that needed to be translated into usable knowledge to be circulated in various communities. This process required not just challenging established modes of knowing, but rethinking how humans theorize about the “world/s” that is/are built upon the earth. It required a paradigm shift that would have epochal consequences. The haunting conclusion is that perhaps humanity is, in some deep ontological sense, characterized by the language devised to explain these contingent encounters of roaming beings.

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Carravetta
    • 1
  1. 1.Stony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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