Earth sciences and history in the work of Correia da Serra (1751-1823)

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This paper focuses on the contribution to the earth sciences of the Portuguese botanist and "Europeanized intellectual" Abbé José Francisco Correia da Serra (1751-1823). Considerations on the earth sciences are present since the very early days of Correia da Serra's career, revealing an integrated vision of Man and Nature as dynamical parts of the same whole, which shapes the world inhabited by humans. The symbiosis between the natural and the human became central to the epistemological and methodological agenda of Correia da Serra, informing his historical considerations, first on the history of Portugal, followed by the history of Europe. In this paper, we explore how the parallel reflections on the earth sciences and history unfold by testing the operative import of the concept of "moving localities" in interpreting them jointly as ways of historicizing nature and naturalizing history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-656
Number of pages32
JournalVaria Historia
Issue number63
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Earth sciences
  • Historicizing nature
  • Naturalizing history


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