4. One Sea, One Humanity. Modeling the Man-Sea Relationship in Friedrich Ratzel’s Anthropogeographical Project

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Carlotta Santini


The prevailing concept of geography, understood as the study and description of the Earth, can be viewed as a form of removal: less than two-thirds of the globe, that is, the seas or the liquid elements of the Earth, are removed or at the very least are not explicitly designated. This article will focus on issues concerning the classification, systematization, and conceptualization of geographic knowledge that took place in nineteenth-century Germany. I will try to demonstrate how this alleged “removal” operates in modern geography and how it links with a contrasting movement that aims to reintegrate the liquid element of the Earth into the field of geography, on the basis of the man/world relation. I will focus in particular on Friedrich Ratzel’s (1844-1904) pioneering studies in anthropogeography and political geography.


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