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Varia Historia

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PADUA, José Augusto. Romantic heritage and contemporary ecologism: is there an historical link?. Varia hist. [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.33, pp.58-75. ISSN 0104-8775.

The article investigate the existence of possible historical connections between the Romantic inheritance and contemporary ecologism, evidencing the existence of important parallels between some of the visions presented in both movements, even considering the differences of historical context. Despite this fact, the historical influence of the Romantic heritage on contemporary ecologism must be considered mainly in an indirect way, since the Romantic Movement promoted a historical opening for the positive evaluation of the natural world in the universe of Western modernity. The direct recognition of this influence by present day ecologists is relatively small, being stronger in the Anglo-Saxon world then in Germany, France or Brazil. It must be considered that environmentalism has a hybrid and complex genealogy that combines elements of different intellectual and political traditions. The influence of the Enlightenment vision on modern ecologism, for example, is becoming each time more evident. It appears especially in the political uses of science and the critical approach in face of social reality. The connection between Romanticism and ecologism, therefore, must not be exaggerated or discarded. The article finishes with an analysis of the apparent shallowness in the critique of civilization formulated by Brazilian romantics in the 19 C. This factor contributed to the small appropriation of this intellectual inheritance by present day Brazilian ecologists.

Keywords : Romanticism; Ecological Movement; Cultural History; Environmental History; Brazil.

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