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Introduction

A Focus on the History of Concepts

Eirini Goudarouli

ABSTRACT

The special section “Knowledge Quests in the European Periphery” attempts to explore the different ways in which conceptual history’s methodologies could be applied to disciplines with which traditional conceptual historians have not previously engaged, such as the history of science, political economy, Enlightenment studies, postcolonial history, and transnational history. This special section, when read as a whole, opens up a multidisciplinary space in which center-periphery tensions are examined in the context of conceptual transnational exchange. Coming from different geographical places and cultural spaces within the European periphery, the three case studies draw their methodological background from conceptual history and aim to reflect on the center-periphery dichotomy by asking how historians from different historiographical traditions could take advantage of the methods and theories of conceptual history, as well as how conceptual history could take advantage of the coming together of disciplines that traditionally do not communicate with each other.

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Reviews

Stefan Nygård, Matti La Mela, and Frank Nullmeier

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Science, Customs, and the Modern Subject

From Emulation to Education in the Semantics of Spanish Enlightenment

Pablo Sánchez León

ABSTRACT

Eighteenth-century Spain was haunted by a sense of decadence. Consequently, intellectual innovation developed in its attempt to recover its lost grandeur while keeping its Catholic culture. In such a context, political-economic reflection focused in a remarkable way on a scientific approach to social habits. Reception of foreign developments was adapted to a framework that fostered the enhancement of individualism but not of individual selfdetermination. The first part of the article shows that the approach to customs initially elaborated on the concept of emulation as a moral sentiment for overcoming collective passions that precluded cooperation. The second part shifts the focus to a discussion of education as an antidote against traditional prejudices but also as a bulwark to both modern moral hazards derived from commercial society and republicanism.

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Translating the Concept of Experiment in the Late Eighteenth Century

From the English Philosophical Context to the Greek-Speaking Regions of the Ottoman Empire

Eirini Goudarouli and Dimitris Petakos

ABSTRACT

The Philosophical Grammar: Being a View of the Present State of Experimented Physiology, or Natural Philosophy, In Four Parts (1735) by Benjamin Martin was translated into Greek by Anthimos Gazis in 1799. According to the history of concepts, no political, social, or intellectual activity can occur without the establishment of a common vocabulary of basic concepts. By interfering in the linguistic structure, the act of translation may affect crucially the encounter of different cultures. By bringing together the history of science and the history of concepts, this article treats the transfer of the concept of experiment from the seventeenth-century British philosophical context to the eighteenth-century Greek-speaking intellectual context. The article focuses mainly on the different ways Gazis’s translation contributed to the construction of a particular conceptual framework for the appropriation of new knowledge.

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Travel and Transformation

A Diachronic Study of the Changing Concept of Weisheng in Chinese Journals, 1880-1930

Bo Hu

ABSTRACT

Few concepts in the medical history of China have been more entangled with modernization and nation-building than weisheng. Originally a concept inextricably bound up with traditional Chinese medicine, it underwent drastic changes and became a near equivalent of modern hygiene. Drawing on the notion of traveling concepts, this article traces the travel and transformation it experienced in journal articles between 1880 and 1930, focusing on how the new concept gradually took shape and became established in public discourse, the enabling and resisting agents, as well as their agendas.

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Heritage (Erfgoed) in the Dutch Press

A History of Changing Meanings in an International Context

Hanneke Ronnes and Tamara Van Kessel

ABSTRACT

Since the 1990s, the Dutch equivalent for “heritage,” erfgoed, has become a buzzword in the Netherlands. Often presented as a neologism, little attention is paid to the term’s longer history. Th is article traces the history through a survey of digitized newspapers from 1700 to 1975, revealing elements of erfgoed’s current meaning well before the twentieth-century heritage mania. In the eighteenth century a synonym of “freedom,” in the latter nineteenth century frequently carrying the prefix nationaal, and in the 1930s associated with genetics and folk culture, erfgoed can be regarded as a speculum vitae, taking on different meanings depending on the era. As elsewhere in Europe, the second half of the nineteenth century was the most decisive moment in the evolution of the term.

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Introduction

Experiences of Time in the Ibero-American World, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Javier Fernández-Sebastián and Fabio Wasserman

ABSTRACT

In this introductory article, the authors argue that major changes in the way we conceive of time and temporality that are taking place today justify the increase of studies, both theoretical and empirical, on shift s in cultural constructions of time. In this context, the authors present four articles written by members of the network Iberconceptos, where a number of time experiences in the Ibero-American world (Latin America, Spain, and Portugal) during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are discussed from a conceptual perspective.

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The Perception of Time and the Meaning of History among Spanish Intellectuals of the Nineteenth Century

Ana Isabel González Manso

ABSTRACT

This article investigates how the perception of living in novel times influenced Spanish intellectuals from the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century when they wrote or thought about history. The perception of time would influence the way in which history was written, and in turn this would reflect the model of society that Spanish intellectuals aspired to when they turned to the past for the political and social features they wanted for their present and future. At that time, different time perceptions coexisted and combined in a very complex fashion; the present article, however, is focused on the perception of time mainly as an opportunity, with its advances and retreats, doubts and problems. The article will show how those intellectuals thought about history and the various solutions they put forward for society’s problems.

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Political Regeneration

José Bonifácio and Temporal Experiences in the Luso-American World in the Early Nineteenth Century

Maria Elisa Noronha De Sá and Marcelo Gantus Jasmin

ABSTRACT

The article analyzes the concept of political regeneration as related to temporal experiences in the processes of political emancipation and the forming of the Brazilian nation. The authors analyze selected texts written by José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, a leading politician and intellectual involved in these processes. Such texts supply indications and symptoms that help us to understand how two different historical experiences, designated respectively by this author as the “political regeneration of the Portuguese Empire” and the “political regeneration of the Brazilian nation,” became possible. The uses of the concept of political regeneration in Bonifácio’s discourses may be grasped as symptomatic of the very complex temporal experiences in the context of the Portuguese language during the first decades of the nineteenth century in Brazil.

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Precarious Time, Morality, and the Republic

New Granada, 1818–1853

Francisco A. Ortega

ABSTRACT

Spanish American countries exhibited during the nineteenth century many of the features Koselleck associated with the Sattelzeit, the transitioning period into our contemporaneity. However, the region’s history was marked by social instability and political upheaval, and contemporaries referred to such experiences of time as precarious. In this article I explore the connection between this precarious time and the emergence of the sociopolitical concept of morality in New Granada (present-day Colombia) during the first thirty-five years of the republic (1818–1853). I focus on two conceptual moments as exemplified by the reflections put forth by Simón Bolívar (1783–1830), military and political leader of the independence period, and José Eusebio Caro (1817–1853), publicist, poet, and political ideologue of the Conservative Party.