Immanuel Kant's "Physical Geography" Presented In Kaliningrad Region

"Physical Geography" by Immanuel Kant. Photo: Museum of the World Ocean / N. Denisova
"Physical Geography" by Immanuel Kant. Photo: Museum of the World Ocean / N. Denisova

A unique edition of Immanuel Kant's “Physical Geography” in Russian is presented within the framework of the Baltic Cultural Forum which began work in Svetlogorsk on April 18. The collection was prepared by the Kaliningrad Museum of the World Ocean. The presentation was attended by Sergey Dobrolyubov, member of the Presidium of the Scientific Council of the Russian Geographical Society, Dean of the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In his review, Sergey Dobrolyubov noted that the range of topics covered by Kant's treatise was so wide that it could deserve the name "Philosophical and Physical Geography".

“This approach is clearly lacking in modern geography. The philosopher was confident in the important educational function of geography,” said Sergey Dobrolyubov.

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Sergey Dobrolyubov at the presentation of "Physical Geography" by Immanuel Kant. Photo: Museum of the World Ocean
Sergey Dobrolyubov at the presentation of "Physical Geography" by Immanuel Kant. Photo: Museum of the World Ocean

Sergey Dobrolyubov at the presentation of "Physical Geography" by Immanuel Kant. Photo: Museum of the World Ocean

"Physical Geography" was compiled in German from recordings of Immanuel Kant's lectures. The collection was first published during the philosopher's lifetime, and then was republished in Germany in 1905. The idea to translate the treatise into Russian belongs to the chairman of the Kaliningrad Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, the head of the Museum of the World Ocean Svetlana Sivkova.

The translation of the first part of the publication into Russian was done by Svetlana Kolbaneva, Andrey Portnyagin, and Andrey Levchenkov. It includes prefaces by publishers, introductions, sections "On water", "On land", "On atmosphere", "On springs", "History of rivers", and an appendix "On Navigation". The publication of the new book is timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the birth of Immanuel Kant.

“Everyone knows that Kant is a philosopher but he is not so widely known as a geography teacher. Kant became an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The title was awarded to him, among other things, for lectures on geography which were of great educational importance. The documents testifying to this were provided to us by the St. Petersburg Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Even now, Kant's work is of interest to modern geographers. We understand that this is the language of science that existed 300 years ago. Now it is different, but the approaches to the knowledge of the world, formed then by Kant, remain relevant today,” Svetlana Sivkova emphasized.

The funds of the Museum of the World Ocean contain the rarest antique treasure transferred by the society “Friends of Kant”: a lifetime edition of Immanuel Kant's “Physical Geography”, Svetlana Sivkova added.

The new edition has already gone on sale in the souvenir shops of the Museum of the World Ocean.