Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - WORLD KNOWLEDGE II & The Learned Berlin (200 & 300 years ago) and now ?    
 WORLD KNOWLEDGE II & The Learned Berlin (200 & 300 years ago) and now ?
picture picture picture 30 Dec 2010 @ 17:36, by Heiner Benking

See also WORLD KNOWLEDGE I above: [link]
desperate ! - We have celebrated in Berlin for the whole year "WeltWissen" - World Knowledge - but it looks like we have missed a person who is in the center of the picture of the "Learned Berlin" - Das gelehrte Berlin. His name? CARL RITTER CARL RITTER - [link] - he even had his 150 years celebration of his passing away, when even the kings coach was acompanying him to his grave. I know, difficult times, but you might know some of the names on the picture around him: Alexander v.H. and his brother Wilhelm von Humboldt, Hegel, Schleiermacher, Hufeland, Neander. [link]
You will not be surprised to find von Humboldt and Hegel, and might know the others, but who the heck is in the center ?? and how come he is not centerpiece in this years celebration when he had similar reputation and was over decades teaching at the Humbold University, the war academy and academy of sciences?

My guess is that he still has not found his proper place not only in academia and education, but in pragmatics and the integration of sciences. His world was to bring together the general geographic, and historical knowledge in a rapidly expanding world of knowledge, give a "place" for the human role and impact, and develop further "la methode", see Pestalozzi and Comenius and their use of Anschauung in educational theory and practice. His approach with a general and comparative geography was new and illustrative, synthetic in creating new displays and schemas and so illustrating the world. You might say oh this was Alexander von Humboldt, but he was visiting Ritters lectures at Humboldt University and provided him with information, so maybe he was the science-traveller and great descriptive documentor of great expeditions, only once lecturing at the University for his KOSMOS series. Both really appreciated each others work and approaches, both founding the Society for the Earth (Gesellschaft für Erdkunde).
Only late this year the correspondance between Humboldt and Ritter and there it becomes obvious when studying who has time to write about what, what their commons were, and that both living in different worlds... One as the star of society and traveller providing money, connections, information,... and ont the other site the "industrious" scholar, working on new means and approaches not only on how we preceive and present the world, but how we can teach and learn beyond one singel discipline and allways keeping the "whole", the frame of reference, in mind. No wonder I feel attracted: [link]

Back to v. Humboldt-Ritter:
If you read their correspondance carefully you see that they both appreciated each others unique capabilities, but Humbold was playing on the level of making connections and providing material for the immense work of Ritter, the single largest work of an individual being published !! collecting and providing with "UNITY IN DIVERSITY all the different information suddenly available from all the ends of the world.

I am extending here my BLOG format as there is a high need to learn from Ritter what he did 200 years ago and how some of this approaches are relevant finding new ways to represent and bring together the information of the modern global and multi-media world. This will be part of what is on in 2011. So please come back !!

maybe check before the Sept entry in this BLOG BLOG

On the occasion of the opening of the WELTWISSSEN exhibition - it is a magnet in the public and it might be of interest to see what is meant by WUNDERKAMMER and how Education and the development of Museums all came together with the beginning of the state library system 350 years, and you might also want to consider the Prussian Instruction 110 years ago with other forms of ordering and indexing library information.
All this different data on different scales and in different forms need to be considered and included - Carl Ritter with his UNITY in DIVERSITY needs to be revisited as we not only make information visible but find ways to negotiate and deliberate across domains, sectors, scales, cultures, expressions, ... a challenge still to be adressed !!

Ritter and GutsMuths
My study of Ritter have helped me dig deep into the Early Roots of Education in Europe. We should not forget that Ritter was raised and influenced all his life by Johann_Christoph_Friedrich_GutsMuths [link]
Gutsmuths was called by Salzmann as Geography teacher and so Ritter was allowed to enter the interant in Schnepfeltal [link] learning from his fatherly friend and staying in touch with him all his life. GutsMuths was also into gymnastics and sports !! - for what he is known today !! - but he is also for me the originator and inspirer of Ritter, teaching the way to think "geography" and opening doors to Pestalozzi and his pupils, like Tobler ! So incorporating many disciplines and exercises and methods - maybe one central originator of holistic education in Europe. The setting of the Philantropin and the times need to be considered! and we should see how the senses (Hugo Kückelhaus) [link] and how minds and intelligences can get included and reinforce each other (Howard Gardner) (here my "commercial" 5 cents: see regarding eduaction a pupila dn friend of Kückelhaus, Otto Schärli, and how we tried to project the challenges into modern times, quetioning Dumbing Down and Cyberculture:

It is revealing that the WIKIPEDIA does not show GutsMuths original and later life work and passion: "Geography" - well this needs to be revisited !
One central concern is this General geography and general science thinking, and so we need to see that this has broad basis. Kant, Herder, ... many other names come up, even much earlier Comenius and the Encyclopedists .... so it was the times - the patterns and paradigms/Denkstile !! and we should revist the patterns of the Enlightenment and what it would mean for our expanded Life-World in moden times.
Asking who was the Genius, Humboldt or Ritter is in my view the wrong question. They lived in different worlds and so was GutsMuths. The world 200 years ago was mcuh more seperated than we imagine now. Some were in charge for the "real" and the others for the humane or academic, some for basic education, some concerned with higher education and only knew by chance from each other as their were wall between the dukedoms and the kingdoms.....
What we can learn? It was a unique time ! Revolutions and new Encyclopedists, people trying to see the Whole of nations and others the whole of landscapes. So very much the same as we struggle now for and integrated or holistric understanding and including the patterns that connect! So what we can learn from the outstanding contributions of Ritter, Gutsmuths, Humboldt, Comenius,.... and why their approach to addressing the parts and whole did not suvive in our academic and societal life!
For me it has to do with what I wrote in TURNS and TURFS. [link]
WE struggle for our own and for benefit we can control. So addressing someting "beyond" and involving the "others" is not welcomed and any plan or plot to share "out of the box" is frowned at, at best... maybe see here a proposal for the inclusion of positions and perspectives here: [link]

Maybe let us check what we have done around the NEW Renaissance recently: [link]
but this is worth another page, or even book !!

Maybe, if you can not wait check out SHOW or SCHAU: [link]

For me the Source of "UNITY IN DIVERSITY" thinking is RABINDRANATH TAGORE. Come back as we celebrate bis 150th in 2011. Here the link: [link]

LATE NOTE (May, 14th 2011)
Professor Jaeckel has just giving a keynote on the occasion of 150 Years of the TSV GutsMuths in BERLIN. I will try to make his paper available ! It is most revealing and very much along the lines of thinking mentioned above ! He was able to show that the teacher and fatherly friend of Ritter was much more influential and changed geographic work and publications basically. The question is why he was not properly acknowledged by his friends and colleagues !? Again this ego competition or plainly ignorance and muddling through in the dark, developing their "knightsdom" to be "The Genius" instead of acknowledging the lineage and the times. Humboldt, Ritter, Gutsmuths were doing immense work, collecting and ordering knowledge in 100dreds of volumes. Maybe they should have taken the time sit together and support in this way the survival of their unique contributions. As we can see it now, much of their approach and deeper philosophy is lost, and segregation, segmentation, specialisation ,... has won. I recommend this piece on Lumping and Splittering in our Wholeness Seminar: enjoy: [link], and/or: [link] and: [link]

maybe we should start revisting wht was meant by "LEARNED SOCIETTY":
das GELEHRTE BERLIN: and please check: [link] society ritter Humboldt&source=bl&ots=r4ZSDKihNs&sig=7HW3nNN9ZvJZzfMiJZ7vscVv2og&hl=de&ei=ikavTvDvIczItAas5-lD&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=learned society ritter Humboldt&f=false

picture picture picture

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