The relationship between humans and apes has been discussed for centuries. That discussion took a new turn with the publication and reception of Darwin’s...

The relationship between humans and apes has been discussed for centuries. That discussion took a new turn with the publication and reception of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). In her book, Man, the Ape: Anthropology and the Reception of Darwin in Germany, 1850-1900 (Bohlau, 2016) (Der Mensch, der Affe: Anthropologie und Darwin-Rezeption in Deutschland 1850-1900), Hanna Engelmeier analyzes several historical positions concerning the human-ape-relationship. By tracing back how the reception of Darwin changed thinking about apes, she concludes that there is not only an anthropology relating to humans, but also an anthropology concerning apes. Interestingly, Engelmeier discusses a wide range of thinkers from 1850-1900, including Ernst Haeckel, Friedrich Nietzsche and Gustav Klimt and also literary authors such as Wilhelm Raabe and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

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