The texts collected in this volume, which was originally published in 1969, contain Herder's most original and stimulating ideas on politics, history and language. They had for the most part not been previously available in English. In his introduction, Professor Barnard analyses the basic premises of Herder's political thought against the background of the Enlightenment. He examines Herder's concepts of language, community and culture, his theory of historical interaction, and his approach to the problem of change and (...) progress. Finally, he provides a brief comparative analysis of traditionalist thought following the French Revolution, showing how substantive writers like Burke differed from Herder despite the close similarity of political vocabulary. (shrink)
Liberal approaches to multiculturalism and cultural nationalism have met with severe criticism in recent years. This article makes the case for an alternative, Aristotelian approach developed in the work of the ‘founding father’ of culture, J. G. Herder. According to Herder, culture is worthy of political recognition because it contributes to the realization of our common but contradictory human telos. Only a plurality of cultures, each realizing a unique balance of our contradictory needs, can bring wholeness to our (...) common nature. In conclusion, I argue for the merits of this Aristotelian approach in resolving some recurring problems of multiculturalism. (shrink)
También una filosofía de la Historia (1774) representa un hito central, no sólo en el desarrollo del pensamiento de J.G. Herder, sino también en la génesis del historicismo en cuanto Weltanschauung. La visión herderiana de la Historia combina ingredientes extraídos de la ¿teología de la Historia¿ cristiana con otros procedentes de las doctrinas ¿cíclicas¿ de la Antigüedad. Junto a tales elementos heredados, se abre paso un acento relativista estrictamente novedoso: cada cultura, cada pueblo, representa una esfera autocentrada, que sólo (...) puede ser juzgada ¿desde dentro¿, desde sus propios valores. Todas las épocas han sido imprescindibles, y carece de sentido establecer jerarquías o comparaciones entre ellas. (shrink)
Thirteen scholars offer new essays exploring the question at the heart of J. G. Herder's thought: How can philosophy enable an understanding of the human being not simply as an intellectual and moral agent, but also as a creature of nature who is fundamentally marked by an affective openness and responsiveness to the world and other persons?
I present and analyze J.G. Herder’s aesthetics of sculpture, as an art form directed toward and appreciated by the sense of touch. I argue that Herder is unsuccessful in his attempt so to define sculpture, but his account is nonetheless fruitful, both in making salient and explaining signal aspects of sculptural appreciation and criticism and, more broadly and quite innovatively, in proposing an aesthetics of touch, even an embodied aesthetics.
While the last several decades have seen a renaissance of scholarship on J. G. Herder (1744?1804), his moral philosophy has not been carefully examined. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap, and to point the way for further research, by reconstructing his original and systematically articulated views on morality. Three interrelated elements of his position are explored in detail: (1) his perfectionism, or theory of the human good; (2) his sentimentalism, which includes moral epistemology and a (...) theory of moral education; and (3) his theism, which deepens and justifies these other elements. (shrink)
The eme r gence of the concept of pr o g ress is cu r rent l y associated with th e Enlightenment o r , going som e w hat further back, with the que r elle des anciens et des modernes in the 1 7 t h centu r y . Y et the notion of pr o g ress can be traced back to a signi f icant l y earlier period: the foundations of a possi b (...) le Christian pr o g ress i vism w ere, in m y opinion, laid b y St. Augustine; this ess a y e xplores its guidelines. J . G. Herde r ' s reaction a g ainst the notion of pr o g ress proposed b y the Enlightenment possesses also a Christian inspiration. While Enlightened pr o g ress i vism conce i v es past cultures as o v ercoming steps in a rising staircase, Herde r , in turn, claims that each of them amounted to a "self-centered sphere" and w as therefore v alua b le in its o wn right. The sense of the e xistence of past generations cannot lie in p a ving the w a y for future ful f illment as this w ould be incompati b le with d i vine l o v e, w hich estimates each of its creatures in its o wn right, as an unrepeata b le ind i vidual. In contrast to Enlightened a r r o g ance (contempt for the "obscurantist" past), Herder presents a "democratic" vi e w of History within w hich all epochs h a v e the same v alue. (shrink)
La relevancia de Vico en cuanto precursor de la noción de "comprensión" y adelantado de la rehabilitación de las "Ciencias del Espíritu" ha sido frecuentemente puesta de manifiesto. Ha sido mucho menos estudiada en España, sin embargo, la contribución seminal de Johann G. Herder, que, independientemente de Vico, desarrolla en el último tercio del siglo XVIII un interesante esbozo de teoría de la "comprensión".Vico's relevance as precursor of the concept of "comprehension" and pioneer of the rehabilitation of the "Geisteswissenschaften" (...) is well known. It's not been studied as much in Spain, however, the founding contribution of Johann G. Herder, who, independent of Vico, develops in the last third of the 18th century an interesting outline of theory of "comprehension". (shrink)
In Another Philosophy of History, J.G. Herder claims that his aim is not to compare and judge different cultures, but merely to describe and explain how each came into being and thus to adopt the standpoint of an impartial observer. I argue, however, that there is a tension between Herder's understanding of his own project—his stated doctrine of historicism and cultural relativism—and the way in which it is actually put into practice. That is, despite Herder's stated aims, (...) he is nevertheless unable to avoid justifying premodern forms of life and making context-transcending evaluative judgments in the process of trying to understand cultures on their own terms and holding them up as exemplars vis à vis the Enlightenment. This tension presents the challenge of accounting for it in the most charitable and illuminating way. I argue that this goal can be achieved by appealing to the resources of the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, which enables us to disclose two enabling conditions for Herder's project of which he was not explicitly aware, viz., the internal connection between understanding and justification and the enabling character of prejudice as the condition for the possibility of understanding as such. (shrink)
John Zammito, among others, argues that in his review of J.G. Herder’s Ideas, Kant criticizes Herder as a dogmatic metaphysician hypocritically: these criticisms themselves rest on dogmatic metaphysical grounds, viz. an insistence of the distinction of human beings (as souls or rational free agents) from the rest of nature, a commitment to “dead” matter and the like. Against this interpretation, I argue that Kant’s criticism of Herder is grounded not in metaphysical commitments, but in epistemological concerns articulated (...) in the Critique of Pure Reason, i.e., in Kant’s predominant critical treatment of metaphysics. As I shall also suggest, Kant’s arguments in the review are perhaps not quite representative of his position in the CPJ either, but rather represent a transitional position in his thinking concerning the explanation of organisms. (shrink)
This essay is written on the following premises and argues for them. “Enlightenment” is a word or signifier, and not a single or unifiable phenomenon which it consistently signifies. There is no single or unifiable phenomenon describable as “the Enlightenment,” but it is the definite article rather than the noun which is to be avoided. In studying the intellectual history of the late seventeenth century and the eighteenth, we encounter a variety of statements made, and assumptions proposed, to which the (...) term “Enlightenment” may usefully be applied, but the meanings of the term shift as we apply it. The things are connected, but not continuous; they cannot be reduced to a single narrative; and we find ourselves using the word “Enlightenment” in a family of ways and talking about a family of phenomena, resembling and related to one another in a variety of ways that permit of various generalizations about them. We are not, however, committed to a single root meaning of the word “Enlightenment,” and we do not need to reduce the phenomena of which we treat to a single process or entity to be termed “the” Enlightenment. It is a reification that we wish to avoid, but the structure of our language is such that this is difficult, and we will find ourselves talking of “the French” or “the Scottish,” “the Newtonian” or the “the Arminian” Enlightenments, and hoping that by employing qualifying adjectives we may constantly remind ourselves that the keyword “Enlightenment” is ours to use and should not master us. (shrink)
Isaiah Berlin was deeply admired during his life, but his full contribution was perhaps underestimated because of his preference for the long essay form. The efforts of Henry Hardy to edit Berlin's work and reintroduce it to a broad, eager readership have gone far to remedy this. Now, Princeton is pleased to return to print, under one cover, Berlin's essays on Vico, Hamann, and Herder. These essays on three relatively uncelebrated thinkers are not marginal ruminations, but rather among Berlin's (...) most important studies in the history of ideas. They are integral to his central project: the critical recovery of the ideas of the Counter-Enlightenment and the explanation of its appeal and consequences--both positive and tragic.Giambattista Vico was the anachronistic and impoverished Neapolitan philosopher sometimes credited with founding the human sciences. He opposed Enlightenment methods as cold and fallacious. J. G. Hamann was a pious, cranky dilettante in a peripheral German city. But he was brilliant enough to gain the audience of Kant, Goethe, and Moses Mendelssohn. In Hamann's chaotic and long-ignored writings, Berlin finds the first strong attack on Enlightenment rationalism and a wholly original source of the coming swell of romanticism. Johann Gottfried Herder, the progenitor of populism and European nationalism, rejected universalism and rationalism but championed cultural pluralism.Individually, these fascinating intellectual biographies reveal Berlin's own great intelligence, learning, and generosity, as well as the passionate genius of his subjects. Together, they constitute an arresting interpretation of romanticism's precursors. In Hamann's railings and the more considered writings of Vico and Herder, Berlin finds critics of the Enlightenment worthy of our careful attention. But he identifies much that is misguided in their rejection of universal values, rationalism, and science. With his customary emphasis on the frightening power of ideas, Berlin traces much of the next centuries' irrationalism and suffering to the historicism and particularism they advocated. What Berlin has to say about these long-dead thinkers--in appreciation and dissent--is remarkably timely in a day when Enlightenment beliefs are being challenged not just by academics but by politicians and by powerful nationalist and fundamentalist movements.The study of J. G. Hamann was originally published under the title The Magus of the North: J. G. Hamann and the Origins of Modern Irrationalism. The essays on Vico and Herder were originally published as Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas. Both are out of print. (shrink)
This book provides a clear and informed account of aesthetic and callistic concepts as they occur in the works of Plato and Aristotle. The author illustrates their ideas on art and beauty by close reference to their texts and finds a profound similarity which unites them, revealing many of their differences to be complementary aspects of an essentially similar viewpoint. He also shows how Greek notions of art and beauty are not merely primitive steps in the advance to modern ideas (...) but have a direct relevance to modern critical controversies. (shrink)
The great value of this book does not lie in any new discovery but in its being the most comprehensive monograph to date on the major ideas of Jacobi's thinking as well as on the relationship of the "philosopher of faith" to the leading German thinkers of his time. The first chapters are devoted to a subtle analysis—focussing mainly on his novels—of the moral aspirations underlying his philosophical oeuvre. The next major theme is the well-known polemics with M. Mendelssohn on (...) Lessing's alleged Spinozism—and this is a good pretext for Prof. Verra to display his vast learning by passing in review the views of Herder, Gœthe, and Hegel on Spinoza and continuously referring to the highly important book of Heydenreich. The last three chapters deal with Jacobi's "mature" thought centered around the problem of an intuitive knowledge of reality and his violent polemics against philosophical demonstration as such, which leads necessarily—according to him—to Spinozistic pantheism, i.e., atheism. It is in these chapters that Jacobi's criticism of Kant, Fichte, and Schelling is treated. The footnotes are at the end of the chapters, and they should be read separately. They are sheer delight for anyone a little at home in this period of German intellectual history. There is also a forty page appendix: the bibliography of Jacobi's letters of which not less than 1291 are known to Prof. Verra.—M. J. V. (shrink)
La decouverte de plus en plus profonde de la signification du christianisme a transforme la pensee de Fichte. Reciproquement, Fichte s'engage dans la voie d'une transformation du christianisme, au sens d'une metamorphose de la croyance en vision; il saisit la foi comme un stade imparfait de la science et souligne que seule cette derniere est a meme de supprimer l'exteriorite de l'Absolu. Le present ouvrage allie les points de vue genetique et systematique. De ses cinq parties, les quatre premieres exposent, (...) en suivant l'ordre chronologique, l'evolution de la theorie fichteenne du christianisme, depuis les textes prekantiens jusqu'a la Doctrine de l'Etat de 1813. La longue cinquieme partie, structuree thematiquement plutot que chronologiquement, est reservee non seulement a la reprise synthetique, mais aussi a la confrontation critique. Elle examine les differents aspects de la conception fichteenne du christianisme, notamment sa position a l'egard du Nouveau Testament, de la dogmatique, de la morale et de la mystique chretiennes. (shrink)
J.G.Herder to niewątpliwie jedna z najznakomitszych postaci niemieckiego Oświecenia. Ten poeta, pisarz, filozof, teolog, a zarazem biskup Kościoła ewangelickiego należal do grona myślicieli, których poglądy wywarły olbrzymi wpływ na rozwój kultury europejskiej. Rozważania zawarte w niniejszym artykule koncentrują się wokół postaci J.G.Herdera jako pedagoga. Stanowią próbę prezentacji jego idei pedagogicznych w połączeniu z poglądami filozoficznymi i teologicznymi. Odzwierciedla to główna Herderowska myśl pedagogiczna, wyrażana dążeniem do ukształtowania czlowieka możliwie harmonijnego i wszechstronnego pod względem intelektualnym i fizycznym, estetycznym, moralnym i (...) patriotycznym. (shrink)