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Johann Gottfried (after 1802 von) Herder ( , ; 25 August 174418 December 1803) was a German philosopher,
theologian Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
,
poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, soun ...

poet
, and
literary critic Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical analysis, philosophical discussion of literature ...
. He is associated with the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
, ''
Sturm und Drang ''Sturm und Drang'' (, ; literally "storm and drive", though usually translated as "storm and stress") was a proto- Romantic movement in German literature and music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition t ...
'', and
Weimar Classicism Weimar Classicism (german: Weimarer Klassik) was a German literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, dra ...
.


Biography

Born in Mohrungen (now Morąg, Poland) in the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom Kingdom may refer to: Monarchy * A type of monarchy * A realm ruled by: **A king, during the reign of a male monarch **A queen regnant, during the reign of a female ...
, Herder grew up in a poor household, educating himself from his father's
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
and
songbook A song book is a book containing lyrics for songs. Song books may be simple composition books or spiral-bound notebooks. Music publisher (popular music), Music publishers also produced printed editions for group singing. Such volumes were used in th ...

songbook
. In 1762, as a youth of 17, he enrolled at the
University of Königsberg The University of Königsberg (german: Albertus-Universität Königsberg) was the university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) educ ...
, about 60 miles (100 km) north of Mohrungen, where he became a student of
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Immanuel Kant
. At the same time, Herder became an
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally includ ...
protégé Mentorship is the influence, guidance, or direction given by a mentor. Mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person. In an organizational setting, a mentor influences the personal and pro ...
of
Johann Georg Hamann Johann Georg Hamann (; ; August 27, 1730 – June 21, 1788) was a German Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Martin Luther, a 16th-century German Protestant Reformers, refor ...

Johann Georg Hamann
, a
Königsberg Königsberg (, , ) was the name for the historic Prussian city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement ''Twangste'' by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusade ...

Königsberg
philosopher who disputed the claims of pure
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...

secular
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
. Hamann's influence led Herder to confess to his wife later in life that "I have too little reason and too much idiosyncrasy", yet Herder can justly claim to have founded a new school of German political thought. Although himself an unsociable person, Herder influenced his contemporaries greatly. One friend wrote to him in 1785, hailing his works as "inspired by God." A varied field of theorists were later to find inspiration in Herder's tantalizingly incomplete ideas. In 1764, now a
clergyman Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sa ...
, Herder went to
Riga Riga (; lv, Rīga , liv, Rīgõ, ) is the capital of Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links ...

Riga
to teach. It was during this period that he produced his first major works, which were
literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical analysis, philosophical discussion of literature ...
. In 1769 Herder traveled by ship to the French port of
Nantes Nantes (, , ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Naunnt'' or ''Nantt'' ; ) is a city in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire, from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. The city is the List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, sixth largest in F ...

Nantes
and continued on to
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
. This resulted in both an account of his travels as well as a shift of his own self-conception as an author. By 1770 Herder went to
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Bas-Rhin (; Alsatian: ''Unterelsàss'', ' or '; traditional german: links=no, Niederrhein; en, Lower Rhine) is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, divi ...

Strasbourg
, where he met the young
Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist. His works include: four novels; epic poetry, epic and lyric poetry; prose ...

Goethe
. This event proved to be a key juncture in the history of
German literature German literature () comprises those literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Seman ...
, as Goethe was inspired by Herder's
literary criticism Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often influenced by literary theory, which is the philosophical analysis, philosophical discussion of literature ...
to develop his own style. This can be seen as the beginning of the "
Sturm und Drang ''Sturm und Drang'' (, ; literally "storm and drive", though usually translated as "storm and stress") was a proto- Romantic movement in German literature and music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition t ...
" movement. In 1771 Herder took a position as head pastor and court preacher at
Bückeburg Bückeburg is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, on the border with North Rhine Westphalia. It is located in the district of Schaumburg close to the northern slopes of the Weserbergland ridge. Population: 21,030. History Bückeburg was once the cap ...
under
William, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe Wilhelm, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg (9 January 1724 – 10 September 1777), born Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Graf zu Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg, was a German ruler of the County A county is a geographical region of a country used for ...
. By the mid-1770s, Goethe was a well-known author, and used his influence at the court of
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
to secure Herder a position as General Superintendent. Herder moved there in 1776, where his outlook shifted again towards
classicism Classicism, in the arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangibl ...
. On May 2, 1773 Herder married
Maria Karoline Flachsland
Maria Karoline Flachsland
(1750–1809) in
Darmstadt Darmstadt (, also , , ) is a city in the States of Germany, state of Hesse in Germany, located in the southern part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Area, Rhine-Main-Area (Frankfurt Metropolitan Region). Darmstadt has around 160,000 inhabitants, m ...

Darmstadt
. 1774 his son
Gottfried Gottfried is a masculine German given name. It is derived from the Old High German name ', recorded since the 7th century. The name is composed of the elements ' (conflated from the etyma for 'God' and 'good', and possibly further conflated with ') ...
(1774–1806) was born in
Bückeburg Bückeburg is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, on the border with North Rhine Westphalia. It is located in the district of Schaumburg close to the northern slopes of the Weserbergland ridge. Population: 21,030. History Bückeburg was once the cap ...
. 1776 his second son
August August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, ...
(1776–1838) was born in Bückeburg. His third son Wilhelm Ludwig Ernst was born 1778. His fourth son Karl Emil Adelbert (1779–1857) was born 1779 in
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
. 1781 his daughter Luise (1781–1860) was born in Weimar. 1783 his fifth son Emil Ernst Gottfried (1783–1855) was born in Weimar. 1790 his sixth son Rinaldo Gottfried was born in Weimar. Towards the end of his career, Herder endorsed the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
, which earned him the enmity of many of his colleagues. At the same time, he and Goethe experienced a personal split. Another reason for his isolation in later years was due to his unpopular attacks on Kantian philosophy. In 1802 Herder was ennobled by the Elector-Prince of
Bavaria Bavaria (; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language ...

Bavaria
, which added the prefix "von" to his last name. He died in
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
in 1803 at age 59.


Works and ideas

In 1772 Herder published ''Treatise on the Origin of Language'' and went further in this promotion of language than his earlier injunction to "spew out the ugly slime of the
Seine ) , mouth_location = Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''lati ...

Seine
. Speak German, O You German". Herder now had established the foundations of comparative
philology Philology is the study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
within the new currents of political outlook. Throughout this period, he continued to elaborate his own unique theory of
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of m ...

aesthetics
in works such as the above, while Goethe produced works like ''
The Sorrows of Young Werther ''The Sorrows of Young Werther'' (german: Die Leiden des jungen Werthers) is a 1774 epistolary novel An epistolary novel is a novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of rel ...
''the
Sturm und Drang ''Sturm und Drang'' (, ; literally "storm and drive", though usually translated as "storm and stress") was a proto- Romantic movement in German literature and music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition t ...
movement was born. Herder wrote an important essay on
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

Shakespeare
and ''Auszug aus einem Briefwechsel über Ossian und die Lieder alter Völker'' (Extract from a correspondence about
Ossian Ossian (; Irish Gaelic/ Scottish Gaelic: ''Oisean'') is the narrator and purported author of a cycle of epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary ...
and the Songs of Ancient Peoples) published in 1773 in a manifesto along with contributions by Goethe and Justus Möser. Herder wrote that "A poet is the creator of the nation around him, he gives them a world to see and has their souls in his hand to lead them to that world." To him such poetry had its greatest purity and power in nations before they became civilised, as shown in the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as aut ...
, the
Edda "Edda" (; Old Norse ''Edda'', plural ''Eddur'') is an Old Norse term that has been attributed by modern scholars to the collective of two Medieval Icelandic literary works: what is now known as the ''Prose Edda'' and an older collection of poem ...

Edda
, and
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
, and he tried to find such virtues in ancient German folk songs and
Norse Norse is demonym for Norsemen, a medieval North Germanic ethnolinguistic group ancestral to modern Scandinavians, defined as speakers of Old Norse from about the 9th to the 13th centuries. Norse may also refer to: Culture and religion * Norse m ...
poetry and
mythology Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the ca ...

mythology
. Herder - most pronouncedly after
Georg Forster Johann George Adam Forster, also known as Georg Forster (, 27 November 1754 – 10 January 1794), was a German naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology Biology is the natural scienc ...

Georg Forster
's 1791 translation of the
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
play ''
Shakuntala Shakuntala (Sanskrit: ''Śakuntalā'') is the wife of Dushyanta and the mother of Bharata (Mahabharata), Emperor Bharata. Her story is told in the ancient Indian epic ''Mahabharata'' and dramatized by many writers, the most famous adaption bei ...

Shakuntala
-'' was influenced by the religious imagery of
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
and Indian literature, which he saw in a positive light, writing several essays on the topic and the preface to the 1803 edition of ''Shakuntala''. After becoming General Superintendent in 1776, Herder's philosophy shifted again towards
classicism Classicism, in the arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangibl ...
, and he produced works such as his unfinished ''Outline of a Philosophical History of Humanity'' which largely originated the school of historical thought. Herder's philosophy was of a deeply subjective turn, stressing influence by physical and historical circumstance upon human development, stressing that "one must go into the age, into the region, into the whole history, and feel one's way into everything". The historian should be the "regenerated contemporary" of the past, and history a science as "instrument of the most genuine patriotic spirit". Herder gave Germans new pride in their origins, modifying that dominance of regard allotted to
Greek art Greek art began in the Cycladic The Cyclades ( el, Κυκλάδες ) are an island group An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containin ...

Greek art
(''
Greek revival The Greek Revival was an architectural upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in P ...
'') extolled among others by
Johann Joachim Winckelmann Johann Joachim Winckelmann (; ; 9 December 17178 June 1768) was a German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. "The prophet and foundin ...

Johann Joachim Winckelmann
and
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (, ; 22 January 1729 – 15 February 1781) was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes play (theatre), plays. Etymology The word "play" is from Middle English pleye, ...

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
. He remarked that he would have wished to be born in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
and mused whether "the times of the
Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg: ''Or, three lions passant sable'', the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin the coat of arms of the House of Hohenstaufen. Also used for Swabia (and for Württemberg-Baden during 1945–1952) are ...

Swabia
n emperors" did not "deserve to be set forth in their true light in accordance with the German mode of thought?". Herder equated the German with the
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
and favoured and everything
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
. As with the sphere of art, equally he proclaimed a national message within the sphere of
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
. He topped the line of German authors emanating from Martin Opitz, who had written his ''Aristarchus, sive de contemptu linguae Teutonicae'' in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
in 1617, urging Germans to glory in their hitherto despised language. Herder's extensive collections of folk-poetry began a great craze in Germany for that neglected topic. Herder was one of the first to argue that language contributes to shaping the frameworks and the patterns with which each linguistic community thinks and feels. For Herder, language is "the organ of thought." This has often been misinterpreted, however. Neither Herder nor the great philosopher of language,
Wilhelm von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt (, also , ; ; 22 June 1767 – 8 April 1835) was a philosopher, , , diplomat, and founder of the , which was named after him in 1949 (and also after his younger brother, , a ). He is espe ...

Wilhelm von Humboldt
, argue that language (written or oral) determines thought. Rather, language was the appropriation of the outer world within the human mind by means of distinguishing marks (''merkmale''). In positing his arguments, Herder reformulated an example from works by
Moses Mendelssohn Moses Mendelssohn (6 September 1729 – 4 January 1786) was a German-Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the ''Haskalah'', the 'Jewish Enlightenment' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is indebted. Born to a poor Jewish family in Dessa ...

Moses Mendelssohn
and
Thomas Abbt Image:Thomas Abbt.jpg, Thomas Abbt Thomas Abbt (; 25 November 1738 – 3 November 1766) was a Germany, German mathematician and writer. Biography Born in Ulm as the son of a wig-maker, Abbt visited a secondary school in Ulm, then moved in 1756 to s ...

Thomas Abbt
. In his conjectural narrative of human origins, Herder argued that, although language did not determine thought, the first humans perceived sheep and their bleating, or subjects and corresponding ''merkmale'', as one and the same. That is, for these conjectured ancestors, the sheep were the bleating, and vice-versa. Hence, pre-linguistic cognition did not figure largely in Herderian conjectural narratives. Herder even moved beyond his narrative of human origins to contend that if active reflection (''besonnenheit'') and language persisted in human consciousness, then human impulses to signify were immanent in the pasts, presents, and futures of humanity. Avi Lifschitz subsequently reframed Herder's "the organ of thought" quotation: "Herder's equation of word and idea, of language and cognition, prompted a further attack on any attribution of the first words to the imitation of natural sounds, to the physiology of the vocal organs, or to social convention... erder arguedfor the linguistic character of our cognition but also for the cognitive nature of human language. One could not think without language, as various Enlightenment thinkers argued, but at the same time one could not properly speak without perceiving the world in a uniquely human way...man would not be himself without language and active reflection, while language deserved its name only as a cognitive aspect of the entire human being." In response to criticism of these contentions, Herder resisted descriptions of his findings as "conjectural" pasts, casting his arguments for a dearth of pre-linguistic cognition in humans and "the problem of the origin of language as a synchronic issue rather than a diachronic one." And in this sense, when Humboldt argues that all thinking is thinking in language, he is perpetuating the Herderian tradition. Herder additionally advanced select notions of myriad "authentic" conceptions of ''Völk'' and the unity of the individual and natural law, which became fodder for his self-proclaimed twentieth-century disciples. Herderian ideas continue to influence thinkers, linguists and anthropologists, and they have often been considered central to the
Sapir–Whorf hypothesis The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis , the Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, is a principle suggesting that the structure of a language A language is a structured system of communication used b ...
and Franz Boas' coalescence of comparative linguistics and historical particularism with a neo-Kantian/Herderian four-field approach to the study of all cultures, as well as, more recently, anthropological studies by Dell Hymes. Herder's focus upon language and cultural traditions as the ties that create a "nation" extended to include
folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psycholog ...

folklore
, dance, music and art, and inspired
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm The Brothers Grimm (' or ', ), Jacob Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm, Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786–1859), were Hesse, Hessian academics, philologists, cultural researchers, Lexicography, lexicographers and authors who ...
in their collection of German folk tales. Arguably, the greatest inheritor of Herder's linguistic philosophy was Wilhelm von Humboldt. Humboldt's great contribution lay in developing Herder's idea that language is "the organ of thought" into his own belief that languages were specific worldviews (''Weltansichten''), as Jürgen Trabant argues in the Wilhelm von Humboldt lectures on the Rouen Ethnolinguistics Project website. Herder attached exceptional importance to the concept of nationality and of patriotism"he that has lost his patriotic spirit has lost himself and the whole worlds about himself", whilst teaching that "in a certain sense every human perfection is national". Herder carried folk theory to an extreme by maintaining that "there is only one class in the state, the ''
Volk The German noun ''Volk'' () translates to people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously appl ...

Volk
'', (not the rabble), and the king belongs to this class as well as the peasant". Explanation that the ''Volk'' was not the rabble was a novel conception in this era, and with Herder can be seen the emergence of "the people" as the basis for the emergence of a classless but hierarchical national body. The nation, however, was individual and separate, distinguished, to Herder, by climate, education, foreign intercourse, tradition and heredity. Providence he praised for having "wonderfully separated nationalities not only by woods and mountains, seas and deserts, rivers and climates, but more particularly by languages, inclinations and characters". Herder praised the
tribal The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living o ...
outlook writing that "the who loves himself, his wife and child with quiet joy and glows with limited activity of his tribe as for his own life is in my opinion a more real being than that cultivated shadow who is enraptured with the shadow of the whole species", isolated since "each nationality contains its centre of happiness within itself, as a bullet the centre of gravity". With no need for comparison since "every nation bears in itself the standard of its perfection, totally independent of all comparison with that of others" for "do not nationalities differ in everything, in poetry, in appearance, in tastes, in usages, customs and languages? Must not religion which partakes of these also differ among the nationalities?" Following a trip to
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
, Herder wrote a prediction in his diary (''Journal meiner Reise im Jahre 1769'') that Slavic nations would one day be the real power in Europe, as the western Europeans would reject Christianity and rot away, while the eastern European nations would stick to their religion and their idealism, and would this way become the power in Europe. More specifically, he praised Ukraine's "beautiful skies, blithe temperament, musical talent, bountiful soil, etc. ..someday will awaken there a cultured nation whose influence will spread ..throughout the world." One of his related predictions was that the Hungarian nation would disappear and become assimilated by surrounding Slavic peoples; this prophecy caused considerable uproar in Hungary and is widely cited to this day.


Germany and the Enlightenment

This question was further developed by Herder's lament that
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
did not establish a national church, and his doubt whether Germany did not buy Christianity at too high a price, that of true nationality. Herder's patriotism bordered at times upon national
pantheism Pantheism is the belief that reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The ...

pantheism
, demanding of territorial unity as "He is deserving of glory and gratitude who seeks to promote the unity of the territories of Germany through writings, manufacture, and institutions" and sounding an even deeper call: :''"But now! Again I cry, my German brethren! But now! The remains of all genuine folk-thought is rolling into the abyss of oblivion with a last and accelerated impetus. For the last century we have been ashamed of everything that concerns the fatherland."'' In his ''Ideas upon Philosophy and the History of Mankind'' he wrote: "Compare England with Germany: the English are Germans, and even in the latest times the Germans have led the way for the English in the greatest things." Herder, who hated absolutism and Prussian nationalism, but who was imbued with the spirit of the whole German ''Volk'', yet as a historical theorist turned away from the ideas of the eighteenth century. Seeking to reconcile his thought with this earlier age, Herder sought to harmonize his conception of sentiment with reasoning, whereby all knowledge is implicit in the soul; the most elementary stage is the sensuous and intuitive perception which by development can become self-conscious and rational. To Herder, this development is the harmonizing of primitive and derivative truth, of experience and intelligence, feeling and reasoning. Herder is the first in a long line of Germans preoccupied with this harmony. This search is itself the key to the understanding of many German theories of the time; however Herder understood and feared the extremes to which his folk-theory could tend, and so issued specific warnings. He argued that Jews in Germany should enjoy the full rights and obligations of Germans, and that the non-Jews of the world owed a debt to Jews for centuries of abuse, and that this debt could be discharged only by actively assisting those Jews who wished to do so to regain political sovereignty in their ancient homeland of Israel. Herder refused to adhere to a rigid racial theory, writing that "notwithstanding the varieties of the human form, there is but one and the same species of man throughout the whole earth". He also announced that "national glory is a deceiving seducer. When it reaches a certain height, it clasps the head with an iron band. The enclosed sees nothing in the mist but his own picture; he is susceptible to no foreign impressions." The passage of time was to demonstrate that while many Germans were to find influence in Herder's convictions and influence, fewer were to note his qualifying stipulations. Herder had emphasised that his conception of the nation encouraged democracy and the free self-expression of a people's identity. He proclaimed support for the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
, a position which did not endear him to royalty. He also differed with Kant's philosophy for not placing reasoning within the context of language. Herder did not think that reason itself could be criticized, as it did not exist except as the process of reasoning. This process was dependent on language. He also turned away from the
Sturm und Drang ''Sturm und Drang'' (, ; literally "storm and drive", though usually translated as "storm and stress") was a proto- Romantic movement in German literature and music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition t ...
movement to go back to the poems of
Shakespeare William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national p ...

Shakespeare
and
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
. To promote his concept of the ''Volk'', he published letters and collected folk songs. These latter were published in 1773 as ''Voices of the Peoples in Their Songs'' (''Stimmen der Völker in ihren Liedern''). The poets
Achim von Arnim Achim (), commonly Achim bei Bremen, is a municipality and the largest town (population 30,059 in December 2006) in the district of Verden, in Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a Germ ...
and Clemens von Brentano later used ''Stimmen der Völker'' as samples for ''The Boy's Magic Horn'' (''
Des Knaben Wunderhorn ''Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Alte deutsche Lieder'' ( German; "The boy's magic horn: old German songs") is a collection of German folk poem Poetry (derived from the Greek '' poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature Literature broad ...
''). Herder also fostered the ideal of a person's individuality. Although he had from an early period championed the individuality of cultures – for example, in his ''This Too a Philosophy of History for the Formation of Humanity'' (1774), he also championed the individuality of ''persons'' within a culture; for example, in his ''On
Thomas Abbt Image:Thomas Abbt.jpg, Thomas Abbt Thomas Abbt (; 25 November 1738 – 3 November 1766) was a Germany, German mathematician and writer. Biography Born in Ulm as the son of a wig-maker, Abbt visited a secondary school in Ulm, then moved in 1756 to s ...

Thomas Abbt
's Writings'' (1768) and ''On the Cognition and Sensation of the Human Soul'' (1778). In ''On Thomas Abbt's Writings'', Herder stated that "a human soul is an individual in the realm of minds: it senses in accordance with an individual formation, and thinks in accordance with the strength of its mental organs. ... My long allegory has succeeded if it achieves the representation of the mind of a human being as an individual phenomenon, as a rarity which deserves to occupy our eyes."


Evolution

Herder has been described as a proto-evolutionary thinker by some science historians, although this has been disputed by others.Nisbet, H. B. (1970). ''Herder and the Philosophy and History of Science''. Modern Humanities Research Association. pp. 210–212. Zimmerli, W. Ch. ''Evolution or Development? Questions Concerning the Systematic and Historical Position of Herder''. In Kurt Mueller-Vollmer. (1990). ''Herder Today: Contributions from the International Herder Conference: Nov. 5–8, 1987 Stanford, California''. pp. 1–16. Concerning the history of life on earth, Herder proposed and
metaphysical Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between ...
(religious) ideas that are difficult to distinguish and interpret. He was known for proposing a
great chain of being The Great Chain of Being is a hierarchical structure of all matter and life, thought by medieval Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, ...
. In his book ''From the Greeks to Darwin'',
Henry Fairfield Osborn Issue with Oa bot Kendell acole editing bc name shows as Dc period leesburg va jo . And vi also pa see disruptive editor in general Henry Fairfield Osborn, Sr. (August 8, 1857 – November 6, 1935) was an American paleontologist Paleonto ...

Henry Fairfield Osborn
wrote that "in a general way he upholds the doctrine of the transformation of the lower and higher forms of life, of a continuous transformation from lower to higher types, and of the law of Perfectibility." However, biographer Wulf Köpke disagreed, noting that "biological evolution from animals to the human species was outside of his thinking, which was still influenced by the idea of divine creation."


Bibliography

* ''Song to Cyrus, the Grandson of Astyages'' (1762) * ''Essay on Being'', (1763–64) * ''On Diligence in Several Learned Languages'' (1764) * ''Treatise on the Ode'' (1764) * ''How Philosophy can become more Universal and Useful for the Benefit of the People'' (1765) * ''Fragments on Recent German Literature'' (1767–68) * ''On Thomas Abbt's Writings'' (1768) * ''Critical Forests, or Reflections on the Science and Art of the Beautiful'' (1769–) * ''Gott – einige Gespräche über
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (; ; ; born Baruch Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Port ...

Spinoza
's System nebst Shaftesbury's Naturhymnus'' (Gotha: Karl Wilhelm Ettinger, 1787) * ''Journal of my Voyage in the Year 1769'' (first published 1846) * ''Treatise on the Origin of Language'' (1772) * ''Selection from correspondence on
Ossian Ossian (; Irish Gaelic/ Scottish Gaelic: ''Oisean'') is the narrator and purported author of a cycle of epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary ...
and the songs of ancient peoples'' (1773) See also:
James Macpherson James Macpherson (Scottish Gaelic, Gaelic: ''Seumas MacMhuirich'' or ''Seumas Mac a' Phearsain''; 27 October 1736 – 17 February 1796) was a Scottish people, Scottish writer, poet, literary collector and politician, known as the "translator" of ...

James Macpherson
(1736–1796). * ''Of German Character and Art'' (with Goethe, manifesto of the Sturm und Drang) (1773) * ''This Too a Philosophy of History for the Formation of Humanity'' (1774) * ''Oldest Document of the Human Race'' (1774–76) * "Essay on Ulrich von Hutten" Nachricht von Ulrich von Hutten"(1776) * ''On the Resemblance of Medieval English and German Poetry'' (1777) * ''Sculpture: Some Observations on Shape and Form from Pygmalion's Creative Dream'' (1778) * ''On the Cognition and Sensation of the Human Soul'' (1778) * ''On the Effect of Poetic Art on the Ethics of Peoples in Ancient and Modern Times'' (1778) * ''Folk Songs'' (1778–79; second ed. of 1807 titled ''The Voices of Peoples in Songs'') * ''On the Influence of the Government on the Sciences and the Sciences on the Government'' (''Dissertation on the Reciprocal Influence of Government and the Sciences'') (1780) * ''Letters Concerning the Study of Theology'' (1780–81) * ''On the Influence of the Beautiful in the Higher Sciences'' (1781)
''On the Spirit of Hebrew Poetry. An Instruction for Lovers of the Same and the Oldest History of the Human Spirit'' (1782–83)
* ''God. Some Conversations'' (1787)
''Oriental Dialogues'' 1787

''Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind ''
(1784–91) * ''Scattered Leaves'' (1785–97) * ''Letters for the Advancement of Humanity'' (1791–97 or 1793–97? (various drafts)) * ''Thoughts on Some Brahmins'' (1792)Willson, A. Leslie. "Rogerius' "Open Deure": A Herder Source." ''Monatshefte'' 48, no. 1 (1956): 17–24. Accessed October 3, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/30166121. * ''Zerstreute Blätter'' (1792) * ''Christian Writings'' (5 vols.) (1794–98) * ''Terpsichore'' (1795–96) A translation and commentary of the Latin poet . * ''On the Son of God and Saviour of the World, according to the Gospel of John'' (1797) * ''Persepolisian Letters'' (1798). Fragments on Persian architecture, history and religion. * ''Luther's Catechism, with a catechetical instruction for the use of schools'' (1798) * ''Understanding and Experience. A Metacritique of the Critique of Pure Reason. Part I. (Part II, Reason and Language.)'' (1799) * ''Calligone'' (1800) * ''Adrastea: Events and Characters of the 18th Century'' (6 vols.) (1801–03) * ''The Cid'' (1805; a free translation of the Spanish epic ''
Cantar de Mio Cid ''El Cantar de mio Cid'', literally "The Song of my Cid" (or ''El Poema de mio Cid''), also known in English as ''The Poem of the Cid'', is the oldest preserved Castilian epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily invol ...
'')


Works in English

* ''Herder's Essay on Being. A Translation and Critical Approaches''. Edited and translated by John K. Noyes. Rochester: Camden House 2018. Herder's early essay on metaphysics, translated with a series of critical commentaries. *''Song Loves the Masses: Herder on Music and Nationalism''. Edited and translated by Philip Vilas Bohlman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017). Collected writings on music, from ''Volkslieder'' to sacred song. *''Selected Writings on Aesthetics''. Edited and translated by Gregory Moore. Princeton U.P. 2006. pp. x + 455. . Edition makes many of Herder's writings on aesthetics available in English for the first time. *''Another Philosophy of History and Selected Political Writings'', eds. Ioannis D. Evrigenis and Daniel Pellerin (Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2004). A translation of ''Auch eine Philosophie'' and other works. *''Philosophical Writings'', ed. Michael N. Forster (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002). The most important philosophical works of the early Herder available in English, including an unabridged version of the ''Treatise on the Origin of Language'' and ''This Too a Philosophy of History for the Formation of Mankind''. *''Sculpture: Some Observations on Shape and Form from Pygmalion's Creative Dream'', ed. Jason Gaiger (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002). Herder's ''Plastik''. *''Selected Early Works'', eds. Ernest A. Menze and Karl Menges (University Park: The Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 1992). Partial translation of the important text ''Über die neuere deutsche Litteratur''. *''On World History'', eds. Hans Adler and Ernest A. Menze (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1997). Short excerpts on history from various texts. *''J. G. Herder on Social & Political Culture (Cambridge Studies in the History and Theory of Politics)'', ed. F. M. Barnard (Cambridge University Press, 2010 (originally published in 1969)) Selected texts: 1. ''Journal of my voyage in the year 1769''; 2. ''Essay on the origin of language''; 3. ''Yet another philosophy of history''; 4. ''Dissertation on the reciprocal influence of government and the sciences''; 5. ''Ideas for a philosophy of the history of mankind''. *''Herder: Philosophical Writings'', ed. Desmond M. Clarke and Michael N. Forster (Cambridge University Press, 2007), . Contents: Part I. General Philosophical Program: 1. How philosophy can become more universal and useful for the benefit of the people (1765); Part II. Philosophy of Language: 2. Fragments on recent German literature (1767–68); 3. Treatise on the origin of language (1772); Part III. Philosophy of Mind: 4. On Thomas Abbt's writings (1768); 5. On cognition and sensation, the two main forces of the human soul; 6. On the cognition and sensation, the two main forces of the human soul (1775); Part IV. Philosophy of History: 7. On the change of taste (1766); 8. Older critical forestlet (1767/8); 9. This too a philosophy of history for the formation of humanity (1774); Part V. Political Philosophy: 10. Letters concerning the progress of humanity (1792); 11. Letters for the advancement of humanity (1793–97). *''Herder on Nationality, Humanity, and History'', F. M. Barnard. (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.) . *''Herder's Social and Political Thought: From Enlightenment to Nationalism'', F. M. Barnard, Oxford, Publisher: Clarendon Press, 1967. ASIN B0007JTDEI.


See also

* Herder Prize


Notes


References

* Michael N. Forster, ''After Herder: Philosophy of Language in the German Tradition'', Oxford University Press, 2010.


Further reading

* Adler, Hans. "Johann Gottfried Herder's Concept of Humanity," ''Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture'' 23 (1994): 55–74 * Adler, Hans and Wolf Koepke eds., ''A Companion to the Works of Johann Gottfried Herder''. Rochester: Camden House 2009. * Joxe Azurmendi, Azurmendi, J. 2008. ''Volksgeist. Herri gogoa'', Donostia, Elkar, . * * Antoine Berman, Berman, Antoine. ''L'épreuve de l'étranger. Culture et traduction dans l'Allemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hölderlin.'', Paris, Gallimard, Essais, 1984. * Isaiah Berlin, Berlin, Isaiah, ''Vico and Herder. Two Studies in the History of Ideas'', London, 1976. * Berlin, Isaiah ''Three Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, Herder'', London and Princeton, 2000, *''Herder today''. Contributions from the International Herder Conference, 5–8 November 1987, Stanford, California. Edited by Mueller-Vollmer Kurt. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 1990. ** Baum, Manfred, ''Herder's essay on Being''. In ''Herder Today: Contributions from the International Herder Conference, 5–8 November 1987,'' Stanford, California. Edited by Mueller-Vollmer Kurt. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 1990. pp. 126–137. ** Simon Josef, ''Herder and the problematization of metaphysics''. In Herder Today: Contributions from the International Herder Conference, 5–8 November 1987, Stanford, California. Edited by Mueller-Vollmer Kurt. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 1990. pp. 108–125. * DeSouza, Nigel and Anik Waldow eds., ''Herder. Philosophy and Anthropology''. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017. * Iggers, Georg, ''The German Conception of History: The National Tradition of Historical Thought from Herder to the Present'' (2nd ed.; Wesleyan University Press, 1983). * Noyes, John K., ''Herder. Aesthetics against Imperialism''. Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2015. * Noyes, John K. ed., ''Herder's Essay on Being. A Translation and Critical Approaches''. Rochester: Camden House 2018. * Sikka, Sonia, ''Herder on Humanity and Cultural Difference. Enlightened Relativism''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2011. * Taylor, Charles, ''The importance of Herder''. In ''Isaiah Berlin: a celebration'' edited by Margalit Edna and Margalit Avishai. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1991. pp. 40–63; reprinted in: C. Taylor, ''Philosophical arguments'', Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 79–99. * Zammito, John H. ''Kant, Herder, the birth of anthropology''. Chicago: Chicago University Press 2002. * Zammito, John H., Karl Menges and Ernest A. Menze. "Johann Gottfried Herder Revisited: The Revolution in Scholarship in the Last Quarter Century," ''Journal of the History of Ideas,'' Volume 71, Number 4, October 2010, pp. 661–684
in Project MUSE


External links

* * *
Herder bibliography and more

Essay on the Origin of Language
" 1772. Online in English translation.
Selected works from Project Gutenberg (in German)
*
The Jürgen Trabant Wilhelm von Humboldt Lectures
{{DEFAULTSORT:Herder, Johann Gottfried Johann Gottfried Herder, 1744 births 1803 deaths 18th-century German philosophers 18th-century German Protestant theologians 18th-century German writers 18th-century German male writers 18th-century Lutheran clergy 19th-century German philosophers 19th-century German Protestant theologians 19th-century German writers 19th-century German male writers 19th-century Lutheran clergy Age of Enlightenment Bavarian nobility Continental philosophers Cultural critics Enlightenment philosophers German ethicists German-language poets German Lutheran clergy German Lutheran theologians German male non-fiction writers German nationalists German translation scholars Lutheran philosophers Members of the Prussian Academy of Sciences Moral philosophers Neo-Spinozism People from East Prussia People from Morąg Philosophers of art Philosophers of culture Philosophers of education Philosophers of ethics and morality Philosophers of history Philosophers of language Philosophers of literature Philosophers of mind Philosophers of science Political philosophers Proto-evolutionary biologists German social commentators Social critics Social philosophers Spinoza scholars Spinozist philosophers Sturm und Drang University of Königsberg alumni