German Philosophy of Language: From Schlegel to Hegel and beyond

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OUP Oxford, Apr 7, 2011 - Philosophy - 364 pages
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Michael Forster here presents a ground-breaking study of German philosophy of language in the nineteenth century (and beyond). His previous book, After Herder, showed that the eighteenth-century philosopher J.G. Herder played the fundamental role in founding modern philosophy of language, including new theories of interpretation ('hermeneutics') and translation, as well as in establishing such whole new disciplines concerned with language as anthropology and linguistics. This new volume reveals that Herder's ideas continued to have a profound impact on such important nineteenth-century thinkers as Friedrich Schlegel (the leading German Romantic), Wilhelm von Humboldt (a founder of linguistics), and G.W.F. Hegel (the leading German Idealist). Forster shows that the most valuable ideas about language in this tradition were continuous with Herder's, whereas deviations from the latter that occurred tended to be inferior. This book not only sets the historical record straight but also champions the Herderian tradition for its philosophical depth and breadth.

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About the author (2011)


Michael N. Forster read P.P.E. at Oxford University, and earned his PhD in Philosophy at Princeton University. Since 1985 he has taught at the University of Chicago, where he served for ten years as chairman of the Philosophy Department and is currently Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy. He is the author of six books on German philosophy, as well as many articles on German philosophy, ancient philosophy, and contemporary philosophy of language.

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