Identity Or History?: Marcus Herz and the End of the Enlightenment

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Wayne State University Press, 1995 - Enlightenment - 344 pages
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Identity or History? is a unique study of Marcus Herz, a Jewish philosopher and doctor in late eighteenth-century Berlin, and of German-Jewish culture at the end of the Enlightenment. More than a biography, this book explores questions of German-Jewish identity and of the discrepancies between Enlightenment theory and practice. Martin Davies draws parallels between Herz's personal life and Prussian politics and culture to make sense of the end of the eighteenth century when Enlightenment tradition and Romantic thought coincided. Identity or History? attempts to reconstruct Herz's cultural and social identity from his misunderstandings of the movements in which he participated and to infer from his contradictions the coherence of his intellectual positions. Davies illustrates that the contradictions that mark Herz's life and works are symptomatic for his position as a German Jew and for his time.
 

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Contents

A Clever Jewish Student
19
Herz and the dilemma of speculative reason
47
3
72
4
145
Herzs philosophy of taste and the aesthetics of salon culture in the 1790s
163
5
195
in modern GermanJewish culture
216
BIBLIOGRAPHY
300
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About the author (1995)

MARTIN L. DAVIES is Reader in the History of the European Enlightenment, University of Leicester with an international reputation for his work on Jewish Intellectual History. He has contributed to several volumes on German-Jewish History, and is the author of" Historics: the Domination of Historical Knowledge in Comtemporary Society" (2005)
CHRIS SZEJNMANN is Reader in Modern European History at the University of Leicester and has published extensively on Nazism and Modern German History, including" Nazism in Central Germany: the Brownshirts in 'Red' Saxony" (1999) and "Vom Traum zum Alptraum: Sachsen wahrend der Weimarer Republik" (2000).

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