Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities

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Princeton University Press, May 4, 2014 - Philosophy - 576 pages

A prehistory of today's humanities, from ancient Greece to the early twentieth century

Many today do not recognize the word, but "philology" was for centuries nearly synonymous with humanistic intellectual life, encompassing not only the study of Greek and Roman literature and the Bible but also all other studies of language and literature, as well as history, culture, art, and more. In short, philology was the queen of the human sciences. How did it become little more than an archaic word?

In Philology, the first history of Western humanistic learning as a connected whole ever published in English, James Turner tells the fascinating, forgotten story of how the study of languages and texts led to the modern humanities and the modern university. The humanities today face a crisis of relevance, if not of meaning and purpose. Understanding their common origins—and what they still share—has never been more urgent.

 

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

What to say about this sprawling history of everything? Most precisely this is an examination of why there was even an endeavor of philology, as at various times and places thoughtful people saw fit ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

In Philology, James Turner makes a fun and rather interesting assertion: all studies in the humanities lead back to philology, the study of languages and their history. In order to engage in the ... Read full review

Contents

PART I FROM THE FIRST PHILOLOGISTS TO 1800
1
PART II ON THE BRINK OF THE MODERN HUMANITIES 1800 TO THE MIDNINETEENTH CENTURY
123
PART III THE MODERN HUMANITIES IN THE MODERN UNIVERSITY THE MIDNINETEENTH TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
231
Epilogue
381
Notes
387
Works Cited
453
Index
509
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

James Turner is the Cavanaugh Professor of Humanities Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, where he taught in the History Department and the doctoral program in history and philosophy of science.

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