Johann Gottfried von Herder

Johann Gottfried von Herder (yō´hän gôt´frēt fən hĕr´dər), 1744–1803, German philosopher, critic, and clergyman, b. East Prussia. Herder was an enormously influential literary critic and a leader in the Sturm und Drang movement. After an impoverished childhood, he studied theology at Königsberg and came under the influence of Kant. During an appointment at Riga, Herder gained attention with his Fragmente über die neuere deutsche Literatur [fragments concerning current German literature] (1767). In 1776 he became court preacher at Weimar through the influence of Goethe, whose work was greatly affected by Herder's ideas, particularly by his Über den Ursprung der Sprache [on the origin of language] (1772). In this treatise Herder held that language and poetry are spontaneous necessities of human nature, rather than supernatural endowments. At Weimar, Herder became the leading theorist of German romanticism and a contributor to the most brilliant court of the era. There he produced his anthology of foreign folk songs, Stimmen der Völker (1778–79) and also made some of the earliest studies of comparative philology, comparative religion, and mythology. His vast work Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit (1784–91; tr. Outlines of the Philosophy of Man, 1800) developed a major evolutionary approach to history in which he propounded the uniqueness of every historical age.

See biography by W. Koepke (1987); study by F. M. Barnard (1965, repr. 1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Johann Gottfried von Herder: Selected full-text books and articles

Philosophical Writings By Johann Gottfried von Herder; Michael N. Forster; Michael N. Forster Cambridge University Press, 2002
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
On World History: An Anthology By Johann Gottfried Herder; Hans Adler; Ernest A. Menze; Ernest A. Menze; Michael Palma M.E. Sharpe, 1997
Selected Writings on Aesthetics By Johann Gottfried Herder; Gregory Moore; Gregory Moore Princeton University Press, 2006
Herder's Aesthetics and the European Enlightenment By Robert E. Norton Cornell University Press, 1991
Johann Gottfried Herder Revisited: The Revolution in Scholarship in the Last Quarter Century By Zammito, John H.; Menges, Karl; Menze, Ernest A Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 71, No. 4, October 1, 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Herder's Philosophy of Language, Interpretation, and Translation: Three Fundamental Principles By Forster, Michael N The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 56, No. 2, December 2002
Building Bridges: The Importance of Johann Gottfried Herder's Humanism for the Humanities By Mathas, Alexander Humanitas, Vol. 26, No. 1-2, Spring-Fall 2013
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Approaches to History: Selections in the Philosophy of History from the Greeks to Hegel By Pardon E. Tillinghast Prentice Hall, 1963
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
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