After Herder

After Herder : Philosophy of Language in the German Tradition

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Philosophy of language has for some time now been the very core of the discipline of philosophy. But where did it begin? Frege has sometimes been identified as its father, but in fact its origins lie much further back, in a tradition that arose in eighteenth-century Germany. Michael Forster explores that tradition. He also makes a case that the most important thinker within that tradition was J. G. Herder. It was Herder who established such fundamental principles in
the philosophy of language as that thought essentially depends on language and that meaning consists in the usage of words. It was he who on that basis revolutionized the theory of interpretation ("hermeneutics") and the theory of translation. And it was he who played the pivotal role in founding
such whole new disciplines concerned with language as anthropology and linguistics. In the course of developing these historical points, this book also shows that Herder and his tradition are in many ways superior to dominant trends in more recent philosophy of language: deeper in their principles and broader in their focus.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 494 pages
  • 162 x 241 x 34mm | 892g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199228116
  • 9780199228119
  • 1,766,183

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Review quote

This is a hugely important book. First, it shows that Herder was not only the inventor of modern social anthropology but also of modern hermeneutics, philosophy of language and translation theory; second, it shows that Herder is superior to more recent philosophy of language. * Michael Mack, Times Higher Education * Michael Forster's two interconnected books... are vigorous and innovative invitations to look at matters quite differently... the two books offer the most philosophically sustained, searching, and convincing account of Herder's philosophical achievement to date... After Herder and German Philosophy of Language are books to be reckoned with and will amply repay the most serious attention from historians of philosophy, philosophers of language, and
social theorists. * Fred Rush, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews * [Forster] explores a rich and interesting vein in the history of philosophy. Equipped with massive erudition and a sharp eye for logical distinctions, he presents its achievements in a detailed, but systematic and digestible, form. * Michael Inwood, Mind *
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About Michael N. Forster

Since 1985 Michael Forster has taught at the University of Chicago, where he served for ten years as chairman of the Philosophy Department and is currently the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy and the College. He is the author of five books on German philosophy, as well as many articles on German philosophy and ancient philosophy. Thematically, his main interests are philosophy of language (broadly construed) and epistemology (especially
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9 ratings
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