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Language and Enlightenment – The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century

Avi Lifschitz


What is the role of language in human cognition? Could we attain self-consciousness and construct our civilisation without language? Such were the questions at the basis of eighteenth-century debates on the joint evolution of language, mind, and culture. This book highlights the importance of language in the social theory, epistemology, and aesthetics of the Enlightenment. While focusing on the Berlin Academy under Frederick the Great, this study situates the Berlin debates within a larger temporal and geographical framework. It argues that awareness of the historicity and linguistic rootednes ... More

Keywords: enlightenment, language, conjectural history, naturalism, epicureanism, Berlin, Johann David Michaelis

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199661664
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661664.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Avi Lifschitz, author
Lecturer in European History, University College London; Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg), Berlin