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The German Historicist Tradition$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691555.001.0001

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Herder's Historicism, its Genesis and Development

Herder's Historicism, its Genesis and Development

(p.98) 3 Herder's Historicism, its Genesis and Development
The German Historicist Tradition

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a close study of the origins and development of Herder's views on history. It treats Herder's early views on aesthetics, religion and anthropology insofar as they form the background to these views. It also examines Herder's later theory of historical explanation, providing a close account of his two classic works on history, Auch eine Philosophie der Geschichte and the Ideen. It is a central contention of this chapter that Herder's development underwent a radical shift, so that he does not have throughout his career a single coherent philosophy of history.

Keywords:   Herder, anthropology, aesthetics, relativism, Enlightenment, origins of language, Enlightenment historiography

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