Herder's Political Thought: A Study on Language, Culture and Community
Published: April 2012© 2012
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 368 Pages
Dimensions: 6.29 x 9.38
368 Pages, 6.29 x 9.38 x 1.11 in
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Johann Gottfried Herder was a philosopher and important intellectual presence in eighteenth-century Germany. Herder's Political Thought examines the work of this significant figure in the context of both historical and contemporary developments in political philosophy.
Vicki A. Spencer reveals Herder as one of the first Western philosophers to grapple seriously with cultural diversity without abandoning a commitment to universal values and the first to make language and culture an issue of justice. As Spencer argues, both have made Herder a source of inspiration for the pluralist turn of contemporary political philosophy. Contending that in an era of globalization, it is no longer possible to ignore Herder's crucial insights on the relationship between cultural membership and individual identity, Spencer demonstrates how these ideas can help us understand, and perhaps resolve, the linguistic and cultural-political struggles of our times.
Table of Contents
1 The Origin of Language
3 Culture, Identity and Community
4 The Pluralist Alternative
‘Spencer’s study is an excellent illumination of key concepts of Herder’s thinking… It makes a major contribution to our better understanding of a key eighteenth-century figure whose wide-ranging intellectual achievement and contemporary relevance deserve a much broader English-speaking audience.’ Ulrike Wagner, German Quarterly winter 2013
‘Spencer’s Herder’s Political Thought is an excellent survey of the political ideas of Johann Gottfried Herder… To see her grasp of Herder’s ideas and their significance laid out in full at long last is a true delight… This is a fine book.’ Russell Arben Fox, The Review of Politics vol 75:04:2013
‘Spencer has crafted a lucid, thorough reinterpretation of Johann Gottfried Herder’s thought that highlights his distinctive contributions to the enlightenment, the Counter-Enlightenment and subsequent periods.’ D.N Byrne, Political Science vol 65:01:2013