Johann Gottfried Herder and enlightenment political thought: From the reform of russia to the anthropology of bildung

Modern Intellectual History 11 (1):31-58 (2014)

This essay revises customary interpretations of Johann Gottfried Herder that stress the non-political or anarchical nature of his philosophy and his opposition to Enlightenment thought. Approaching his politics through the idea ofBildung, it argues that Herder first elaborated on this seminal concept in a series of early texts concerned with the reform of Russia. It analyses Herder's writings on Russia in the context of wider Enlightenment debates about the reform of the empire, and shows thatBildungwas employed as a means to mediate between contrasting models of political action put forward by contemporaries such as Voltaire and Denis Diderot. An outline of the subsequent development ofBildungin his anthropological works reinforces the political intention behind the concept, and situates Herder's political thought firmly within late eighteenth-century controversies.
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DOI 10.1017/s1479244313000322
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The Myth of the Counter-Enlightenment.Robert Edward Norton - 2007 - Journal of the History of Ideas 68 (4):635-658.

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M. M. Bakhtin and the German Proto-Romantic Tradition.John Cook - forthcoming - Studies in East European Thought.

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