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
Michael Forster here presents a ground-breaking study of German philosophy of language in the nineteenth century (and beyond). His previous book, After Herder
, showed that the eighteenth-century philosopher J.G. Herder played the fundamental role in founding modern philosophy of language, including new theories of interpretation ('hermeneutics') and translation, as well as in establishing such whole new disciplines concerned with language as anthropology and linguistics. This new volume reveals that Herder's ideas continued to have a profound impact on such important nineteenth-century thinkers as Friedrich Schlegel (the leading German Romantic), Wilhelm von Humboldt (a founder of linguistics), and G.W.F. Hegel (the leading German Idealist). Forster shows that the most valuable ideas about language in this tradition were continuous with Herder's, whereas deviations from the latter that occurred tended to be inferior. This book not only sets the historical record straight but also champions the Herderian tradition for its philosophical depth and breadth.