The 2000 hardback first edition
|Genre||History of philosophy|
|Media type||Hardcover, paperback|
Three Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, Herder is a collection of essays in the history of philosophy by 20th century philosopher and historian of ideas Isaiah Berlin. Edited by Henry Hardy and released posthumously in 2000, the collection comprises the previously published works Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas (1976) – an essay on Counter-Enlightenment thinkers Giambattista Vico and Johann Gottfried Herder – and The Magus of the North: J. G. Hamann and the Origins of Modern Irrationalism (1993), concerning irrationalist Johann Georg Hamann.
Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) was a Russian-British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas. Although averse to writing, his improvised lectures and talks were recorded and transcribed, with his spoken word being converted by his secretaries into his published essays and books.
Henry Robert Dugdale Hardy is a British author and editor.
The Counter-Enlightenment was a term that some 20th-century commentators have used to describe multiple strains of thought that arose in the late-18th and early-19th centuries in opposition to the 18th-century Enlightenment.
Berlin's initial interest in the critics of the Enlightenment arose through reading the works of Marxist historian of ideas Georgi Plekhanov.The historian Zeev Sternhell has raised questions concerning the editing of the work, pointing to Henry Hardy's replacement of Berlin's citations of secondary sources with primary sources on a number of occasions. He suggests that Hardy's editing "raises doubts as to Berlin's reading of his sources," and concludes with the following observation: "The question whether systematically omitting the secondary sources and replacing them with texts that Berlin himself did not mention, which probably means he did not read them, can be considered a legitimate procedure is highly dubious."
Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. He was a founder of the social-democratic movement in Russia and was one of the first Russians to identify himself as "Marxist." Facing political persecution, Plekhanov emigrated to Switzerland in 1880, where he continued in his political activity attempting to overthrow the Tsarist regime in Russia.
Zeev Sternhell is a Polish-born Israeli historian, political scientist, commentator on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and writer. He is one of the world's leading experts on fascism. Sternhell headed the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and writes for Haaretz newspaper.
Vico and Herder are portrayed by Berlin as alternatives to the rationalistic epistemology which characterized the Enlightenment.Berlin held that the agenda of the Enlightenment could be understood in a number of ways, and that to view it from the perspectives of its critics (i.e. Vico, Herder and Hamann) was to bring its distinctive and controversial aspects into sharp focus. Three Critics was one of Berlin's many publications on the Enlightenment and its enemies that did much to popularise the concept of a Counter-Enlightenment movement that he characterised as relativist, anti-rationalist, vitalist and organic, and which he associated most closely with German Romanticism.
In philosophy, rationalism is the epistemological view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge" or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". More formally, rationalism is defined as a methodology or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive".
The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".
Relativism is the idea that views are relative to differences in perception and consideration. There is no universal, objective truth according to relativism; rather each point of view has its own truth.
Berlin identifies Hamann as one of the first thinkers to conceive of human cognition as language – the articulation and use of symbols. Berlin saw Hamann as having recognised as the rationalist's Cartesian fallacy the notion that there are "clear and distinct" ideas "which can be contemplated by a kind of inner eye", without the use of language.Herder, coiner of the term Nazionalismus (nationalism) is portrayed by Berlin as conceiving of the nation as a "people's culture," the unique way of life of a particular folk, bound by ties of kinship and ties to land, defined by their unique history.
Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual functions and processes such as attention, the formation of knowledge, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and "computation", problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language. Cognitive processes use existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.
Language is a system that consists of the development, acquisition, maintenance and use of complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so; and a language is any specific example of such a system.
Cartesianism is the philosophical and scientific system of René Descartes and its subsequent development by other seventeenth century thinkers, most notably Nicolas Malebranche and Baruch Spinoza. Descartes is often regarded as the first thinker to emphasize the use of reason to develop the natural sciences. For him, the philosophy was a thinking system that embodied all knowledge, and expressed it in this way:
Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. Its mission is to disseminate scholarship within academia and society at large.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
Giambattista Vico was an Italian political philosopher and rhetorician, historian and jurist, of the Age of Enlightenment. He criticized the expansion and development of modern rationalism, was an apologist for Classical Antiquity, a precursor of systematic and complex thought, in opposition to Cartesian analysis and other types of reductionism, and was the first expositor of the fundamentals of social science and of semiotics.
Claude Adrien Helvétius was a French philosopher, freemason and littérateur.
Johann Joachim Winckelmann was a German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. "The prophet and founding hero of modern archaeology", Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Many consider him the father of the discipline of art history. He was one of the first to separate Greek Art into periods, and time classifications. His would be the decisive influence on the rise of the neoclassical movement during the late 18th century. His writings influenced not only a new science of archaeology and art history but Western painting, sculpture, literature and even philosophy. Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art (1764) was one of the first books written in German to become a classic of European literature. His subsequent influence on Lessing, Herder, Goethe, Hölderlin, Heine, Nietzsche, George, and Spengler has been provocatively called "the Tyranny of Greece over Germany."
Johann Georg Hamann was a German philosopher, whose work was used by his student J. G. Herder as a main support of the Sturm und Drang movement, and associated by historian of ideas Isaiah Berlin with the Counter-Enlightenment. However, recent scholarship, such as that by theologian Oswald Bayer, describes Hamann as a "radical Enlightener" who vigorously opposed dogmatic rationalism in matters of philosophy and faith. Bayer views him as less the proto-Romantic that Herder presented, and more a premodern-postmodern thinker who brought the consequences of Lutheran theology to bear upon the burgeoning Enlightenment and especially in reaction to Kant. Goethe and Kierkegaard were among those who considered him to be the finest mind of his time.
Johann GottfriedHerder was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and Weimar Classicism. Like Lessing, Goethe and Schleiermacher, in many respects, Herder was a Spinozist.
Georges Eugène Sorel was a French philosopher and theorist of Sorelianism. His notion of the power of myth in people's lives inspired socialists, anarchists, Marxists, and Fascists. It is, together with his defense of violence, the contribution for which he is most often remembered.
In ethics, value pluralism is the idea that there are several values which may be equally correct and fundamental, and yet in conflict with each other. In addition, value-pluralism postulates that in many cases, such incompatible values may be incommensurable, in the sense that there is no objective ordering of them in terms of importance. Value pluralism is opposed to value monism.
Friedrich Meinecke was a German historian, with national liberal and anti-semitic views, who supported the Nazi invasion of Poland. After World War II, as a representative of an older tradition, he criticized the Nazi regime, but continued to express anti-semitic prejudice.
The Hedgehog and the Fox is an essay by philosopher Isaiah Berlin—one of his most popular essays with the general public—which was published as a book in 1953. However, Berlin said, "I never meant it very seriously. I meant it as a kind of enjoyable intellectual game, but it was taken seriously. Every classification throws light on something".
Mark Lilla is an American political scientist, historian of ideas, journalist, and professor of humanities at Columbia University in New York City. A self-described liberal, he typically, though not always, presents views from that perspective.
The Volkstum is the entire utterances of a Volk or ethnic minority over its lifetime, expressing a "Volkscharakter" this unit had in common. It was the defining idea of the Völkisch movement.
The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history. Work in the history of ideas may involve interdisciplinary research in the history of philosophy, the history of science, or the history of literature. In Sweden, the history of ideas and science or Idé- och lärdomshistoria has been a distinct university subject since 6 November 1932, when Johan Nordström, a scholar of literature, was appointed professor of the new discipline in a ceremony at Uppsala University. Today, several universities across the world provide courses in this field, usually as part of a graduate programme.
Christian Tobias Damm was a renowned German Classical philologist, and the less than orthodox theologian who was rector (1730) and prorector (1742) of the Köllnische Gymnasium, the oldest in Berlin, but prematurely pensioned off in 1766, in the wake of scandalized accusations of trends towards Socianian doctrines in some of his work, to his lasting bitterness.
The New Science is the major work of Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico, published in 1725. It has been highly influential in the philosophy of history, sociology, anthropology, and for historicists like Isaiah Berlin and Hayden White. The central concepts were highly original, and prefigured the Age of Enlightenment.
National syndicalism is an adaptation of syndicalism to suit the social agenda of integral nationalism. National syndicalism developed in France, and then spread to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Romania.
Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas (1979) is a collection of essays by 20th century philosopher and historian Isaiah Berlin.
Suggesting in effect that it can be better to theorize boldly than to engage in circumscribed projects, Berlin characterizes the "creative imagination" and "imaginative reconstruction of forms of life" in Vico and Herder as legitimate criticisms of scientific rationalism and the Enlightenment…In theory as well as in art, imagination represents an alternative to arid rationality.