Herder's Essay on Being

December 2018
12 black and white illustrations
236 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571139917
Format: Hardback
Camden House
BISAC PHI000000, HIS016000, LIT004170

Herder's Essay on Being

A Translation and Critical Approaches

Edited by John K. Noyes

Presents the first English translation of Herder's foundational essay along with critical responses to it by today's leading Herder scholars.

In recent years, Johann Gottfried Herder has been the focus of much interest in the English-speaking world. While he was long disregarded, current scholarship in both German and English is revisiting his importance as an early theorist of the limits of Enlightenment. Increasingly, scholarship is remembering that in the closing decades of the eighteenth century Herder was one of the most important alternative voices to Kant.
Herder's Versuch über das Sein (Essay on Being, ca. 1764) was likely composed in reaction to Kant's lectures on metaphysics. In it, Herder unfolds his philosophical project, setting the terms that remained the foundation of his work throughout his life and influenced Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and others. Given the central importance of the essay and Herder's increasing recognition in the English-speaking world, it is striking that it has not been translated into English until now. This volume presents a facsimile of the manuscript along with a German transcription, an annotated translation, and critical essays by the most important Herder scholars writing in German and English today.

Contributors: Manfred Baum, Arnd Bohm, Nigel DeSouza, Ulrich Gaier, Alexander J. B. Hampton, Marion Heinz, John K. Noyes, Wolfgang Pross, Sonia Sikka.

John K. Noyes is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto and Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is the author of Herder: Aesthetics against Imperialism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Essay on Being - John K. Noyes
Facsimile of Versuch über das Seyn
Transcription by Hans-Dietrich Irmscher and Heinrich Clairmont
Annotation Translation by John K. Noyes
Herder's Essay on Being - Manfred Baum
The Order of Being and the Order of Ideas: The Historical Context of Herder's Essay on Being - Wolfgang Pross
Indivisible, Inexplicable, and the Centre of all Certainty: Herder's Concept of Being - Alexander J. B. Hampton
The Metaphysical Foundation of Subjective Philosophy in Herder's Essay on Being - Marion Heinz
Herder's Kantian Critique of Kant on the Concept of Being - Nigel DeSouza
Attempting to Place the Essay on Being - Arnd Bohm
Herder's Early Neoplatonism - Ulrich Gaier
Being, Possibility, and God: A Comparison of Herder and Heidegger - Sonia Sikka
Notes on the Contributors

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