Who is Johann Gottfried Herder?

Who is Johann Gottfried Herder?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Johann Gottfried Herder is a 19th century German thinker who can be considered as the founder of a true philosophy of history. Arguing that the determining factor in history is not man in general, but the general characteristics of one or another type of human being, and with this claim, Herder, who is also seen as the father of anthropology, developed an organic view of natural evolution.

According to this understanding, both nature and history are fields that are constantly transforming, that is, they are in a state of being. Although history is a field of nature, historical events, like natural events, do not carry a definite legality and causality.

For, the most important element that determines history is not generality but individuality. We must stop looking for laws in history, every historical event is a one-time reality.

On August 25, 1744, Anna Elisabeth Herder was born in Mohrungen, Prussia, as the son of Gottfried Herder. The son of a weaver, Johann Gottfried Herder began studying at the University of Königsberg in 1762, where Immanuel Kant was also working. He abandoned his medical studies and turned to theology and became a preacher in Königsberg.

After his education at the university, he led a traveling life where he taught in various cities of Prussia and Europe. During this period, he met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1770 and was influenced by the new German literary movement, and also led the philosophy society they founded in Weimar together with intellectuals such as Christoph Martin Wieland and Friedrich Schiller.

Johann Gottfried Herder was a German thinker, contemporary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Herder has made important studies in the fields of literature, poetry, language-culture relations, national ideals and philosophy of history. In addition to this, Herder’s literary works on education and the construction of national identity are read by the Germans through institutes called Herder, which maintains its existence dynamically today as well as forming the principles of the German education system.

Johann Gottfried Herder died on December 18, 1803 in Weimar, Germany.

Herder’s contributions to the cultural sciences

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım