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Language and Enlightenment The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century

Release: Language.and.Enlightenment.The.Berlin.Debates.of.the.Eighteenth.Century

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Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the
Eighteenth Century by Avi Lifschitz
English | 2012 | ISBN: 0199661669, 0198777647 | 272
pages | PDF | 1,2 MB
What is the role of language in human cognition? Could
we attain self - consciousness and construct our
civilization without language? Such were the questions at
the basis of eighteenth - century debates on the joint
evolution of language, mind, and culture. Language and
Enlightenment highlights the importance of language in
the social theory, epistemology, and aesthetics of the
Enlightenment. While focusing on the Berlin Academy
under Frederick the Great, Avi Lifschitz situates the Berlin
debates within a larger temporal and geographical
framework. He argues that awareness of the historicity
and linguistic rootedness of all forms of life was a
mainstream Enlightenment notion rather than a feature of
the so - called 'Counter - Enlightenment'.

Enlightenment authors of different persuasions
investigated whether speechless human beings could
have developed their language and society on their own.
Such inquiries usually pondered the difficult shift from
natural signs like cries and gestures to the artificial,
articulate words of human language. This transition from
nature to artifice was mirrored in other domains of
inquiry, such as the origins of social relations, inequality,
the arts, and the sciences. By examining a wide variety
of authors - Leibniz, Wolff, Condillac, Rousseau,
Michaelis, and Herder, among others - Language and
Enlightenment emphasises the open and malleable
character of the eighteenth - century Republic of Letters.
The language debates demonstrate that German theories
of culture and language were not merely a rejection of
French ideas. New notions of the genius of language and
its role in cognition were constructed through a complex
interaction with cross - European currents, especially via
the prize contests at the Berlin Academy.
Sach und Fachbuecher English

Language and Enlightenment The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century


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