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A Short History of German Philosophy$
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Vittorio Hösle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167190

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167190.001.0001

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The Human Sciences as a Religious Duty: Lessing, Hamann, Herder, Schiller, the Early Romantics, and Wilhelm von Humboldt

The Human Sciences as a Religious Duty: Lessing, Hamann, Herder, Schiller, the Early Romantics, and Wilhelm von Humboldt

Chapter:
(p.82) 6 The Human Sciences as a Religious Duty: Lessing, Hamann, Herder, Schiller, the Early Romantics, and Wilhelm von Humboldt
Source:
A Short History of German Philosophy
Author(s):

Vittorio Hösle

, Steven Rendall
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691167190.003.0006

This chapter considers the origin of the German human science. At the end of the eighteenth century, a transformation of Lutheranism took place among Germany's intellectual elites involving the retention of the religious motivation of philology, which was now extended to universal history and philosophically grounded, i.e., creating a trinity of theology, philosophy, and philology. The word of God was no longer limited to the Bible but manifested itself in the whole history of the human spirit. Understanding it as a unity is not only a valid scholarly interest; it is a religious duty, and presumably it is only by fulfilling such a duty that one has a chance to do something really lasting. No one so energetically pursued the breakdown of the old Lutheran orthodoxy as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781).

Keywords:   Lutheranism, German human science, German philosophy, German history, theology, philosophy, philology, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

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