Find your perfect holiday reading
Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century - Oxford Historical Monographs (Hardback)
  • Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century - Oxford Historical Monographs (Hardback)
zoom

Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century - Oxford Historical Monographs (Hardback)

(author)
£92.00
Hardback 244 Pages / Published: 27/09/2012
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
What is the role of language in human cognition? Could we attain self-consciousness and construct our civilisation 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.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199661664
Number of pages: 244
Weight: 430 g
Dimensions: 222 x 147 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This impressive monograph provides a powerful and original contribution to the cultural history of Prussia and sustains its author's claim that 'The Academy became a major centre of intellectual regeneration in Germany'. * Tim Blanning, English Historical Review *
Lifschitz has made an important contribution to our understanding of the Aufklarung. His book will be required reading for anyone who now wishes to study the subject. At the same time his work will have much to say to scholars of the European Enlightenment and to anyone interested in the history of linguistic thought in the eighteenth century. * Joachim Whaley, History *
Successfully combining the larger picture with thick description of local contexts, Language and Enlightenment is a rich book that will be read with profit by those interested in the philosophy of langugae, the history of ideas, and cultural history alike. * Iwan-Michelangelo D'Aprile, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute, London *
Lifschitz's extensive and patient historical analysis ... enriches in many ways our knowledge of the Berlin debates and helps us think in new ways about the authors and works that characterize the age of Enlightenment. * Stefano Gensini, Historiographia Linguistica *
This excellent, lucid and stimulating volume compellingly demonstrates the multifaceted complexity and fascination of eighteenth-century grapplings with language in Berlin and beyond ... Language & Enlightenment is a masterly work of intellectual history, taking ideas seriously and summarising them with great lucidity, while always relating them to cultural, social and political aspects. * Adam Sutcliffe, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies *
Concise and powerful book ... This book does justice to both the general and the particular and as such is a rare find indeed. * Jonathan Sheehan, Journal of Modern History *
Avi Lifschitz has written a very concise study and covered a vast field. * Sundar Henny, European History Quarterly *

You may also be interested in...

Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
SPQR
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Diary of a Young Girl
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
D-Day
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Shortest History of Europe
Added to basket
Chernobyl Prayer
Added to basket
The Lost Boys
Added to basket
£20.00
Hardback
Travellers in the Third Reich
Added to basket
The Quest for Queen Mary
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
Chanel's Riviera
Added to basket
£20.00   £16.99
Hardback
Big Week
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Strange Death of Europe
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
The Romanovs
Added to basket
France
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Shortest History of Germany
Added to basket
Last Witnesses
Added to basket
£12.99   £9.99
Paperback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.