Herder's Philosophy of Man

Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Man


SKU: 002263 Categories: ,


[002263] Herder, John Godfrey; Churchill, T. (Trans.). Outlines of a Philosophy of the History of Man. London: J. Johnson, 1803. Second Edition. 8vo. Hardback. Good+. Two volumes complete – Volume One – xxii, 518pp and Volume Two – xv, [1], iii-vii, [1], 619pp, [17], contemporary half calf and speckled paper over boards, smooth backs divided into five panels, title and volume label to second panel, remaining panels with central roundel device in gilt.

Spines slightly faded, slightly rubbed to extremities, previous owners name to ffeps and head of title of volume two, notes in French in pen to ffep of volume one.

Second edition in English of Johann Gottfried Herder’s first major essay on the philosophy of history.  Herder’s ‘Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit‘ (1784-90) used the latest research on biology, anthropology and physiology, “eliciting a notably hostile reaction from Kant. Mankind, Herder argued, derives from an evolutionary process whereby organic matter arises from inorganic, and live species evolve towards higher species, leading eventually to the emergence of man who is thus the product of nature rather than a divine Creator. Furthermore, man is here deemed a unitary entity not divided into ranks or races, and without black men being in any way subordinate. Furthermore, man is deemed the creator (not the receiver) of his own culture, morality and society” (Israel, ‘Democratic Enlightenment‘, page 736)