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Pol320 Herder lecture.docx

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Political Science
Simone Chambers

POL320 Oct.31 Herder morality/ethics Not about rule following kant  Not about standing over against the world  Sentiment is central  Harmony of the total person: sense and reason, duty and inclination come together naturally  Why are people actually moral, laws are exterior. Philosophy and principle is not where we get our morality o It is a matter of moral education, which is tied to forms of socialization  We are not fundamentally competitive, egotistic, self interested etc  A healthy society fosters reciprocity among members  Then is our morality not universal? Yes, he does mean this  His theory of language is his most influential o Believes reason and language are interdependent  Language is prior to thought  If you can’t communicate your thoughts, then they’re not thoughts o Language is constitutive of self o No thought prior to language o Language in turn is tied to culture o No escape from culture o The prosaic and the poetic  Thinks poetry is more important than prose.  Art o Historical conditions mold aesthetic conceptions (anti classical)  Views at through a quasi technical way. It doesn’t have to be a photographic copy of reality (just has to represent it, contrast to kant) o Expressivist view of art (it doesn’t express something in the world but something in the artist) o Poetry natural and primary expression of human psyche o Folk art: natural and primary expression of a people  History: o We are creatures of our times o Historicism of history: no invariant standards across o Every age has it’s own character or identity: culture o Cannot judge from outside that age o Bildung as the creation of human nature o Tradition as the content of Bildung, o Enlightenment in Kant’s sense is empty and impossible anyway o You can’t think for yourself by cutting ties with your culture 1 Nov.6 tutorial Herder rejects moral universalism (cultural particularism), b.c our moral judgments are predicated to our language, culture. Language we can express cultural belonging, it inform our judgments  He criticizes Kant b.c moral reason is always informed by the content, but prescribed from particularities  What is moral philosophy? Collection of rules that are too general  But he doesn’t want to go back to the ancients, b.c they denied many citizens the right b.c of slavery and ostracism  History forges continuous links, the past and present defines who we are Kant: the catergorical imperative doesn’t tell us how to act in the world, herder believes it depends much on the content Sex, class, place of birth and geography, incentives, occupation determines your morals From subjective moral maxim to universal law? Abstract from desire then you can think for you self. Not driven by traditions Enlightenment is man’s rise from self-incurred minority Abstraction Language Modernity and the response of romanticism Form vs content Will vs autonomy Pg. 19 philosophy descends from the stars to the human beings. Idea of romanticism: it’s task is to th Nov.7 Herder contin’d 8 qs- paragraph answers (identify the author) 1 essay- a question, choose 1 thinker to answer (3o mins or so) 6. Nation  Is a natural category like family, a connection from history. Nation is like a father to a child (our identities are shaped by our nations like our parents), o Also based on fraternity (benedic Anderson) sibling
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