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 German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Sun 08 Oct 2017, 18:50

@Temperance wrote:
Paul wrote:
I hope you join us without fear or false modesty...

Don't quite know how to respond to that, Paul!

I'm not too sure it's a good idea to ask Wiki: "What is theology?" Even Saint Augustine regretted googling that.
Dear Temperance,

I didn't ask wiki...I checked google which was in the past very trustworthy, as long as you checked the entries about their "about us" to get not entangled in von Däniken stories.
If you put a sentence between quotation marks on google and other search robots it gives only the entries with exactly the sentence in it...Well on this manner I had to check several pages (5 or 7), some 200 entries? before I had something independent...all the former ones where Bible related sites...
And I will start a new thread (I have the choice between the philosophy and the religion forum) but I will put my thread on the religion one: The influence of theology on pilosophy.

Kind regards from you brother (in spirit, mind, soul?), Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Sun 08 Oct 2017, 19:54

nordmann,

"PS. The way I see Nietzsche in terms of this discussion is that he exerted very little influence at all while he wrote, except in that he helped highlight the trend of his immediate German contemporaries towards what has later been termed "functional analysis". His insistent return to existentialist principles when philosophically analysing matters has been likened to a similar attempt in France to reinforce a Platonic approach over the Aristotelian one even when examining the physical, as opposed to the metaphysical, universe. In my opinion he wasn't even very good at this - but his importance is that his work demonstrated the divergent principles at play. There is no "good" or "bad" philosophical approach to take, but there is certainly "bad" philosophy to be found within each approach, normally by people who cannot then follow through on their arguments. I'd have placed him in that category, and also reckon that's why so much has been subsequently misinterpreted or interpreted in contradictory ways by later readers."

nordmann,

yes I tried to make a value approach of "good" or "bad" in Nietzsche and the influence on Nazism and the same for Karl Marx's (another Prussian 19th century thinker) on Socialism in the 20th century, not within the time frame of the 19th century of the title of the thread.
And for me wiki is a first approach, to go later further in the discussion to more sophisticated ones from Jstor and Academia edu, but they are so easy for me to express my Dutch language thougths into good English, to comment them then in "my" English with a few words...
But I will open a new thread to comment the influence of 19th century German philosophers on both Nazism and Socialism

" I'd have placed him in that category, and also reckon that's why so much has been subsequently misinterpreted or interpreted in contradictory ways by later readers."

Yes there you are right, but misinterpreted or interpreted in contradictory ways by later readers, the effects on history are there even on global level?

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Sun 08 Oct 2017, 22:00

Re message 8 october 12h

nordmann,

thank you very much for this long essay, especially for the link between Germany (Prussia) and France. I read it in depth every sentence...

"German unification only intensified this process further, and it is then that the "French" versus "German" divergent philosophical schools were deemed almost to be mutually exclusive of each other. It was as difficult for a French philosopher advocating Aristotelian empiricism to be taken seriously at home as it was for a German philosopher who wished to explore the existentialist implications of what such empiricism often throws up."

Has this something to do with the different concept of the nation-state in Germany and in France? In Germany the state is the "Volk" supported by the German language, in France the state is an abstract entity above the people?

I was glad that you made the link to that third great European power of those days: Britain.

I also read from you in your today's prose: "nigh on"...I reached to my paperback Collins and found: "nigh": archaic, poetic or dialect: "near"

Kind regards and with esteem, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Sun 08 Oct 2017, 22:22

nordmann,

as an aside and off topic: I made during your absence a thread about Scepticism versus the age of Reason.

As you many times on this forum referred to your scepticism, I suppose that that refers to the "scientific scepticism" and not to the "Phyrrhonian" one of the time of Socrates?
Again from wiki Embarassed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism
Scientific Skepticism
A scientific or empirical skeptic is one who questions beliefs on the basis of scientific understanding.
Scientific skepticism may discard beliefs pertaining to purported phenomena not subject to reliable observation and thus not systematic or testable empirically. Most scientists, being scientific skeptics, test the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation using some type of the scientific method.[16] As a result, a number of claims are considered as "pseudoscience", if they are found to improperly apply or ignore the fundamental aspects of the scientific method.

Kind regards, Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Sun 08 Oct 2017, 22:50

@PaulRyckier wrote:
Re message 8 october 12h

Has this something to do with the different concept of the nation-state in Germany and in France? In Germany the state is the "Volk" supported by the German language, in France the state is an abstract entity above the people?


I don't think how each nation chose to define the concept or constituency of their state or statehood was really the issue when it came to choosing the content of their discrepant takes on which philosophical approach each favoured, no, but it played a role later in how these were perceived and conducted, yes.

For me it was more to do with an honest realisation each had of how ancient their claim to statehood was at all. In France - and not just when it came to philosophy - in the aftermath of some rather drastic and doomed attempts at a Cambodia-type "Pol Pot Year Zero" fresh start there was then a rather equally drastic and determined attempt (almost to the point of comic exaggeration) to emphasise that this new France was really the old France in new form. It was almost as if the population demanded this mass reassurance from their leaders that in having deposed the monarchy and then enduring the ensuing bloodbath they had now really arirved at something better, or at least something permanent. In this newly revised version of French history the previous monarchy and short-lived revolutionary regime became a mere aberration and the country, greater than all bodged attempts at ruling it, was the great eternal presence over everything. Napoleon definitely utilised this vision in a propagandistic way, and his successors did not miss the trick either, simply tagging him as just another aberration and issuing exactly the same propaganda. By 1870 there were almost enough such aberrational regimes already accrued to make the "eternal French spirit" notion in fact seem rather sound indeed.

Germany on the other hand could not pretend to have been unified before the actual event, even in spirit - the evidence of previous diversity was still all too evident after unification and there to be exploited by anyone who wished (such as Bavaria and some other constituent states would do for example in the aftermath of WWI). For all the talk of a "second empire" and "Germania" etc there were few who were fooled into thinking that to be "German" after unification was not in essence to be simply a part of a Prussian vision of unity, something that was regarded with as much suspicion in some parts as it was with delight in others. However the fact was that unification had occurred, and now a "Germany" existed, so the pragmatic approach adopted by the majority was to seek out those aspects to the common culture which emphasised this unity. Some were obvious, some were not so obvious but at least had a degree of historical pedigree to back them up, and some were simply invented or assumed to aid the process.

It was in the latter category in which the "German school" of philosophy came into being. A century beforehand even those who predicted a "Germany" at all could never have possibly predicted the nature of such a "school", or that it would ever in fact be required, whereas in France an educated guess as to which type of philosophy would be co-opted into a nationalist cause a century hence could have easily been made, even if the notion of 19th century nationalism could hardly have been predicted at that point.

Re your aside: it never hurts to be sceptical in the scientific sense. And in fact it is a very good idea also in my opinion to explore epistemic limitations as advised by the ancient Greek sceptics. The only valid criticism of Greek scepticism is that in defining limitations its adherents chose what is essentially an unknown variable as the limit of knowledge. I can live with that flaw - I like to think such limits should ideally remain as variable as possible.

Better that than being a cynic Smile
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Mon 09 Oct 2017, 23:24

nordmann,

thank you very much for your explanation. Although I have done that much research for the nation-state and the two seemingly two different concepts in the 19th century in France and Germany, I understand it now better via your approach.
I refer here to my utterings on Historum and on Passion Histoire only to explain to you tomorrow an article that mentions that these two different concepts weren't in se not that different.
http://passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=37422&hilit=taal+gans+het+volk&start=60
http://historum.com/general-history/64570-early-nationalism-7.html


Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Tue 10 Oct 2017, 08:27

Paul wrote:
... only to explain to you tomorrow an article that mentions that these two different concepts weren't in se not that different.

An old historiographical chestnut - when did countries become nations?

One illusion fostered by nationalism, and a very important element in the concept, is that such a thing as a nation can "exist" at all as a concrete fact and in doing so relegate all other traditional terms such as "country", "land" etc to the rank of euphemism. Prior to the 19th century nationality was almost purely a state of mind. It was a brave, stupid cartographer or an outright liar who dared draw lines on a map splitting one nation from another. The interfaces between nations - in English called "marches" - were areas where nothing was definite, be it sense of identity, jurisdiction, titled ownership of land, or national affiliation. They were natural conduits for mass armed movement as it was difficult for any nation to prosecute the argument that they had been invaded when hostile forces occupied these interfaces and it was equally difficult to occupy them with an army for any length of time as they were never so self-sufficient that they could support rapid demographic changes in their populations. Their fluidity of purpose and character was almost guaranteed, and many mistakenly believed that their permanence was equally guaranteed on that basis too.

In the 19th century that whole demographic concept changed (for a variety of reasons in which increased populations, industrialisation and urbanisation played prominent roles), but one easily observable feature of that change can be seen from old contemporary maps of the period between the Napoleonic wars and the middle of the century - demarcation lines suddenly started appearing all over the place, and as they did so became vitally important in everyone's mental picture of what they meant when they referred to their country (or anyone else's). The justification for a nation to be termed a nation shifted from a nebulous but vital sense of common identity to being a territory with bold lines of demarcation that could be drawn in an atlas. The same political and military processes applied when it came to negotiating the interfaces but now these became "border disputes", and an "invasion" now became a simple matter of crossing a line. Between the lines the citizens now not only had a sharper focus in their perspective of where their national identity physically ended geographically but a corresponding requirement to place equal focus therefore on the nature of that national identity itself. For many this was a new experience - previously it had been done for them in the sense that a monarchy or other governmental authority provided the language and grammar of how national affinity was to be expressed by those under their control. Now the same language and grammar had to extend beyond that simple concept and there arose a sense of entitlement amongst citizens that the responsibility for defining this new concept, and indeed the inalienable right to do so, rested often largely with themselves. A heady mix of conflicting values and a powerful social development - it was no wonder it was initially identified quite quickly as a potentially "bad thing" and a huge threat by the current powers that be - even with no apparent sense of irony at the time by that great champion of "manifest destiny" President James Polk whose USA in fact had served as the prototype and was regarded as the epitome of creating nationhood from scratch and set the pattern which others with similar aspirations felt obliged to follow, as many nations wishing immediate recognition from others as valid examples of such still do to this day.

"Nationalism" as a phenomenon was either a cause or an effect of this change - both views are feasible - but once set in motion it was impossible to reverse. In Europe there were some very severe consequences - old power systems imposing a hegemony over large areas now had to ensure continuation of that power by having clearly displayable lines of demarcation around not only the full extent of their "greater" nation but also between the "nationalities" within that hegemony. Every time such a line was drawn it necessitated the neighbour to follow suit and, like a series of mousetraps, this triggered an unstoppable chain reaction across the continent (and ultimately the globe). Nations which sprang into being almost by default in this process suddenly had to retrospectively, often dishonestly, create the old prerequisites which had once been the only criteria by which a nation was established to be one at all. National myth superseded national history as the essential ingredient in the complicated stew of "national identity" which everyone within these lines was now obliged to communally believe as a concept which applied to them, and if the only way to do this was to believe the myth then that was what one did as a citizen of that nation.

In Europe Britain was probably the only nation which, thanks to having established a hegemony demarcated by a considerable and indisputable natural border of ocean, could choose to "opt out" of the mousetrap effect - or so it thought until the Irish were triggered along the way, a phenomenon Britain thought at the outset of the century could never happen again having invested so much time, trouble, money and brute force in subduing. But even by the end of the century Britain could still feel safe in the concept of how it understood itself as a nation - and pretty confident that any "border dispute" it underwent as a consequence of nationalism would be internal. This was absolutely correct as it turned out, but the important thing is that Britain was absolutely unique in a European context in having the luxury of such introspective analysis of nationalism and how it applied to its own identity. In the rest of Europe nationalism was having a much more varied and dynamic effect on everyone, with no exceptions.

Which is why I don't agree with any article which says that the French and German concepts of their respective nation states were essentially the same. They were not. The French could point to almost two millennia of pretty stable lines of demarcation within which "France" existed, and where that line of demarcation had no historical stability could discount it as a cultural fault-line, the only flaw in their otherwise neat concept of self. That fault-line has played a serious role in European history, especially when it comes to perceived invasions - as you know since you're living on it.

Germany on the other hand was like a blank canvas when it came to defining the nation, and there was almost no clear logic or reason whatsoever behind any of the lines of demarcation with which it separated itself from its equally badly drawn neighbours (even its North Sea coast was disputed with four other "nations" with equally as strong if not even stronger claims to national identity), most of its resulting national border boiling down to extremely local traditional interfaces settled through treaties between neighbouring land owners which then suddenly became enshrined in national law as the point at which being a "German" stopped and being "some other nationality" began - often to the amusement or horror of those actually living in the vicinity. This was a dilemma crying out for retrospective justification and the shapers of the new Germany duly obliged in bucket loads. Imagined history in that scenario has as much value as actual history, probably more since the primary function of history to any emergent nation is to provide a back-story to the political reality in which it operates, so if one is not readily to be found through examining factual history it will be acquired by any other means necessary, a motive and invitation for imaginative revision and invention of pseudo-history that few nations have proven able to resist. In fact the resultant imagined back-story is often indeed the only thing that really matters - any serious analysis of the actual historical facts behind the nation's emergence might in fact only serve to undermine the state.

However the flavour and content of these back-stories are by no means uniform - each nation is obliged to furnish one, but is equally obliged to create one that emphasises their unique claim to nationhood. The tendency is therefore to utilise the strongest narrative elements which support the claim, historical fact being the best of course but in the absence of this a myth based on a perceived cultural unity is the next best thing.

France, even with its own fanciful and romantic back story, could at least point to ancient maps to provide some spurious validity for their claim of nationhood, nice bold lines and all, so their creation myth has a strong and visible historical basis. Germany was invention from day one and its myth is woven around a cultural claim that doesn't actually warrant much historical investigation at all, and some extremely dodgy historical imperatives inferred rather than derived from this rather unstable narrative. Those who saw themselves as French and those who saw themselves as German by 1870 were coming from two very different perspectives altogether. Nationalism and atlases made them appear superficially to be fellow beasts (and that superficial illusion of similarity still applies to our modern concept of nations and nationhood - the UN could not exist otherwise). But they were not.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Wed 11 Oct 2017, 20:04

nordmann,

"One illusion fostered by nationalism, and a very important element in the concept, is that such a thing as a nation can "exist" at all as a concrete fact and in doing so relegate all other traditional terms such as "country", "land" etc to the rank of euphemism. Prior to the 19th century nationality was almost purely a state of mind. It was a brave, stupid cartographer or an outright liar who dared draw lines on a map splitting one nation from another. The interfaces between nations - in English called "marches" - were areas where nothing was definite, be it sense of identity, jurisdiction, titled ownership of land, or national affiliation. They were natural conduits for mass armed movement as it was difficult for any nation to prosecute the argument that they had been invaded when hostile forces occupied these interfaces and it was equally difficult to occupy them with an army for any length of time as they were never so self-sufficient that they could support rapid demographic changes in their populations. Their fluidity of purpose and character was almost guaranteed, and many mistakenly believed that their permanence was equally guaranteed on that basis too."

"Prior to the 19th century nationality was almost purely a state of mind. It was a brave, stupid cartographer or an outright liar who dared draw lines on a map splitting one nation from another. The interfaces between nations - in English called "marches" - were areas where nothing was definite, be it sense of identity, jurisdiction, titled ownership of land, or national affiliation."

I agree with "the state of mind" And I speak now from the 16th century on, there was already a feeling to belong to the land, territory of a "prince" in the broad sense from "monarch" king till the most humble prince. It was my proposal in the Historum discussion.
And from the 16th century you had reliable maps as from a Mercator, it was my purpose in the Historum discussion that there was already a feeling of "nation" as for the "Southern Netherlands" The rest of the former Spanish Netherlands. For instance with a Albert and Isabella...and certainly fsince the Eighty years war the Republic of the Seven Provinces, the Dutch Republic.



Here you see that already in the time of Mercator there was an estimate where the borders were established. After that there were many wars where the borders were renewed by treaties between the main powers of that time, but nevertheless there were always borders.

"The interfaces between nations - in English called "marches" - were areas where nothing was definite, be it sense of identity, jurisdiction, titled ownership of land, or national affiliation"

Tiens, comes the English "marches" from the Carolingian "marks" the border counties to defend against the surrounding countries? (markgraafschappen). And yes they were even in the time of Mercator fluid, for instance while in Duisburg Mercator was asked to map the border because of a border dispute.


And yes we overhere were a long time after the treaty of Verdun in 843 the borderland Lotharingen between the growing French monarchy from Frankenland (Francia) and the Holy Roman Empire later the HRE of German Nation, if I recall it well in 1472. And you can see it on the map, that border between France and the HRE.


I will send this first for fear of losing my message.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Wed 11 Oct 2017, 21:36

I don't know what happened. I lost my next  preview message, while there was an annonce: there is a new message and when I clicked on save, the last message was shown and again that message about that new message and when I clicked again on save and so on...

I restart my new message Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil

nordmann,


"Which is why I don't agree with any article which says that the French and German concepts of their respective nation states were essentially the same. They were not. The French could point to almost two millennia of pretty stable lines of demarcation within which "France" existed, and where that line of demarcation had no historical stability could discount it as a cultural fault-line, the only flaw in their otherwise neat concept of self. That fault-line has played a serious role in European history, especially when it comes to perceived invasions - as you know since you're living on it."

It's all what you mean with "concept". In this article they pretend that the difference between the thoughts of the German Herder/Fichte and the French Renan was not that big

http://www.sens-public.org/spip.php?article794&lang=fr
From the text:
"Abstract : The “German” and “French” conceptions of nation, that are ordinary reduced to two resolutely opposed traditions (an ethno-cultural one and a political-elective one), are not so antagonistic as would at first appear. Moreover, they have the particularity of proceeding from ideological-political productions aiming to define and legitimate an existing or a claimed state. These conceptions, that represent nations as essentialised entities, have both been deconstructed since three decades by “modernist” historians and sociologists, who have forged anti-objectivist theories in reaction to the non-scientific primordialism of the 19th century. These “modernist” productions, that regard the nation as a community socially constructed, imagined by people who hold subjectively in their minds a mental image of their affinity, are the only ones prevailing today in the field of the social sciences. This article emphasizes this point, in order to enlighten the recent debate on the French national identity, during which the scientists conceptualizing the national fact didn’t really have a say in the matter."

Yes the "nations" in the 19th century sought to construct a "national" narration that was more a myth than reality, but after a while the members of that nation held subjectively in their minds a mental image of their affinity based that mythical narration, more a "believing" in...and in that the French with their Clovis weren't that different from the Germans with their "Arminius" (Hermann)

And there you mention that with:
"Imagined history in that scenario has as much value as actual history, probably more since the primary function of history to any emergent nation is to provide a back-story to the political reality in which it operates, so if one is not readily to be found through examining factual history it will be acquired by any other means necessary, a motive and invitation for imaginative revision and invention of pseudo-history that few nations have proven able to resist. In fact the resultant imagined back-story is often indeed the only thing that really matters - any serious analysis of the actual historical facts behind the nation's emergence might in fact only serve to undermine the state.

However the flavour and content of these back-stories are by no means uniform - each nation is obliged to furnish one, but is equally obliged to create one that emphasises their unique claim to nationhood. The tendency is therefore to utilise the strongest narrative elements which support the claim, historical fact being the best of course but in the absence of this a myth based on a perceived cultural unity is the next best thing. "

And about France:
"France, even with its own fanciful and romantic back story, could at least point to ancient maps to provide some spurious validity for their claim of nationhood, nice bold lines and all, so their creation myth has a strong and visible historical basis. Germany was invention from day one and its myth is woven around a cultural claim that doesn't actually warrant much historical investigation at all, and some extremely dodgy historical imperatives inferred rather than derived from this rather unstable narrative. Those who saw themselves as French and those who saw themselves as German by 1870 were coming from two very different perspectives altogether. Nationalism and atlases made them appear superficially to be fellow beasts (and that superficial illusion of similarity still applies to our modern concept of nations and nationhood - the UN could not exist otherwise). But they were not."

"Germany was invention from day one"

Up to the 15th century the French monarch hadn't much more power than his vassals, only with Louis XI came a real monarchal power after the collapse of Burgundy, but then there was already the power of the emperor of the HRE, the Habsburg Maximillian.


About the myth forming for the "national" narration to push the people to believe in it...
https://www.academia.edu/6159236/Myths_History_and_the_Construction_of_National_Identity

And I found the same in the narration, the constructing of the 19th century of the indentity of the nowadays! Flanders, born in the 19th century from about 1850 within the borders of the previous Southern Netherlands, from the previous Flanders (the county) and a chunk of the former Duchy of Brabant and a part of the former Prince-Bishopry of Liège


And about the German nation building and the motor of Lutheranism, also the Arminius myth...
http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1097&context=ulra

 Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Thu 12 Oct 2017, 09:18

@PaulRyckier wrote:
nordmann,
I agree with "the state of mind" And I speak now from the 16th century on, there was already a feeling to belong to the land, territory of a "prince" in the broad sense from "monarch" king till the most humble prince. It was my proposal in the Historum discussion.
...
Here you see that already in the time of Mercator there was an estimate where the borders were established. After that there were many wars where the borders were renewed by treaties between the main powers of that time, but nevertheless there were always borders.


I never meant to infer that borders had never existed prior to the 19th century - that would be just stupid. My point - as illustrated by the map you pictured also - is how cartographers struggled to convey the notion of a border without also imposing national boundaries that may actually have had no relationship with reality, either in terms of demographic dispersal or political power. When lines were drawn they are as broad as possible, and as the scale of a map might decrease to zoom in on specific polities the lines disappear for the most part, only to reappear when the cartographer gets back on to surer ground and land ownership boundaries apply. In Britain and Ireland one sees this quite vividly in the depiction of counties, shires, baronies, townlands and estates in maps of the period. Only the first and last merited definite lines of demarcation - the other intermediate entities were intentionally vague, unless of course the cartographer's employer had ambitions to stake a claim of ownership of territory.

The lines on a map drawn to the scale such as in your 16th century example above of a general Europe were not drawn primarily to indicate any particular nation's extent, but the extent of what might now be called ethnic hegemony. Note the neat unity indicated within the Italian peninsula which was a far cry from the political reality of that region then, and for a long time afterwards too. And, relevant to this discussion, note how the hundred or so autonomous states which then was central Europe and later Germany are significantly absent in terms of delineation.

I'm also impressed by the cartographer's prescience in seemingly declaring an independent Norway four hundred years before the event Smile
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Thu 12 Oct 2017, 14:21

@nordmann wrote:
This is the world we inhabit now, and it is arguable that it would not have come around as quickly or indeed at all if the necessary philosophical groundwork and think-tanks of isolated Aristotelean ideologists had never transpired. And it must be said that this was always therefore, in terms of conformity to philosophical ideas, more likely to come from a German source, the way things had crystallised in the decades beforehand.

It has also been suggested that the German language itself is suited to philosophical discourse. It may even have been Hegel who suggested as much. It could be something to do with having an unequivocal vocabulary and grammar. German certainly makes plenty of use of compound words and these can bee seen as being the building blocks for constructing and deconstructing ideas and thoughts. There are other languages too which have a similar characteristic but maybe German lends itself particularly well in this respect.

The English language, on the other hand, with its wide array of often competing vocabularic sources is much more equivocal. Then there is the added dimension of perceived class, rank and education based on one’s choice of vocabulary and syntax in English. This can also hinder confident and meaningful expression.
     
By way of illustration I remember many years ago a game of Scrabble in which a word grew in the playing. It started off as ‘live’ to which was added the letter ‘r’ to give ‘liver’ to which were added the letters ‘de’ to give ‘deliver’ to which were added the letters ‘ed’ to give ‘delivered’ to which were added the letters ‘re’ to give ‘redelivered’ and finally were added the letters ‘un’ to give ‘unredelivered’. This final word, however, was the straw which broke the post-office camel’s back. It was not allowed because it was not in the dictionary. Rules of the game. No amount of explaining of what the word meant would please the umpire. The idea that a letter or package could have been delivered to a wrong address, was returned to sender for redelivery, was in a tray awaiting said redelivery but had not yet been redelivered and was therefore in a state of being ‘unredelivered’ made no difference. Not in the dictionary? Inadmissible!

A German speaker, by contrast, would have no such problem with either accepting a new compound word or of thinking about the concept which it intends to represent. The German mind is thus open to new words, ideas and ways of thinking. The verboten becomes unverboten as it were. Meanwhile the English-language, for all its complexity and subtlety, can often by policed by extremely strict and generally self-appointed guardians regarding what is ‘correct’ and what is ‘forbidden’ in terms of grammar and spelling. One only needs think of those awful ‘spelling bees’ so popular in the U.S. to appreciate this.
         
Another point about German philosophy in the 19th century is that it seemed to be in a state of flux or abeyance or even regression in the middle decades of that century. Following the death of Hegel in 1831 there were a few years in which the young Hegelians seemed to be arguing among themselves as to exactly what his legacy was and who among them (if any) was his rightful successor. Even this navel-gazing, however, was arrested following the 1848 revolutions and the reactionary backlash which followed. It was only after German unification in 1871 that a more confident tone seemed to emerge.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Thu 12 Oct 2017, 15:12


@Vizzer wrote:
It has also been suggested that the German language itself is suited to philosophical discourse. It may even have been Hegel who suggested as much. It could be something to do with having an unequivocal vocabulary and grammar.


Lady Bracknell would definitely agree. French philosophy on the other hand always sounds rather frivolous, if not downright risqué at times.


Lady Bracknell: I'm sure the programme will be delightful, after a few expurgations. French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to think that they are improper, and either look shocked, which is vulgar, or laugh, which is worse. But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Thu 12 Oct 2017, 21:56

Have a lot to say about that Vizzer and Temperance, but as I said to Temperance away tomorrow...it will be next week...

Kind regards to both, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Thu 12 Oct 2017, 22:00

And thank you nordmann, now I understand you better.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Fri 13 Oct 2017, 08:04

@Vizzer wrote:
It has also been suggested that the German language itself is suited to philosophical discourse.

When studying philosophy one is reminded at every turn that the sense of any communicated concept has been much filtered by the time it is there to be comprehended by the individual - something of huge importance in philosophy when the theme under consideration often rests completely on the "understandable", as in what renders something capable of being comprehended and when it can be safely assumed to be understood at all. Accounting for cultural differences and the passage of time itself plays a huge role in this analysis, but by far the biggest impediment is linguistic - no matter what aspect to philosophy you are studying you are often reading far more that has originated in a mother tongue foreign to your own than thoughts originally expressed in that which you have grown to use as default when imparting or imputing semantic context and intent.

It is never good to generalise (an author's own individual skill at communicating and style of expression also play a big role in things) but it is generally accepted that German philosophy (and theology for that matter) contains the least equivocation. In modern languages English actually comes in pretty high in the "surviving such dodgy filtering" scale - in fact its penchant for nuance helps rather than hinders the expression of complex philosophical theory, at least when done with skill. When translated into other languages equally skilfully the nuance, in most cases, can generally be preserved. French actually scores lower than most - ironically because French also contains quite a degree of nuance, but not one well understood by those who are not immersed in that culture, and because French nuance relies heavily on tone, rather than on select vocabulary.

By far the most undependable however regarding the assumption that what you have semantically absorbed is exactly that which was first intended by the author of the concept is in fact philosophy from Ancient Greece. A semantic minefield.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 22:10

@nordmann wrote:
@Vizzer wrote:
It has also been suggested that the German language itself is suited to philosophical discourse.

When studying philosophy one is reminded at every turn that the sense of any communicated concept has been much filtered by the time it is there to be comprehended by the individual - something of huge importance in philosophy when the theme under consideration often rests completely on the "understandable", as in what renders something capable of being comprehended and when it can be safely assumed to be understood at all. Accounting for cultural differences and the passage of time itself plays a huge role in this analysis, but by far the biggest impediment is linguistic - no matter what aspect to philosophy you are studying you are often reading far more that has originated in a mother tongue foreign to your own than thoughts originally expressed in that which you have grown to use as default when imparting or imputing semantic context and intent.

It is never good to generalise (an author's own individual skill at communicating and style of expression also play a big role in things) but it is generally accepted that German philosophy (and theology for that matter) contains the least equivocation. In modern languages English actually comes in pretty high in the "surviving such dodgy filtering" scale - in fact its penchant for nuance helps rather than hinders the expression of complex philosophical theory, at least when done with skill. When translated into other languages equally skilfully the nuance, in most cases, can generally be preserved. French actually scores lower than most - ironically because French also contains quite a degree of nuance, but not one well understood by those who are not immersed in that culture, and because French nuance relies heavily on tone, rather than on select vocabulary.

By far the most undependable however regarding the assumption that what you have semantically absorbed is exactly that which was first intended by the author of the concept is in fact philosophy from Ancient Greece. A semantic minefield.

Nordmann, Vizzer and Temperance,

quote of Vizzer's message:
"It has also been suggested that the German language itself is suited to philosophical discourse. It may even have been Hegel who suggested as much. It could be something to do with having an unequivocal vocabulary and grammar. German certainly makes plenty of use of compound words and these can bee seen as being the building blocks for constructing and deconstructing ideas and thoughts. There are other languages too which have a similar characteristic but maybe German lends itself particularly well in this respect."

I think that's the right way you said it Vizzer: "suggested"
In fact I did a lot of research on that in a discussion on the old Beeb site...
I found then a text in German, which was an eulogy on the qualities of the German language, among others its ease to express complex ideas...but when I looked to the sources it was work from the end of the 19th century...

And yes the Germans can always add something to a substantif and add and add...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10095976/Germany-drops-its-longest-word-Rindfleischeti....html
In Dutch we have the same: one simple example, but we have it also the German way (although not that! bad Wink )
achterkamerpolitiek-back room politics
https://mymemory.translated.net/en/Dutch/English/achterkamerpolitiek

How lucky I am that it is in English the same word and even the same concept and here I come to the core of my reply:
in any language one, as a writer of a word has always to give, what one understands by that word because that word can be an individual interpretation by the author of the general public's assumed concept of that word, all that for a better understanding by the receiver: the reader. And as nordmann says it also depends of the time frame in which the word is written, because overtime the concept of the word is changing as for the individual as for the general public.
In Dutch the word "wijf, wuf" before an honourable word and now very pejorative. From a middle age poem or song?: "Daar was a wuf dat spon": There was a wife that spun

From nordmann:
"but not one well understood by those who are not immersed in that culture, and because French nuance relies heavily on tone, rather than on select vocabulary."

I don't fully agree nordmann, perhaps you are right for the day to day colloquial conversation, but for the philosophical or scientific language...?
I any case up to now I don't see any differences between English and French in a "serious!" paper.
Perhaps are the Germans better, not because of their language, but because they explain better and more in depth what they mean with the concept of their sentences...? Because that is important as I explained here before...
And yes nordmann for ancient Greek one can only guess what those oldies meant by the comments of other oldies of that time


From Temperance:
Lady Bracknell: I'm sure the programme will be delightful, after a few expurgations. French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to think that they are improper, and either look shocked, which is vulgar, or laugh, which is worse. But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so.


Temperance I speak fluently German (better the French and English) and on all my meetings (many times in a café with a glass of beer between us)
I can assure you that German is not better than French...I haven't heard such "platvloerse" (flat floor's), coarse (I find the Dutch word more expressif Wink ) expressions in French.
As for reading English or French as a Dutch speaking one I really don't see any differences...perhaps because I don't understand the fine nuances of both Wink ...

PS. For those interested and for those who understand German, I have done yesterday a painstaking research to find again something about the German language comments from the 19th century as I found for the Beeb discussion of the time..

PPS I will give it in an addendum, because if I lose now my message after all that work...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 22:33

Addendum.

https://goo.gl/iKsiQy
page 111: what Fichte said about German in contrast with the other languages (of course one has to see it in the context of the time)


https://goo.gl/nUWmUc
critic on Fichte's German language concept


I think that I even these difficult long! German sentences can translate with short equivalent! English sentences Wink

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Wed 18 Oct 2017, 23:42

@Temperance wrote:


Lady Bracknell would definitely agree. French philosophy on the other hand always sounds rather frivolous, if not downright risqué at times.


Lady Bracknell: I'm sure the programme will be delightful, after a few expurgations. French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to think that they are improper, and either look shocked, which is vulgar, or laugh, which is worse. But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so.

However Count Orsini-Rosenberg and Kapellmeister Bonno (in Amadeus) would disagree:

Emperor Joseph:" ... I'm sure he [Mozart] could be tempted with the right offer. Say, an opera in German for our National Theatre."
Von Swieten: "Excellent, sire!"
Orsini-Rosenberg: "But not German, I beg your Majesty! Italian is the proper language for opera. All educated people agree on that."
Emperor Joseph: "Ah-ha. What do you say, Chamberlain?"
Von Strack: "In my opinion, it is time we had a piece in our own language, sir. Plain German. For plain people."
Emperor Joseph: "Ah-ha. Kapellmeister?"
Bonno: "Majesty, I must agree with Herr Dirretore. Opera is an Italian art, solamente. German is - scusate - too brutal for singing, too rough."
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PostSubject: Re: German philosophers' influence on Europe in the 19th century   Thu 19 Oct 2017, 21:30

@Meles meles wrote:
@Temperance wrote:


Lady Bracknell would definitely agree. French philosophy on the other hand always sounds rather frivolous, if not downright risqué at times.


Lady Bracknell: I'm sure the programme will be delightful, after a few expurgations. French songs I cannot possibly allow. People always seem to think that they are improper, and either look shocked, which is vulgar, or laugh, which is worse. But German sounds a thoroughly respectable language, and indeed, I believe is so.

However Count Orsini-Rosenberg and Kapellmeister Bonno (in Amadeus) would disagree:

Emperor Joseph:" ... I'm sure he [Mozart] could be tempted with the right offer. Say, an opera in German for our National Theatre."
Von Swieten: "Excellent, sire!"
Orsini-Rosenberg: "But not German, I beg your Majesty! Italian is the proper language for opera. All educated people agree on that."
Emperor Joseph: "Ah-ha. What do you say, Chamberlain?"
Von Strack: "In my opinion, it is time we had a piece in our own language, sir. Plain German. For plain people."
Emperor Joseph: "Ah-ha. Kapellmeister?"
Bonno: "Majesty, I must agree with Herr Dirretore. Opera is an Italian art, solamente. German is - scusate - too brutal for singing, too rough."


Meles meles,

"Opera is an Italian art, solamente. German is - scusate - too brutal for singing, too rough."

yes, yes Italian with all its vowels on the end of the word and German with all their consonants. I am in love with the Italian opera, especially Puccini...
I had a conversation with a clever type on a French forum about the musicality of languages and said that in my opinion it had to do for Italian with that phenomenon of the endvowels, but he found that in all languages there is the same musicality...
https://www.quora.com/Are-Telugu-and-Italian-the-only-languages-in-the-world-with-all-words-ending-with-a-vowel-sound
Say it now yourself if you hear an Italian opera, the in between French one and the rude full of consonants German one Wink




And the French in between



And now the consonant rich German Wagnerian



And yes how we came from 19th century German philosophy to the musicality in languages, especially in opera, is beyond me Wink

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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