A common misconception about the German romantics, that they were theoretical lightweights, confronts an especially powerful counterexample in the case of their views about language. Building on their Herder’s revolutionary views about language—especially, his principles that thought is essentially dependent on and bounded by language, that meanings/concepts consist in word-usages, and that thoughts, concepts, and language vary profoundly between periods, cultures, and even individuals—the leading romantics Schleiermacher and Friedrich Schlegel made vitally important new contributions to the philosophy of language, linguistics, hermeneutics, and translation theory.


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