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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2021

Analogical Thought, Natural Forms, and Human Type in Johann Gottfried Herder’s Work

Laura Follesa


Analogical thought is a key concept in Herder’s work, providing a continuous thread from his earlier writings up to the latest ones. Herder’s aesthetics, his theory of knowledge, and his theory of mind rely on the thesis that human beings are the ‘centre’ of any possible knowledge and only know by means of an analogical relation between the world and themselves. Herder develops these ideas in a more systematic way in his Ideen (1784-1791), combining his anthropological views with his philosophy of natural history and of the history of humankind to provide to these latter not only a universal law, but also concreteness and usefulness. For this reason, the notion of ‘type’ as well as models, examples, analogies from the world of nature and the cultural world are the basis of any knowledge which pursues the goal of enhancing humankind.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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