Johann Gottfried von Herder citations

Johann Gottfried von Herder foto
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Johann Gottfried von Herder

Date de naissance: 25. août 1744
Date de décès: 18. décembre 1803


Johann Gottfried Herder est un poète, théologien et philosophe allemand. Ami et mentor du jeune Goethe, ce disciple de Kant est considéré comme l'inspirateur du Sturm und Drang et fut l'un des principaux auteurs de la pléiade de Weimar.

Citations Johann Gottfried von Herder


„A learned society of our day, no doubt with the loftiest of intentions, has proposed the question, “Which people, in history, might have been the happiest?” If I properly understand the question, and if it is not altogether beyond the scope of a human answer, I can think of nothing to say except that at a certain time and under certain circumstances every people must have experienced such a moment or else it never was [a people]. Then again, human nature is no vessel for an absolute, independent, immutable happiness, as defined by the philosopher; rather, she everywhere draws as much happiness towards herself as she can: a supple clay that will conform to the most different situations, needs, and depressions. Even the image of happiness changes with every condition and location (for what is it ever but the sum of “the satisfaction of desire, the fulfillment of purpose, and the gentle overcoming of needs,” all of which are shaped by land, time, and place?). Basically, then, all comparison becomes futile. As soon as the inner meaning of happiness, the inclination has changed; as soon as external opportunities and needs develop and solidify the other meaning—who could compare the different satisfaction of different meanings in different worlds? Who could compare the shepherd and father of the Orient, the ploughman and the artisan, the seaman, runner, conqueror of the world? It is not the laurel wreath that matters, nor the sight of the blessed flock, neither the merchant vessels nor the conquered armies’ standards—but the soul that needed this, strove for it, finally attained it and wanted to attain nothing else. Every nation has its center of happiness within itself, as every ball has its center of gravity!“

— Johann Gottfried Herder, Another Philosophy of History and Selected Political Writings

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