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2020-10-02 22:26:07
HERDER, Johann Gottfried.
Abhandlung über den Ursprung der Sprache, welche den von der Königl. Academie der Wissenschaften für das Jahr 1770 gesetzten Preis erhalten hat.
Berlin: Christian Friedrich Voss, 1772. Berlin: Christian Friedrich Voss,, 1772. The first modern treatise on language Octavo (160 x 96 mm). Contemporary drab boards covered with old marbled paper. Ownership inscriptions to front free endpaper. Marbled paper covering with a few short tears, leaves lightly toned, as usual, occasional light spotting and a small ink splash to one leaf; a very good copy. First edition of Herder's prize winning treatise on language. "Against the generally accepted view that language is a direct and specially bestowed divine gift, Herder proved to his own satisfaction that it was not God who invented language for man but man himself who devised it as a natural means of developing his own reason. This... was then a novel and startlingly unorthodox theory" (PMM). The Abhandlung, often taken to be the well spring from which German romanticism flowed, is, in fact, near to Condillac, with whom he shares the idea of a natural yet essentially rational origin of language. Herder-Bibliographie 405; Printing and the Mind of Man 216.
Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA/ ILAB. [London, United Kingdom]

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