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Johann Georg Hamann

(1730—1788)


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(1730–88)

German theologian and philosopher. Hamann was a pioneer of the anti-rationalistic, antiEnlightenment spirit represented by the Sturm und Drang movement in German culture, and was considerably revered by writers such as Herder. He emphasized the whole person, attacking the Enlightenment dissociation of reason from passion, and theory from action. In many respects, however, his discomfort with the secular ideals of the Enlightenment resembles that of the English Samuel Johnson, and stems not from a ‘heaven-storming’ Byronic Romanticism, but from a conservative, religious, and inner-directed, 17th-century piety. He lived, like Kant, in Königsberg, and was known as the Magus of the North. The standard edition of his writings is the Sämtliche Werke (1949–57), edited by Joseph Nadler.

Subjects: Literature.


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