Johann Friedrich Herbart: The Grandfather of Analytic Philosophy




2023.01.11 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Frederick C. Beiser, Johann Friedrich Herbart: The Grandfather of Analytic Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2022, 336pp., $85.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780192849854.

Reviewed by David Sullivan, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Frederick Beiser, now emeritus at Syracuse, is a renowned scholar who has made a number of seminal contributions to our understanding of post-Kantian philosophy. This volume adds to that growing list and contributes much to a deeper knowledge of philosophy in the nineteenth century. It should be warmly welcomed and much appreciated, constituting an absolutely necessary purchase for all academic libraries.

Its subject—Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841)—has been, heretofore, utterly lost to academic philosophy. This, the first English language publication in decades, and the only one in English to give full prominence to his philosophy, is truly a major accomplishment. (Today Herbart is chiefly acknowledged as a psychologist and a pedagogue, to the degree that he is not forgotten entirely.)

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