COINING "HUMANISM"

NIETHAMMER, F.I.

Der Streit des Philanthropinismus und Humanismus in der Theorie des Erziehungs-Unterrichts unsrer Zeit.

Jena, Frommann, 1808. 8vo. Contemporary (original?) blue full paper binding with blindstamped title-lable to spine. Occasional light brownspotting throughout. All in all a very nice and fine copy. (6), 359, (1) pp.


Scarce first edition of Niethammer's seminal work, in which he introduces the term "humanism" for a systematically worked out body of thought with its own value structure and becomes the first to apply the word within a conceptual framework, thus profoundly influencing all later research on the humanistic period.

"The term "Humanismus" was coined in 1808 by the German educator, F.J. Niethammer, to express the emphasis on the Greek and Latin classics in secondary education as against the rising demands for a more practical and more scientific training. In this sense, the word was applied by many historians of the nineteenth century to the scholars of the Renaissance, who had also advocated and established the central role of the classics in the curriculum..." (Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and its Sources, pp. 21-22).

Niethammer's work not only came to determine how we have come to talk of the Renaissance and that essential part of it which we now call "humanism", it also illustrates how scholars framed the essential values embodied in humanism at the time. It furthermore anticipated the 19th century age of "-isms" and ideology and the attempts at developing more structured and systematic ways of organizing theories and ideas with the purpose of influencing society and its culture.

Order-nr.: 46982


DKK 9.500,00