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Johann Gottfried Herder

Dátum narodenia: 25. august 1744
Dátum úmrtia: 18. december 1803

Johann Gottfried von Herder bol nemecký filozof, generálny superintendent vo Weimare.

„Kniha buď vytvorí z človeka niečo, alebo ho zničí.“

„Knihy je treba čítať s takou rozvahou a opatrnosťou, s akou boli napísané.“

„Aký sme, také budú naše deti.“

„Vojna, kde nie je nanútená sebaobrana, je neľudské, horšie ako zvieracie počínanie.“

„Jedna dobrá matka je viac hodná ako sto učiteľov.“

„Život nám bol daný k práci, láske a zušľachteniu.“

„Pracovitosť zatvára dvere neresti.“

„To think what is true, to sense what is beautiful and to want what is good, hereby the spirit finds purpose of a life in reason.“

„Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.“

„We see so much that we in fact see nothing, and we know so much that we no longer possess anything that is our own, that is to say, something we could not have learned, something that arises out of the virtues and errors of our own self“

„The universal dress of philosophy and philanthropy can conceal repression, violations of the true personal, human,
local, civil, and national freedom“

„The people need a master only as long as they have no understanding of their own. The more it acquires understanding, the more the government is bound to change its methods and to disappear. The most noble end of government is to become dispensable, so that everyone must govern himself.“

„All our science calculates with abstracted individual external marks, which do not touch the inner existence of any single thing“

„You people in all parts of the world, who have passed away over the ages, you did not live only to fertilize the earth with your ashes, so that at the end of time your descendants could become happy through European culture“

„It is greatly understated to compare humans to an absorbent sponge, a glowing fuse; they are each an innumerable harmony, a living self that has an effect on all of the forces that surround them.“

„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!“ Another Philosophy of History and Selected Political Writings

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