Language and Metaphysics in Johann Georg Hamann’s Aesthetica in Nuce and Philologische Einfälle und Zweifel

David Pan


Because Hamann's work maintains a focus on both theology and philology, recent interpretations have split into theological readings of Hamann's work by John Milbank and John Betz on the one hand and post-structuralist approaches by Manfred Geier and Carol Jacobs on the other hand. While the theological approach has tried to argue for a Christological reading of Hamann's ideas, the post-structuralist perspective has downplayed the theological implications altogether. This article argues that Hamann's work in fact merges the theological with the philological in order to imagine a theory of culture that gives priority to language as an autonomous sign system while at the same time emphasizing the metaphysical implications of this priority. (DP)

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