Varia: XXVIII.2 (Notebook “O”)

Source: Nachlaß Herder XXVIII.2 (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz)

Studienbuch O

Studienbuch “O”
(NL-Herder XXVIII.2)

The so-called Studienbuch O (Notebook “O”) is an octavo volume (10 x 15.5 cm.), 164 sheets, with a gray-green cover. Written on the cover by an unknown hand: "Excerpta mit verschiedenen Bemerkungen". Text is in brown and black ink. Sheets have been numbered in pencil by a librarian in the upper-right corners, and so pages here are indicated as ‘1r’, ‘1v’, ‘2r’, etc. Some sheets are missing, others are added.

Most entries appear to be written while Herder was in Riga (Irmscher/Adler 1979, 241); a book mentioned on 163v was published in 1765.

Previous transcriptions: None of the pages listed here have been previously transcribed in Irmscher (1964) or the Academy edition.

A few entries of particular interest:

• A detailed taxonomy of human knowledge (certainly not of his own invention, but perhaps collected from various sources?) (2r-5r, 8r-14v). At 11v-13v, which concerns natural theology, Herder includes comments on arguments regarding God's existence.

• Plato on recollection (29v-32r, 34r-34v, 37r, 38r).

• On the origin of the uselessness of metaphysics (c. 1763-64?) (70r-71v).

• On the usefulness of philosophy for the state and for the well-being of the people (c.1764?) (73v, 74r).

• How time can change everything (c. 1766?)(67r-68v).

• Philosophical dreams, based on new discoveries (84r).

• A reading or lecture schedule (164r).

[XXVIII.2] ms 163v

[While this notebook entry is of interest, the mention of the book by Anthony Ellys, below, indicates that it stems from Herder’s years in Riga, rather than when he was a student at Königsberg.]









Abhandl.ung ˚von Fatalit.



Reisebeschr.eibung [a] Glein

Seguignes hist.oire ‹gener.ale[b] des Huns[3]

Herbert v. RlntCod. Siamles.

in Per. Bibl. –

(7. — 25. th. ˚der ist ˚der Fluß

˚der Schiffart

V.on Jedso

Von China

V.on Schweden.


London: Tracts [c] on the Liberty, spiritual and temporal of Pro-

  testants in England addressed to J. N. Esqre: by Anth. Ellys,[4]

  Bishop of S. David’s P.1. 10-301. S. in 4.

[XXVIII.2] ms 164r

Aesth.etik Philol.ogie Philos.ophie Theol.ogie Encyclop.edie
Baumg.arten 5-6. Engl.ische Shackesp.eare 7-8.
Baumgarten: Kant
Lüdkens Dog:matics 9-10. Banier
home[2] Crusius Met.aphysik Baco:n
Möser franz.osische Rous.seau
Baumgart.en herm.eneutics
Phys.ische Geogr.aphie 10-11.
Griech.ische Anakr.eon
Dichtung etc. 4-5.

Philosoph.ische Geschichte: Plan:

Geographie ˚der Gelehrs.amkeit

˚der Geist ˚der Nationen

Ueber das Baumgartensche System

Plan ˚einer neuen Metaphysik: Aesthet.ik

Ueber ˚den Gest des, Poeten etc. etc.

˚Die jeder Wißensch.aft ˚.und Kunst zu saml.en

˚Die[3] als Metaphysik; als Menschen zu [a] zergliedern

/ Vergleich.en ˚der [b] Alten ˚.und neuen Ode nach Grundsäzzeng des P. Bannifats


/ Versuch über Fingal nach Blackwell.[5] – s.iehe Edda, [c] Saxo, etc.

/ Versuch über ˚die Wiege ˚der Dichtk.unst s. ––––histoire des Poetes etc. jusq a Homer

/         Lowth etc. Arab.isch etc. Homme des Lettres.

/ Vergleich.ung ˚der einiger Beurteiler ˚der Alten z.E. Blackwell, (Pope) Sokrat

Möser; Rollin; Montesqu.

Ueber ˚das Leidensche ˚Aufgabe: Conf. Wolf, Crusius, Wegelin Grotius, Reinhard[6]

        Premontvals Freih.eit ˚.und Hazard[7]

Gibts ehrwürdige Vorurteile:

˚Die besten des Staats anzuwenden. Einfl. des in ˚die Wissenschaften Erziehung Schul.en

Explanatory Notes

ms 163v

[1] [Mengs] Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779), the German painter. Herder’s comments on Mengs and taste (pp. 150v-151v of this notebook): Mengs, Gedanken über die Schönheit und den Geschmack. Edited by J. C Füßli. Zürich, 1762.

[2] [Mably] Gabriel Bonnot de Mably (1709-1785), friend of Rousseau. From April 1740 to the summer of 1741, Rousseau was tutor to the two oldest sons of Mably’s brother, Jean.

[3] [Seguignes histoire generale des Huns] Joseph de Guignes, Histoire générale des Huns, des Turcs, des Mogols, et des autres Tartares occidentaux. 5 vols. Paris: Desaint and Saillant, 1756.

[4] [Anth. Ellys] This book was published in 1765. Anthony Ellys (Late Lord Bishop of St. David’s), Tracts on the Liberty, Spiritual and Temporal, of Protestants in England, addressed to J. N. Esq; at Aix-la-Chapelle. Part One. London: William Bowyer, 1765. The full title: The Spiritual and Temporal Liberty of Subjects in England. Part One: Of the Spiritual Liberty of Protestants in England (pp. 1-301), part two: Of the Temporal Liberty of Subjects in England (pp. 1-286).

ms 164r

[1] [Moses] Perhaps Moses Mendelssohn and his "On the Sublime and Naive in the Fine Sciences" (1761).

[2] [Home] Perhaps intended is Henry Home, Elements of Criticism (1762).

[3] [Thiriologie] Carl Friedrich Flögel, Einleitung in die Erfindungskunst (Breslau/Leipzig 1760): “Die Thiriologie oder die Wißenschaft von den Seelen der Thiere.”

[4] [Brumoi] Pierre Brumoy (1688-1742) was a French classicist: Théâtre des Grecs (1730) is referenced in Herder’s Kritische Wälder [FHA 2: 99].

[5] [Blackwell] Thomas Blackwell (1701-1757) (Aberdeen), Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer (1735) developed a theory of epic poetry. He taught at King’s College, Aberdeen, where one of his students was James Macpherson (1736-1796), who later wrote the six-volume Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem (London, 1762), putatively composed by Ossian, the blind and ancient Gaelic poet and son of Fingal. This and related works by Macpherson enjoyed international acclaim, and Ossian, a “Homer of the North,” played a significant role in the Sturm und Drang movement in Germany, where Herder introduced Goethe to Macpherson’s writings (Ossian makes an appearance in Werther) and Herder would later publish Auszug aus einem Briefwechsel über Ossian und die Lieder alter Völker [Extract from a Correspondence about Ossian and the Songs of Ancient Peoples](1773).

[6] [Reinhard] Adolph Friedrich von Reinhard, 1726-83) studied at Halle and was trained in law but also wrote on a wide variety of philosophical topics, even winning the 1755 Prussian Academy prize essay contest on optimism. He defended free will in his Réflexions sur la liberté (1762), which is possibly the reference here.

[7] [Premontvals] ‘Prémontval’ was the assumed name of André Pierre le Guay (1716-1764). His Du Hasard (1755) was mentioned in Herder’s Journal meiner Reise im Jahr 1769, in a passage criticizing the intellectuals surrounding Friedrich the Great (FHA 9.2: 71).

Textual Notes

[Here is a mark-up key for the transcription.]

ms 163v

[a] A '¿¿¿¿' is crossed out.

[b] 'gener.' is written above a crossed out '¿¿¿¿¿'.

[c] A word is crossed out.

ms 164r

[a] A 'bebe' is crossed out.

[b] A '¿¿' is crossed out.

[c] A 'Hugo' is crossed out.