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Schleiermacher and the “Consideration for the Foreign”: The Need to Belong and Cosmopolitanism in Romantic Germany

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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to investigate the meaning and importance of the concept of the “foreign” (das Fremde) in the thought of the Romantic philosopher and theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher. This concept is at the heart of his reflections on hermeneutics, history of philosophy, translation, cosmopolitanism, and religious experience. For Schleiermacher, the foreign is defined first of all in contrast to what is one’s own (das Eigene); it only secondarily refers to what comes from a foreign country. On the one hand, Schleiermacher underlines the importance of local ties and highlights a need for belonging. But on the other hand, in his reflections on translation and hermeneutics, he defends the importance of what he calls “consideration for the foreign.” By sketching the historical and intellectual context of German Romanticism in the early nineteenth century, and by tracing the relationships between the domestic and the foreign in Schleiermacher’s thought, I will argue that his reflection is part of a cosmopolitical perspective that takes into account cultural differences and local affiliations.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Paris-NanterreParisFrance

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