more from Johann Gottfried Herder

Single Idea 7669

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value]

Full Idea

For Herder, we cannot attain to the highest ideals of all the centuries and all the places at once, and since we cannot do that, the whole notion of the perfect life collapses.

Gist of Idea

We cannot attain all the ideals of every culture, so there cannot be a perfect life


report of Johann Gottfried Herder (works [1784]) by Isaiah Berlin - The Roots of Romanticism Ch.3

Book Reference

Berlin,Isaiah: 'The Roots of Romanticism' [Pimlico 2000], p.65

A Reaction

Herder seems to be the father of modern cultural relativism. The idea is hard to challenge, but the ideals of some cultures should be ignored, if they diminish rather than enhance the good life for all.