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Tracing Global Democracy by Vladimir Biti

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4 Who Voices Universal History? Kant’s “Mankind” and/or Herder’s “Nature”

One man’s imagined community is another man’s political prison.(Appadurai 1996: 32)

4.1 Introduction

The split in the body of the Enlightenment doctrine is usually traced back to the confrontation between its French and German versions. However established this opinion might be, it reduces the complexity of the problem. True, in the early treatise Another Philosophy of History for the Education of Humankind (1774) Herder, proposing his alternative conception of human history, elaborates on a re-evolutionary pattern in explicit opposition to Voltaire’s and Boulanger’s revolutionary pattern (1891: 15, 18). For Herder, the goal of human history is not a break with obedience ...

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