Theses Doctoral

Individuality and Social Cohesion. Humboldt and Schleiermacher at the Origin of Modern Liberalism

Papcke, Luise

In this dissertation I retrace the notion of social individuality in early German liberal thought to respond to the ongoing criticism of liberal individuality as being at its foundation anti-social and atomistic. I concentrate on the exposition of this concept in the works of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Friedrich Schleiermacher at the turn of the 18th to 19th century, who I argue presented the clearest defense of individuality understood as interdependent uniqueness. Analyzing their relevant academic writings, speeches, sermons, letters, diary entries as well as political reports, I situate their conceptualization of social individuality within their wider thought, and examine what social institutions and practices as well as political consequences derive from understanding individuality as inherently social.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Urbinati, Nadia
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 6, 2020