Die Herausforderung der Sprache. Die umstrittene ,Bestimmung des Menschen‘ (1748–1800)


This article deals for the first time with the history of the concept ‘Bestimmung des Menschen’ from a linguistic point of view. Since its coinage in the 1730s and its official introduction in 1748, it assumed a central role which it maintained until the very end of the 18th century. In fact, it represented a central issue not only from a general theological and philosophical perspective, but also from a genuinely linguistic one. For the noun ‘Bestimmung’ was assumed to mean different things, depending on whether it was applied as a general religious or Christian—and precisely protestant—term, or in the ethical or logical realm. Not least thanks to this linguistic potential, its charm survived both Criticism and Idealism. (LAM; in German)