On What Gives Value to Life

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More than any of his earliest philosophic essays (before 1799), this 1792-1793 essay comprehensively anticipates major themes to be fully established over the next fifteen years of his authorship. It also presages late-19th century interests in value theory and philosophy of life, offering an argued, distinctive position against still-regnant alternative views of happiness, virtue and fate. Like others of the earliest essays, this one makes almost no direct reference to religion, yet it breathes throughout of a down-to-earth spirituality, a profound sense for the whole, including the whole of humanity, and an appreciation of ways joy can arise in the smallest and most unpleasurable of circumstances -- all characteristic features of his later thought. Particularly in its frequent autobiographical allusions and descriptive flourishes, it also bears the lineaments of "rhapsody" to be found in his subsequent notable works On Religion, Soliloquies and Christmas Eve. Though written when he was 24, it was not published in full until 1984, and appears here in English for the first time. The translators have appended an introduction, notes, and detailed index.


"An excellent rendering of an early Schleiermacher text, previously unavailable in English, and sure to be of great help to English-speaking students of Schleiermacher. . . . Lawler and Tice, who have extensive experience translating Schleiermacher, provide a predictably reliable, accurate, and readable version. Moreover, the substantial notes let English readers in on some of the interpretative nuances one encounters in dealing with Schleiermacher's often complex German. . . . This book will be most useful for Schleiermacher students and those interested in nineteenth-century philosophy and theology. It belongs in every university and seminary library and many college libraries as well." - Religious Studies Review

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