Jürgen Trabant

Jürgen Trabant recounts the main stages in the development of Humboldt's conception of language and discusses the importance of his thining-in-languge to philosophy, linguistics and anthropology. Trabant makes a convincing account that Humboldt’s concept of thinking together in language (Mitdenken) would help us understand the crucial importance of languages as shared modes of perceiving the world, especially at a time when the business world and IT new technologies are constantly affirming a conception of language as a mere tool of communication.
Wilhelm von Humboldt, the great statesman and founder of Berlin University, was one of the great linguists. He realized that languages harness universal cognitive dispositions to form different ways of thinking. Linguistic communities create their own specific shared "worldviews".Trabant’s book outlines the journey Humboldt takes in exploring the languages of the world and considers the implications of this anthropological project for today's reflection upon culture.

Professor Jürgen Trabant lectured for most of his career at the Freie Universität, in Berlin, on German and Romance Languages. He is one of the all time great specialists of Humboldt, and continues to actively promote his vision of language as a mode of perceiving and understanding the world.  He has held posts abroad at Stanford, University of California, Davis, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, in Leipzig und in Limoges. Among his many published works we can list the following ones:
• Apeliotes oder Der Sinn der Sprache. Wilhelm von Humboldts Sprach-Bild. Fink, München 1986. (Franz., Jap. Übersetzungen)
• Traditionen Humboldts. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/M. 1990 (Korean., Franz. Übersetzungen)
• Neue Wissenschaft von alten Zeichen: Vicos Sematologie. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/M. 1994. (Ital., Engl. Übersetzungen)
• Artikulationen. Historische Anthropologie der Sprache. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/M. 1998..
• Der Gallische Herkules. Über Sprache und Politik in Frankreich und Deutschland. Francke, Tübingen/Basel 2002, ISBN 3-7720-3335-0.
• Mithridates im Paradies. Kleine Geschichte des Sprachdenkens. Beck, München 2003.
• Vico's New Science of Ancient Signs: A Study of Sematology. 2004.
• New Essays on the Origin of Language. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin /New York 2001. (Hrsg. mit Sean Ward)
• Europäisches Sprachdenken von Platon bis Wittgenstein. Beck, München 2006.
• Die Sprache. Beck, München 2009.
• Weltansichten : Wilhelm von Humboldts Sprachprojekt. Beck, München 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-64021-6.
• Globalesisch oder was? Ein Plädoyer für Europa. Verlag C. H. Beck, München 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-65990-4.[1]