Der Volksgeist bei Jacob Grimm

Karin Raude


Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 331
Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann 2022, XIV, 400 S.

ISBN 978-3-465-04427-7
ISSN 1610-6040

The idea of a Volksgeist – creative forces that reside in the people as a whole and form the basis for devising language and laws – was a foundational element in early 19th century studies of the sources of law, linked above all to Friedrich Carl von Savigny. The notion of a creative spirit within a people also influenced other author’s oeuvres. Savigny’s student Jacob Grimm spent his life investigating the origin of things – be it language, culture or law.

The idea of a  Volksgeist was an integral part of Grimm’s understanding of science and shaped his entire literary and scientific oeuvre. This volume offers a detailed description of Grimm’s Volksgeist concept, which differed quite distinctly from that of his contemporaries (such as Herder, Schelling, Hegel or Puchta) and was of considerable influence for studies of ‘Germanic Law’ until the 20th century. 

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