Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,567 words)

1. Overview

1.1. Concept

Since the late 18th century, the term subjectivity (from Latin subiectum, “something placed underneath”; as a term of classical rhetoric: “basis [of a statement]”) has been understood as a philosophical mindset or attitude that views the world and reality not as something objectively given but as an idea or a creation of the subject perceiving it. From the outset, this emphasis on perception distinguished subjectivity from similar categories like character (the nature and moral quality o…

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Walther, Gerrit and Christophersen, Alf, “Subjectivity”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_028458>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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