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The Discovery of the Future in Early Modern Europe

Hölscher, Lucian

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 64 (2023), Iss. 2: S. 92–110

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Hölscher, Lucian


My argument for the discovery of the future is based on the idea of a process of temporalization that took place in early modern Europe. The following essay elaborates this idea by discussing the change of the linguistic inventory of the English and German languages at that time and sets up the thesis that speaking of a future has become possible only when a linguistic conceptof the future existed, which happened to be not before the 17th century.