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The project: TIM-Adrastea MSCA-IF N. 753540

The research project "TIM-Adrastea: Herder’s Thinking in Images from 1801-03 up to Nowadays” receives funding from the European Commission through a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF, Projekt Nr. 753540)

Thinking in Images


The research project “Thinking in Images. Herder’s Adrastea from 1801-03 up to nowadays” will focus on the notion of thinking in images, which has a non-marginal position in the history of philosophy and science. Thinking in images means to refer, at the same time, to a complex system of forms and meanings, which continually changes itself and never follows a time sequence or a causal order.


This is what distinguishes this special form of thinking from the logical sequence, from the reasoning by concepts. Analogies, metaphors, myths are only few examples of the way this ‘visual representation’ works. Such a kind of thinking characterises the children’s thought, mnemonic processes, dreams, mental illnesses, hallucinations; but also, it is possible to find it in the poetry, in mythologies and religions, in mystical visions, as well as in scientific visualisations and in the arts. I will try in this study to clarify the concept of thinking in images and to show its value within society and culture.

Johann Gottfried Herder

Adrastea (1801-1803)

Herder wrote and edited the periodical Adrastea between 1801 and 1803. This was one of his final works and he was unable to publish the latest numbers, because of his death, on December 1803.

According to an early project, the periodical should have been the name "Aurora" and receive contributions for "the best heads of Germany". But at the end he decided for the name "Adrastea" which is an epithet for the Greek Goddess Nemesis. Moreover, he wrote the whole periodical by his own, except for some poems by his friend Ludwig von Knebel.