Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 January 2007
Diversity and unity are pivotal to the thought of the eighteenth-century German philosopher, Johann Gottfried Herder. Yet despite the enormous influence of his thought on the late Isaiah Berlin in the development of his own pluralism and Berlin's urging for those interested in cultural diversity to learn from Herder, many commentators fail to heed Berlin's equal recognition of Herder's radical antidualism. Thus, while an increasing number of theorists now note Herder's contribution to philosophical and political thought in being one of the first to recognize the value of cultural diversity, many fail to grasp fully the complexity and subtlety of his understanding of culture. Contrary to what is becoming the orthodox view in Anglo-American political theory, Herder was fully aware of the diversity existing within any given cultural community and promoted cultural interaction and interchange in a spirit of cooperation. He only opposed the cultural domination of indigenous populations.