In the prime years of Hegel’s philosophical career, Prussia made progressive reforms to childhood education. Hegel had long supported reform. In his early Stuttgart Gymnasium Validictory Address (1788), he had advocated for a public interest in widespread public education as a means for developing the children’s potential. Like Wilhelm von Humboldt, Hegel believed in education’s power to promote individual development (Bildung) as a path of freedom, which is achieved largely by expanding children’s linguistic capacity since language, as Humboldt understands it, is the formative organ of thought (bildende Organ des Gedankens). By combining Humboldt’s insights (especially his discussion of the power of Sanskrit) with themes in Hegel’s Science of Logic, I will demonstrate that the mind’s power to make judgments is a forward movement that can be arrested by epistemic injustice. Humboldt’s reflections on linguistic flowering and the factors that might impede it can help us understand epistemic injustice as an interference in linguistic cognitive mediation (Vermittlung).

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