‘The linguistic turn’ examines the treatment of language in German philosophy. Before Kant wrote his most important texts, there were philosophers in Germany for whom language was crucial. What made some thinkers concentrate on language, when others appear not to have considered language to be decisive at all? Even today, the differences between analytical and ‘continental/European’ philosophy are often based on different construals of what language is. Herder's questioning of Kant's separation of receptive intuitions and spontaneous concepts is part of what inaugurates German Idealism, a central aim of which is to overcome Kant's oppositions between appearances and things in themselves.