Contrary to the standard account of German Idealism, the most recent research suggests that it did not grow seamlessly from Kant's critical philosophy into Hegel's mature system, nor did it proceed without serious challenges from alternative philosophical perspectives. Probably the most sustained and trenchant assault upon this tradition came from a group of already well-established philosophers and intellectuals who referred to their project as 'metacritique', a critical movement spearheaded by J. G. Hamann, S. Maimon, F. H. Jacobi, and J. G. Herder. Employing approaches clearly prefiguring later twentieth-century challenges, the metacritics attempted to refute the transcendental and metaphysical doctrines of the German idealists through a rigorous linguistic critique of their philosophical discourse. This linguistic challenge and the response on the part of the idealist party also drew into its ambit such important figures of the early Romantic movement as August and Friedrich Schlegel and August Ferdinand Bernhardi.Although this extended discussion between the early idealists and their linguistic metacritics formed an important episode of European intellectual history, neither the crucial texts nor an interpretative discussion of them have to date been available to the English-speaking student. The present work fills this important gap in our understanding of the period by offering an extensive interpretative and critical overview of the meta-critical challenge and the responses to it, together with English translations of the key texts, each with its own introduction and commentary. This outstanding collection will be useful for any class on German Idealism and for providing an accurate historical context for some of the later philosophical charges levelled against this tradition.