278,233 Pages

Wilhelm von Humboldt
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Born 22 June 1767
Potsdam
Died 8 April 1835
Tegel

Фридрих Вильгельм Кристиан Карл Фердинанд фон Гумбольдт (22 июня 1767 – 8 апреля 1835) был прусский философ, правительственный чиновник, дипломат и основатель университета Берлина, который был назван в честь него (и его брат естествоиспытателя Александра фон Гумбольдта) в 1949 году. Он особенно запомнился как лингвист , который внес важный вклад в философию языка и в теорию и практику образования. В частности, он широко известен как архитектор прусской системы образования который был использован в качестве модели для систем образования в таких странах, как США и Япония.

Humboldt was born in Potsdam, Margraviate of Brandenburg, and died in Tegel, Province of Brandenburg. His younger brother, Alexander von Humboldt, was equally famous, as a geographer and explorer.

A sculpture of Humboldt in Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen

Philosopher[edit | edit source]

Humboldt was a philosopher and wrote On the Limits of State Action in 1791–1792 (though it was not published until 1850, after Humboldt's death), one of the boldest defences of the liberties of the Enlightenment. It influenced John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty through which von Humboldt's ideas became known in the English-speaking world. Humboldt outlined an early version of what Mill would later call the "harm principle".

The section dealing with education was published in the December 1792 issue of the Berlinische Monatsschrift under the title ‘On public state education’. With this publication, Humboldt took part in the philosophical debate on the direction of national education which was in progress in Germany, as elsewhere after the French Revolution.

Minister of Education[edit | edit source]

As Prussian Minister of Education, Humboldt oversaw the system of Technische Hochschulen and Gymnasien. Humboldt's plans for reforming the Prussian school system were not published until long after his death, together with his fragment of a treatise on the 'Theory of Human Education', which had been written in about 1793. Here Humboldt states that 'the ultimate task of our existence is to give the fullest possible content to the concept of humanity in our own person [...] through the impact of actions in our own lives'. This task 'can only be implemented through the links established between ourselves as individuals and the world around us' (GS, I, p. 283). Humboldt's concept of education does not lend itself solely to individualistic interpretation. It is true that he always recognized the importance of the organization of individual life and the 'development of a wealth of individual forms' (GS, III, p. 358), but he stressed the fact that 'self-education can only be continued [...] in the wider context of development of the world' (GS, VII, p. 33). In other words, the individual is not only entitled, but also obliged, to play his part in shaping the world around him.

Дипломат.[edit | edit source]

As a successful diplomat between 1802 and 1819, Humboldt was plenipotentiary Prussian minister at Rome from 1802, ambassador at Vienna from 1812 during the closing struggles of the Napoleonic Wars, at the congress of Prague (1813) where he was instrumental in drawing Austria to ally with Prussia and Russia against France, a signer of the peace treaty at Paris and the treaty between Prussia and defeated Saxony (1815), at Frankfurt settling post-Napoleonic Germany, and at the congress at Aachen in 1818. However, the increasingly reactionary policy of the Prussian government made him give up political life in 1819; and from that time forward he devoted himself solely to literature and study.

Linguist[edit | edit source]

Statue of Wilhelm von Humboldt outside Humboldt University, Unter den Linden, Berlin

Wilhelm von Humboldt was an adept linguist and studied the Basque language. He translated Pindar and Aeschylus into German.

Humboldt's work as a philologist in Basque has had more extensive impact than his other work. His visit to the Basque country resulted in Researches into the Early Inhabitants of Spain by the help of the Basque language (1821). In this work, Humboldt endeavored to show by examining geographical placenames, that at one time a race or races speaking dialects allied to modern Basque extended throughout Spain, southern France and the Balearic Islands; he identified these people with the Iberians of classical writers, and further surmised that they had been allied with the Berbers of northern Africa. Humboldt's pioneering work has been superseded in its details by modern linguistics and archaeology, but is sometimes still uncritically followed even today.

Humboldt died while preparing his greatest work, on the ancient Kawi language of Java, but its introduction was published in 1836 as The Heterogeneity of Language and its Influence on the Intellectual Development of Mankind. This essay on the philosophy of speech:

  • 99

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. David Kenosian: "Fichtean Elements in Wilhelm von Humboldt's Philosophy of Language", in: Daniel Breazeale, Tom Rockmore (ed.), Fichte, German Idealism, and Early Romanticism, Rodopi, 2010, p. 357.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • G. W. F. Hegel, 1827. On The Episode of the Mahabharata Known by the Name Bhagavad-Gita (Hegel's review of Wilhelm von Humboldt's lectures on the Bhagavad-Gita).
  • David Sorkin, "Wilhelm Von Humboldt: The Theory and Practice of Self-Formation (Bildung), 1791-1810" in: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1983), pp. 55–73.
  • Antoine Berman. L'épreuve de l'étranger. Culture et traduction dans l'Allemagne romantique: Herder, Goethe, Schlegel, Novalis, Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Hölderlin., Paris, Gallimard, Essais, 1984. ISBN 978-2-07-070076-9.
  • Tilman Borsche, Wilhelm von Humboldt, München, Beck, 1990. ISBN 3-406-33218-8.
  • Marina Lalatta Costerbosa, Ragione e tradizione: il pensiero giuridico ed etico-politico di Wilhelm von Humboldt, Milano, Giuffrè, 2000. ISBN, 88-14-08219-7.
  • Realino Marra, La ragione e il caso. Il processo costituente nel realismo storico di Wilhelm von Humboldt, «Materiali per una storia della cultura giuridica», XXXII-2, 2002, pp. 453–64.
  • Elsina Stubb, Wilhelm Von Humboldt's Philosophy of Language, Its Sources and Influence, Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.
  • John Roberts, German Liberalism and Wilhelm Von Humboldt: A Reassessment, Mosaic Press, 2002
  • Joxe Azurmendi, Humboldt. Hizkuntza eta pentsamendua, Bilbo, UEU, 2007. ISBN 978-84-8438-099-3.
  • Franz Schultheis, Le cauchemar de Humboldt: les réformes de l’enseignement supérieur européen, Paris, Raisons d’agir éditions, 2008. ISBN 978-2-912107-40-4.
  • James W. Underhill, Humboldt, Worldview and Language, Edinburgh University Press, 2009 [1].
  • Jean-Marie Valentin, Alexander von Humboldt: 150e anniversaire de sa mort, Paris, Didier Érudition. 2011. ISBN 978-2-252-03756-0.
  • Michael N. Forster, German philosophy of language, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-960481-4.

External links[edit | edit source]

Works related to Wilhelm von Humboldt at Wikisource

Preceded by
Count Friedrich von Schuckmann
Interior Minister of Prussia
1819
Succeeded by
Count Friedrich von Schuckmann

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.