Christian Cyclopedia

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Dilthey, Wilhelm Christian Ludwig

(1833–1911). Ger. hist. and philos.; prof. Basel, Kiel, Breslau, Berlin; student of biography; constructed new methodology and interpretation of soc. and culture.

Held that in natural sciences we are spectators describing phenomena without entering into their inner essence; in human sciences we know the subject matter from the inside and can describe the reality of its process and content. The individuality of human sciences is overcome by the common structure of the human spirit expressed in “objective mind,” that is, all things belonging to civilization and culture (e.g., instruments, towns, laws, literature, art, language).

Religion is a manifestation of metaphysical consciousness which seeks solutions for enigmas of life. Metaphysical systems can be divided into 3 worldviews: naturalism,* objective idealism,* idealism of freedom (subjective idealism).

Works include Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften; Das Wesen der Philosophie; Der Aufbau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaften; Das Leben Schleiermachers.

See also Historicism, 4; Philosophy.

H. A. Hodges, The Philosophy of Wilhelm Dilthey (London, 1952); W. Kluback, Wilhelm Dilthey's Philosophy of History (New York, 1956); W. Dilthey, Gesammelte Schriften, 12 vols. (Berlin, 1914 to 1936; reissued Göttingen and Stuttgart, 1957 to 1960). EL

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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