Dilthey, Wilhelm

Dilthey, Wilhelm
Dilthey Michael Lessnoff INTRODUCTION Wilhelm Dilthey was born in 1833 near Wiesbaden, and thus lived through the period of Bismarck’s creation of a unified German Empire by ‘blood and iron’. These turbulent events, however, scarcely perturbed his career, which was wholly that of academic and scholar. For almost forty years he was to hold, successively, four university chairs of philosophy, the first as early as 1866, and culminating (from 1882 to 1905) in that of Berlin. Crucial to Dilthey’s philosophical achievement, however, is the fact that he was not a philosopher only, but was equally interested, and distinguished, in the fields of cultural history and biography. Small wonder, then, that Dilthey is famous as the philosopher of the ‘Geisteswissenschaften’—the ‘sciences of mind’ or (as the term is often translated), the human sciences, or the human studies. Indeed, the human mind and its products are the beginning and end, the alpha and omega, of Dilthey’s philosophy; so much so that it is hardly possible, from his perspective, to draw a definite line between philosophy and psychology. Dilthey’s philosophy is above all an epistemology, or theory of knowledge, and human knowledge arises in the human mind. Dilthey’s viewpoint here can be interestingly compared with that of Hume. ‘It is evident’ wrote Hume in the Introduction to his great Treatise, ‘that all sciences have a relation, greater or less, to human nature [and] are in some measure dependent on the science of MAN; since they lie under the cognisance of men, and are judged of by their powers and faculties’. With this proposition Dilthey was in full agreement, but thereafter the two philosophers sharply part company. Hume, starting from the premiss that all knowledge is a judgement of the human mind, and deducing therefrom the need to understand the operations of the human mind, ended up, somewhat paradoxically, with an account of the mind based on, and assimilated to, our (or its) knowledge of external nature, or natural science. Dilthey arrived at the opposite position. For him the mind is an autonomous realm, with its own principles of operation: correspondingly, knowledge of the mind is the discovery of these inherent principles, not a reading back of the way we know external nature, or natural science. The latter, indeed, are to be understood in a sense derivatively, as the mind’s response to the non-mental: to nature as it impinges on human consciousness, and is grasped from the perspective of human life. Dilthey, who, it seems, took the primacy of the human mind more seriously than did Hume, was led by it to a philosophical and epistemological dualism, encapsulated by his famous distinction between two kinds of ‘science’ (knowledge): the Geisteswissenschaften (sciences of the mind, or of the human) and the Naturwissenschaften (sciences of nature). Dilthey fully shared Hume’s resolutely empirical epistemology (as Hume puts it, none of the sciences can go beyond experience). But he found many reasons to reject the Humean analysis of that experience—to reject, in other words, Hume’s psychology, which was accepted by British empiricism generally. In this empiricism, the mind is viewed as the passive recipient of ‘impressions’ (which it copies in the form of ‘ideas’), and as governed by mechanical laws of association of such ideas. To Dilthey (here, doubtless, the heir of Romanticism), this passive and mechanical picture of the mind is false: false, not only of human life as a whole, but even of the ‘knowing subject’. (In a well known passage, Dilthey charged that ‘no real blood’ flows in the veins of the knowing subject ‘fabricated’ by Locke and Hume—and also Kant.) ‘The core of what we call life is instinct, feeling, passions and volitions’; and this ‘whole man’ must be taken ‘as the basis for exploring knowledge and its concepts’ ([8.32], 13). Knowledge arises not just in the mind but in ‘life’—the life of a feeling, willing, passionate human being. Indeed, the German words erleben and Erlebnis, used by Dilthey to express the idea of experience in the sense he considered fundamental, are derivatives of the word for life (das Leben). In order to bring out the importance of this for Dilthey, Erlebnis is often translated into English as ‘lived experience’. As we saw, Dilthey’s epistemology is dualistic, which means that there are two kinds of human experience—external and internal. The difference between them is fundamental. Internal knowledge is the subject’s knowledge of itself—of its volitions and cognitions, its reasonings, decisions, values and goals, its mental states and acts in general. In the very having of these states, we are conscious of them, and know them directly and immediately. External knowledge also depends on the subjective states and acts of our minds, but it is not knowledge of them. Rather, we experience the external world in relation to our will, and especially in the frustration of our will, or as resistance. As Dilthey put it: ‘In the experiences of frustration and resistance the presence of a force is given’—an external force, ‘a force [that] is acting upon me’ ([8.71], 58). Out of such experiences we construct our picture of the external world. This world, however, is known to us only by inference, not directly, our knowledge of the external world is thus a construction only. We do not know it as we know ourselves, it is fundamentally alien to us. In a way, Dilthey’s view of our external knowledge is similar to Kant’s: we cannot know things ‘in themselves’, but only as they appear to us. But he is more radically subjectivist than Kant—Dilthey refused to admit any a priori element in our knowledge of external appearances, ascribing it wholly to experience. And his view of our internal knowledge, our knowledge of our minds, is totally un-Kantian, for he held that in this realm we have direct knowledge, by experience, of a reality, of mental things-inthemselves. Kant’s distinction between the noumenal (things in themselves) and the phenomenal (things as they appear to us) is replaced by a distinction between internal and external knowledge. It is obvious that this distinction is the root of Dilthey’s famous distinction between two kinds of sciences—Geisteswissenschaften (sciences of mind or human sciences), and Naturwissenschaften (sciences of nature). Dilthey’s interest, as we saw, was primarily in the Geisteswissenschaften: he was interested in the Naturwissenschaften mainly for the sake of showing that, and how, the Geisteswissenschaften must differ from them. What then is the character of the natural sciences? The most fundamental point is that they deal with a world that is, as we have seen, external and alien to us—a world which impinges on our experience, to be sure, but of whose ultimate, elemental nature we perforce remain ignorant because it is beyond our experience. In Dilthey’s own words: our idea of nature is ‘a mere shadow cast by a reality which remains hidden from us’ ([8.32], 73). The picture of reality constructed by natural science therefore remains always ‘hypothetical’—Dilthey referred, in this connection, to the ‘groping’ towards an adequate theory of nature which was initiated by the philosophers of ancient Greece (and is still continued by physics today) but which can never fully succeed, for ‘it is not possible to demonstrate a definite inner objective structure of reality, such that remaining possible structures are excluded’ ([8.32], 318). This does not mean, however, that Dilthey considered natural science to be useless or invalid. On the contrary, it is a highly appropriate and fruitful way of conceiving of external nature, from a human standpoint. Science conceptualizes nature in such a way as to facilitate its description in terms of precise, quantitative causal laws. It is thus concerned, in relation to all phenomena, with their typical and quantifiable aspects. In this sense, it is an abstraction from reality, but (in part due to the development of the experimental method) a hugely successful one, giving man mastery over nature: ‘Once the causes of change in nature become accessible to our will we can produce the effects we want… A limitless prospect of extending our power over nature has opened up’ ([8.36], no). But Dilthey insisted on the distinction between mastery over nature and knowledge of nature-as-such: if one…investigates nature insofar as it is the object of intelligence or insofar as it is interwoven with the will as end or means, it remains for the mind only what it is in the mind; whatever it might be in itself is entirely a matter of indifference here. It is enough that the mind can count on nature’s lawfulness for the mind’s activities in whatever way it encounters nature. ([8.32], 88) But scientific laws of nature are also hypothetical, at best probable, never provable by experience; causal necessity (as Hume showed) is likewise a construction beyond experience. In a rather extreme formulation of his position, referring to the scientific world-picture of particles or atoms interacting with one another according to laws, Dilthey commented: ‘neither atoms nor laws are real’ ([8.32], 319). Dilthey’s conception of the natural sciences is based rather directly on his conception of external knowledge: his conception of the human sciences is based on his conception of internal knowledge, but less directly. Direct, internal knowledge is introspective knowledge, given in the experience of each individual person, of his or her own mental states and acts. Such knowledge is insufficient to constitute the human sciences in general: the latter depend on the presumption of a world of ‘other minds’ with basically similar contents to our own, revealed in words, deeds, and artefacts. In Dilthey’s view, we make this presumption quite unproblematically, and he himself never treated it as a problem. The human world and its doings and makings (what Dilthey called the ‘mindaffected world’) indubitably exists, and provides the subject-matter of the human sciences. One should perhaps stress the phrase ‘mind-affected world’, in order to avoid misunderstanding of Dilthey’s term Geisteswissenschaften. Human beings are, as Dilthey often put it, psycho-physical complexes, not pure minds; and the human sciences deal with what he called objectifications of mind (sometimes he used the Hegelian phrase ‘objective mind’, though not with Hegel’s meaning), i.e. the material world as formed by mental activity. Nevertheless the mental aspect is crucial. The fundamental difference between the Geisteswissenschaften and the Naturwissenschaften is that, whereas in the latter we construct hypotheses about a world alien to us, in the former we deal with our own world, which we know directly. Thus, Dilthey thought, we can attain to a certainty in our knowledge which is beyond the reach of natural science, and which more than compensates for the much superior precision and generality of scientific laws. The latter can, in a sense, explain (erklären) but in a deeper sense the material world must always remain incomprehensible to us. But the human sciences deal with what we can and do understand (verstehen). Dilthey’s starting-point here is the individual’s understanding of his or her own mental life, of the connections, for example, between one’s desires, beliefs and actions. By analogy with this directly understood connection, one can understand the actions of others, as ‘expressions’ of mind. As Dilthey put it, we understand the mental life of others by re-living or reexperiencing (nach-erlehen) that experience. Actions are the most direct but not, Dilthey ultimately believed, the most important expressions of mind from the standpoint of the human sciences: most important are the permanent or lasting expressions—social institutions such as law and religion, human artefacts like the great cathedrals, and— perhaps most important of all—writings and works of art. Dilthey insisted on a number of crucial differences between the human and natural, or mental and physical worlds. The human world is not a world of strict causal determinism, but one in which individuals are free (within limits) to pursue chosen ends: not a dead and meaningless world, but one in which values are created and recognized; a historical world which develops new forms through time, a creative world. Some of these differences are brought out in this graphic contrast of Dilthey’s, between a waterfall (a natural phenomenon) and human speech: The waterfall is composed of homogeneous falling particles of water; but a single sentence, which is but a noise in the mouth, shakes the whole living society of a continent through a play of motives in absolutely individual units, none of which is comparable with the rest; so different is the ideal motive from any other kind of cause. ([8.71, 165) Clearly, Dilthey implies that, if the sentence were treated as nothing more than a noise or succession of noises (which, from the standpoint of natural science, is precisely what it is), the effects produced would be utterly incomprehensible. To understand them, a completely different framework is necessary. Hence the need for a distinctive group of disciplines—the human sciences. Dilthey’s view of the relation between these disciplines differed at different stages of his career. At one, relatively early, stage he considered psychology to be fundamental (not, of course, a psychology modelled on natural science—on this, more below). Later, he came to the view that psychology is not self-sufficient but is as dependent on other human sciences as they are on it: in particular, he was inclined to stress the importance, for all the human studies, of the interdependence of psychology and history. This, presumably, follows from the element of freedom and creativity which, Dilthey insisted, characterizes human life, making historical development an essential component of it, so that only in history are the potentialities of human psychology—of human nature— revealed. Similarly Dilthey points to a like interdependence between what he calls the two great classes of the human sciences, the historical and the systematic (or generalizing) sciences. Clearly, it was no part of Dilthey’s intention to confine the human studies to particularities, and not infrequently he even referred to their discovery of laws (e.g. Grimm’s Law in linguistics). Presumably, however, these laws or generalizations do not have the strict deterministic status that Dilthey attributed to the laws of natural science. Indeed, notwithstanding the generalizing aspect of the human sciences, Dilthey regarded their historical aspect as so fundamental that he referred to the epistemology of the human sciences which he sought to develop as a ‘critique of historical reason’. The idea of a ‘critique of historical reason’, with its obvious Kantian echoes, occurs in a work published in 1883, the Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften (Introduction to the Human Sciences), and Dilthey’s attempt to formulate it in a fully satisfactory form was to preoccupy him for the rest of his life. That much remained constant, but there are notable inconsistencies in the views Dilthey expressed over the years, and even in a single work. In the Einleitung, for example, the distinction between historical and systematic (generalizing) sciences is made, but it is doubtful whether it is actually used in Dilthey’s survey and classification of the various ‘special’ human sciences. This is as follows. First, and most basic, are the sciences that deal with individual human beings— psychology and biography. (But biography is really an aspect of psychology—its historical aspect. It is also, in Dilthey’s view, a main component of history proper.) In addition there are two kinds of social science (as we would now call them): sciences of systems of culture, and sciences of external organization of society. By ‘systems of culture’, Dilthey means complexes of interdependent actions devoted to some particular human purpose (examples are economics, religion and art); by ‘external organization of society’ he refers to the state and other associations, communities and relations of dominance and dependence (we might call these formal and informal social structures). Both types, Dilthey believed when he wrote the Einleitung, are dependent on psychology: their fundamental concepts are psychological concepts. Examples are the concepts of ‘need, economy [i.e. thrift], work, value and the like’, which are the foundation of political economy; or the ‘instinct for sociability’ which, Dilthey says, underlies human communal organization. Dilthey says that these concepts are, from the psychological point of view, ‘second-rank concepts’, i.e. non-basic; but he does not mean by this that they are simply deducible from the basic concepts and laws of individual psychology, as might have been asserted by, for example, John Stuart Mill—rather, they are concepts having to do with interaction between individuals, rather than concepts relating to individuals as such. (Dilthey is not very forthcoming about the precise nature of this relationship, which he describes as ‘complicated’, but he is emphatic that the attempt to elucidate it in terms of deduction and induction is useless—it rests on a wholly inappropriate model borrowed from natural science.) The above schema may seem to be consistent with Dilthey’s distinction between historical and generalizing sciences, but this is actually doubtful, for in the Einleitung Dilthey gives prominence to—he repeats it several times—a different schema of classification involving not two but three elements, and which are said to distinguish not different types of human sciences but different types of assertion made within the human sciences generally. The three types of assertion are the particular or historical, the generalizing or theoretical, and—thirdly—the value-judging or prescriptive. It is clear that Dilthey considers that a single human science can, or should, contain all three. Perhaps the difference between historical versus generalizing sciences, and historical versus generalizing elements within a science, is a relatively minor discrepancy. However, the addition of evaluation or prescription is of the greatest importance. Dilthey was, indeed, insistent on the impossibility of separating factual statements and valuejudgements in the historical and human sciences—though it is not clear in exactly what sense he believed the value-judgements involved to be scientific. On this puzzling aspect of Dilthey’s thinking more will be said below. At any rate, it illustrates an important point, namely, that Dilthey’s conception of the range of the human sciences is much wider than the word ‘science’ might suggest to English speakers. Thus, a list (in a later work by Dilthey) includes not only history, economics, jurisprudence, politics and psychology but also the study of religion, literature, poetry, architecture, music and ‘philosophic world views and systems’ ([8.36], 170). The earlier Einleitung mentions three ‘special human sciences’ which deserve some com-ment—philosophy, aesthetics and ethics. Ethics, Dilthey insists, is one of the ‘sciences of systems of culture’, it is the study of social morality, rather than an ‘imperative of personal life’, or a ‘theory of the righteous life’ separate from sociology, a view of ethics that Dilthey attributes to Herbert Spencer. Dilthey’s own view appears to be an example—even the most important example —of his general belief in the inseparability of fact and value in the human sciences. In the present case, it makes him an ethical empiricist. Put slightly differently, his view is that values, like knowledge, arise within the context of human life, in experience. We experience them in ourselves, and attribute them to others, as motives and as grounds of judgement. Dilthey rejects the notion of any ‘transcendent’ ground of moral judgement, higher than human life itself. Nor, it seems, does he wish to make any sharp, qualitative distinction between the ‘third person’ value-judgements that the human scientist may discover in his subject-matter, and ‘first person’ value-judgements that he makes qua human scientist. When we discuss (below) Dilthey’s view of history and the great variability of historical forms, we shall see that his view of ethics gives rise to a serious problem of relativism. Aesthetics and philosophy are said by Dilthey to be sciences that study, respectively, art and science. The two cases are of interest for different reasons. The case of aesthetics illustrates, again, Dilthey’s contention that, in the human sciences, knowledge and evaluation are inseparable and equally indispensable elements. (Some scholars, indeed, believe that Dilthey’s whole conception of the human sciences is rooted in his conception of aesthetics.) Equally important, art—especially literature—is for Dilthey itself an expression of the attempt to understand human life. Great art—great literature—by definition abounds in such understanding. This does not mean that art or literature is itself one of the human sciences, because it is not expressed in the systematic form of a science. Nevertheless, art and the human sciences have in a sense a similar task. The human sciences have much to learn from the arts: ‘None of us would possess more than a meagre part of our present understanding of human conditions, if we had not become used to seeing through the poet’s eyes’ ([8.71], 233). Furthermore, aesthetics must have a special status among the human sciences, being the attempt to understand attempts to understand human life, or expressions thereof taking a particular form. It is not surprising, therefore, that Dilthey attached so much importance to aesthetics, and indeed contributed largely to it. To call philosophy a human science, as Dilthey does, may seem surprising: it may seem that philosophy has as its subject-matter all reality, not only human activity. Consistently with this, there can of course be historical and other study of human philosophizing (again a field in which Dilthey was himself prominent)—but that is something different. The notion of philosophy as a human science is itself the staking out of a philosophical position, and follows from Dilthey’s oft-repeated, fundamental standpoint, the primacy of life (that is, human life). ‘Thought cannot go behind life.’ All speculation about reality, therefore, must actually concern itself with the way in which reality manifests itself in, or appears to, human life. In other words, genuine and valid philosophy must be epistemology or theory of knowledge. It is the attempt to achieve ‘universally valid knowledge’ about human knowing. ‘As such a theory of knowledge it is a science’ ([8.36], 125). Dilthey’s own philosophy certainly takes this form—so it is after all perhaps not so surprising to find him placing philosophy among the human sciences. Implicit (and explicit) in Dilthey’s philosophical stance is a repudiation of rival philosophical positions. Dilthey’s is an embattled philosophy, and two of his main enemies are metaphysics and positivism. By metaphysics, Dilthey means abstract, schematic doctrines that claim to grasp the structure or essence of reality. Such doctrines he rejects as false to experience, over-simplifications that cannot capture reality’s variety and complexity, manifested especially in history. They are attempts to grasp the meaning of existence, but premature, one-sided attempts. On these grounds Dilthey repudiates, in the Einleitung, what he calls the philosophy of history as ‘not a true science’; he is here referring to theories which see history as the unfolding of some masterplan, aiming at some pre-given telos, and interpret historical particulars in the light of, hence in subordination to, the supposed plan or telos. To Dilthey this is a distortion that fails to take empirical history sufficiently seriously, in all its particularity and multiplicity. An obvious exemplar of this style of theorizing, which Dilthey repudiates, is Hegel. Another is Comte, who from Dilthey’s point of view is a double sinner, author of a metaphysical schematization of history (the Law of the Three Stages), and a metaphysic that is positivist to boot, that is, which sees the application of the positivist method of natural science to all disciplines, including the human sciences, as the historical telos (or at least the telos of human thought). Another way in which Dilthey characterizes a metaphysical system is as a Weltanschauung or world-view taking, or claiming to take, philosophical form: ‘When a world-view has been raised to a level at which it is grasped and grounded conceptually and thus claims universal validity, we call it metaphysics’ ([8.32], 29). Hegel and Comte, in fact, can stand as exemplars of two of the three great ‘pure types’ of Weltanschauungen that, Dilthey maintained, have constantly recurred in the history of human thought and culture, namely naturalism (or materialism), and objective idealism. These are two opposed monistic views of the world, the one interpreting everything in terms of matter, the other in terms of mind or spirit. Dilthey’s third pure type of Weltanschauung, what he calls the idealism of freedom, is dualistic, seeing the mind as independent of physical causality (and superior to it). Dilthey himself might well appear to be an exponent of this third, dualistic Weltanschauung, but this categorization could hardly be acceptable to him, given his view that all the Weltanschauungen (including, explicitly, the idealism of freedom) are partial, incomplete views of reality, bound to encounter problems they cannot solve. However, metaphysical philosophy is only one of three spheres in which, Dilthey says, Weltanschauungen manifest themselves—the others are religion and art, especially ‘poetry’ (a term which for Dilthey applies to literature generally). Dilthey’s view of the historical relation between religious and metaphysical Weltanschauungen is reminiscent of Comte: ‘The mental law that general ideas can be completed only in conceptual thought…forces the religious Weltanschauung to become philosophical’ wrote Dilthey in Das Wesen der Philosophie (The Essence of Philosophy, 1907) ([8.30, 51]) But of course he did not agree that Comte himself, in his positivistic philosophy, had got beyond metaphysics. Dilthey’s famous typology of world-views can stand as an exemplification of his own prescriptions for the carrying on of the human sciences. It results from a wide-ranging historical survey (in this case, of intellectual and cultural history); and it shows forth, in Dilthey’s opinion, a constant of human psychology—for the drive to formulate worldviews, in the attempt to make sense of the universe, is, he thinks, precisely that. It thus returns us to the twin premisses of Dilthey’s philosophy of the human sciences— psychology and history. We must now examine his views on both of these in more detail. DILTHEY’S VIEW OF PSYCHOLOGY Dilthey’s ‘Ideas Concerning a Descriptive and Analytical Psychology’ (Ideen über eine Beschreibende und Zergliedende Psychologie) was published in 1894. It is a major element of his oeuvre, and a major source of his views on the subject, but by no means the only one. It must be supplemented by later writings, including some not published in his lifetime. In developing his ideas on psychology, Dilthey had to fight a war on three fronts, against Comtean positivism, British empiricism and German neo-Kantianism. Comte’s positivism simply denied the validity of any independent science of psychology whatever, on the grounds of its unamenability to investigation by what Comte took to be the necessary method of all science, the ‘positive’ method of external observation. The neo-Kantians, such as Heinrich Rickert (their most prominent spokesman), drew a sharp distinction between the historical or cultural sciences, which focus on the particular, and natural sciences, which seek general laws. They placed psychology in the latter category, at the same time denying that it could give knowledge of the transcendent ‘noumenal’ self, or of the realm of Geist or spirit. As for the British empiricists, they took psychology to be a natural science like any other—on this point they agreed with the neo-Kantians, but differed as to whether there is some deeper spiritual reality undiscoverable by natural scientific method. Dilthey took psychology to be a science, but not a natural science, a science precisely of Geist. In the Ideen, Dilthey offers two somewhat different arguments against a psychology based on natural scientific method, a project which he often refers to as ‘explanatory psychology’. Natural science is hypothetical. More precisely, it breaks reality down into hypothetical elements, postulates laws connecting them and thus explains phenomena. Such a manner of explanation is called by Dilthey ‘constructive’—it constructs a picture of reality out of hypothetical elements linked by hypothetical relations. This method works very well in certain areas, notably those dealing with phenomena that are precisely measurable and subject to controlled experiment. Neither of these conditions obtains in psychology. The result is a chaos of competing theories: ‘To each group of hypotheses is opposed yet a dozen more… One sees absolutely nothing which can decide the issue of the struggle’ ([8.31], 26). Nor can one hope to improve matters by recourse to areas where the natural scientific method is applicable, such as physiology: ‘Consciousness cannot go behind itself ([8.31], 75): in other words, the conscious cannot be explained by the non-conscious. Thus, Dilthey concludes, ‘Explanatory psychology is not only now unable, but will never be able to elaborate an objective knowledge of the nexus of psychic phenomena’. It is, Dilthey says, ‘bankrupt’ ([8.31], 49). Fortunately, however, there is no need, in psychology, to postulate hypothetical entities governed by hypothetical laws, and then construct a picture of reality—for in psychology knowledge of reality is given to us directly. Such a psychology will, however, not be explanatory and constructive, but descriptive and analytic. What exactly does Dilthey mean by a descriptive and analytic psychology? The crucial point, stressed over and over again by Dilthey, is that apprehension of the psychological is the directly lived inner cognition of systematically connected elements constituting a functional unity or whole. It is not simply the individual elements but equally their unity and connectedness that are directly given to us. To designate this unity or connectedness Dilthey used the word Zusammenhang (literally, a hanging-together). The word is important, for two reasons: firstly, because it is perhaps the most characteristic and frequently used term in all of Dilthey’s writings; secondly, because its translation into English is neither straightforward nor uniform, since it may refer either to a totality of parts (whole, structure) or to connections between elements. This ambiguity is of some consequence in Dilthey’s thinking, and can be illustrated by considering the following passages in the ‘Ideen’ which show how the term functions in his concept of a descriptive and analytic psychology: Hypotheses do not at all play the same role in psychology as in the study of nature. In the latter, all connectedness [Zusammenhang] is obtained by means of the formation of hypotheses; in psychology it is precisely the connectedness which is originally given in lived experience. ([8.31], 28) By descriptive psychology I understand the presentation of the components and continua which one finds uniformly throughout all developed modes of human psychic life, where the components form a unique nexus which is neither added nor deduced, but rather is concretely lived. This psychology is thus the description and analysis of a nexus which is originally given as life itself… Every connection [Zusammenhang] utilized by it can be verified unequivocally by inner perception, and from the fact that each such ensemble can be shown to be a member of a larger whole, not as a result of deduction, but as given originally in life. ([8.31], 35) For psychology the functional system [Zusammenhang] is given from within by lived experience. Every particular psychological cognition is only an analysis of this nexus… Psychic life is a functional system [whose] component parts…exist within individual systems of a particular kind, [which are the source of] problems to psychology. These problems can be resolved only by means of analysis: descriptive psychology must be at the same time an analytic psychology… Analysis separates the component parts which are united in reality. ([8.31], 56–7; emphases in original) In brief, Dilthey, in the course of these three passages, moves from asserting the experienced connectedness of psychological items, to asserting that these connections constitute larger wholes or systems, also directly experienced (and the word Zusammenhang, translated in the first passage as connectedness, refers in the third passage to the total functional system). Thus Dilthey arrives at his conclusion that psychology should take the form of analysing the elements of given psychic wholes. The ambiguity of the word Zusammenhang is significant primarily because of its bearing on two concepts that are central to Dilthey’s philosophy of the human sciences, namely understanding (Verstehen) and meaning (Sinn, Bedeutung). Do ‘understanding’ and ‘meaning’ turn on relations between connected elements or on relations between parts and wholes? Dilthey gives both answers, and the importance of this will become apparent for the philosophy of social science as elaborated in his later work. But the point is already prefigured in his writing on psychology. Here is one account given by Dilthey of his favoured method of psychological analysis. A state of human consciousness characteristically involves, he says, three elements or modes, namely, representations (of the world), feelings and volitions. Dilthey stresses the interrelation of all three, but especially the role of volitions, in producing action. Analysis, then, must ‘define the concepts of goal-positing, motive, relation between ends and means, choice and preference and unravel the relations which exist among these’ ([8.31], 70). It is, in other words, a process of relating actions and their outcomes to the motives, goals and volitions which produce them—and corresponds to the (or a) definition of Verstehen (understanding) later given by Dilthey: ‘Understanding penetrates the observable facts of human history to reach what is not accessible to the senses and yet affects external facts’—for example, values and purposes ([8.36], 172–3) But more often, in the Ideen, Dilthey relates Verstehen not to such connections but to the grasping of wholes. For example: The processes of the whole psyche operate together in [lived] experience… In the lived experience a particular occurrence is supported by the totality of psychic life, and the whole of psychic life belongs to immediate experience. The latter already determines the nature of our understanding (Verstehen) of ourselves and others… In understanding we proceed from the coherent whole which is livingly given to us in order to make the particular intelligible to us [emphases in original]… Precisely the fact that we live with the consciousness of the coherent whole, makes it possible for us to understand a particular sentence, gesture, or action. All psychological thought preserves this fundamental feature, that the apprehension of the whole makes possible and determines the interpretation of particulars. ([8–31], 55) What exactly does Dilthey have in mind when he refers to a psychological (psychic) whole? The answer is twofold, but both aspects relate to the life of the human individual. One is what might be called the individual’s personality-structure (Zusammenhang des Seelenlebens); the individual is a psychic unity or (in another of Dilthey’s phrases) erworbener seelischer Zusammenhang (translatable as ‘acquired psychic nexus’). This phrase implies the unification of an individual’s experience, representations, feelings, purposes and values into a whole that makes one the person one is, and makes one pursue the goals that one pursues. Thus, when Dilthey talks of a ‘descriptive and analytic’ psychology, he means the description, analysis and classification of such structures. Such a study should cover the entire range of human life, ‘from its more humble to its highest possibilities’. But Dilthey was especially interested in the latter—in ‘religious genius, historical heroes, creative artists’. Since such outstanding figures are ‘motive forces in history and society’, psychology ‘will become the instrument of the historian, the economist, the politician’ ([8.31], 40–1). In referring to the acquired psychic nexus, Dilthey refers to the enduring values, habits of will, and dominant goals that make it up. But values and goals generate action, and therefore change. Thus the psychic structure is inherently dynamic. It develops over an individual’s life. And the individual life is also, according to Dilthey, a systematically connected whole—one that develops through time, and can be understood. The writing of a biography is the attempt at such a coherent understanding of an individual life (autobiography is the individual’s attempt at such understanding of his or her own life). Dilthey frequently applies the concept of meaning to this understanding of human life; but an ambiguity is detectable, similar to that mentioned above in relation to understanding itself. Is this ‘meaning’ the relation between an action and its purpose, goal or motive? or does it lie in the coherent relation of parts of a whole (life)? Again, Dilthey gives (or at least suggests) both answers. Thus, his remark that the meaning of a life is the relation between its outer events and ‘something inner’ ([8.35], 91) suggests the former. But predominantly the latter interpretation is stressed, as in this typical passage: What is it that, in the contemplation of one’s life, links the parts into a whole and thus makes it comprehensible? It is the fact that understanding involves… the categories of…value, purpose and meaning… Looking back at the past in memory we see, in terms of the category of meaning, how the parts of a life are linked together. ([8.35], 103) Despite the importance of the concepts of value and purpose, ‘only the category of meaning’, Dilthey insists, expresses ‘the connectedness of life’ ([8.35], 104). Again the grasping of meaning is the grasping of a Zusammenhang. The quotation above is also significant for another reason, namely, the reference to memory, for this relates to one of the most characteristic and suggestive, and possibly influential, elements in all of Dilthey’s work, namely, the temporality of life. To say that a human life is lived through a duration of time may seem banal; but Dilthey was at pains to stress the difference between lived time and the abstract time of (say) the physical scientist. Lived time ‘is not just a line consisting of parts of equal value… Nowhere [in such a linear continuum] is there anything which “is”’. Indeed, the character of lived time is paradoxical, in that we live always in the present, but the present includes the past, through memory, and the future, through our plans, hopes and fears. Concrete time consists…of the uninterrupted progress of the present, what was present becoming the past and the future becoming the present, [that is], the becoming present of that which a moment ago we still expected, wanted or feared…this is the character of real time… The present is always where we live, strive and remember: in brief, experience the fullness of our reality, [but] the continued effectiveness of the past as a power in the present, gives to what is remembered a peculiar characteristic of ‘being present’. ([8.35], 98–9) In these passages, where human life is characterized as a continually moving present which contains a (likewise continually moving) past and future, Dilthey is referring to the structure of the life of an individual: but he could equally well be referring to his view of history. PSYCHOLOGY, HISTORY AND THE HUMAN SCIENCES Many commentators on Dilthey have remarked on a pronounced change in his thinking about the human sciences in the years after he wrote the Ideen, and especially in the last period of his life. In brief, the change discerned is a down-grading of individual psychology, and a corresponding turn to emphasizing the importance of concrete, objective manifestations (‘expressions’) of mind in history and society, and the interpretation of such expressions. Michael Ermarth, for example, in his Wilhelm Dilthey: The Critique of Historical Reason, speaks of Dilthey’s thought moving away from subjective acts of experience to intersubjective and mediated contexts of experience, or in other words from the psychological to the cultural and historical ([8.65], 232). There is undeniably much truth in this perception of the trend of Dilthey’s thought. He certainly abandoned his view of psychology as the very foundation of the human sciences, and he at least wavered of one of the cornerstones of his early thinking, namely the certainty of the knowledge afforded by introspection of lived experience. On the other hand, the continuities between the earlier and later phases of his think-ing should not be overlooked. For example, already in the Ideen, Dilthey clearly stated the need to study not just the individual psyche but all of human history and culture, in order to arrive at a full description, classification and analysis of the mental. The following passage in the Ideen puts the point quite bluntly: ‘Man does not apprehend what he is by musing over himself, nor by doing psychological experiments, but rather by history’ ([8.31], 62). To understand human psychology, also, we must study the mind’s creations—in literature and art, but also ‘in language, myth, religious ritual, customs, law, and in the external organization of society’—in brief, in all historical processes which are products of the human mind. Recourse to ‘the objective products of psychic life’ must supplement perception of inner states, is indeed, Dilthey says, of the greatest importance: ‘it is an inestimable advantage to have before us stable and enduring formations, to which observation and analysis can always return’ ([8.31],81). As for methods, we learn about ‘inner processes’ of mental life by recourse to such evidence as diaries and letters, the reports of poets on poetical creation and the lives of religious geniuses, such as St Francis, St Bernard and Luther. It is clear, then, that the theory of mental expressions—certainly the most celebrated idea in Dilthey’s ‘critique of historical reason’, and probably his most admired contribution to philosophy—was already present in nuce at a relatively early stage, even if it had to await its fullest and most systematic formulation till much later. And the references (above) to Sts Francis and Bernard, and to Martin Luther, serve as a reminder of another continuity between the earlier and the later work, namely, the pivotal role of biography. Biographies are both source and subject-matter for psychology and history equally. Biography and history, of course, cannot be simply equated, as Dilthey was well aware—he never reduced history to the doings of ‘great men’, however much he stressed their historical importance. Rather, the point is what might be called the structural homology between history and biography. The individual human life, Dilthey says, is the ‘germinal cell’ of history, in which ‘the specific historical categories arise’ ([8.35], 73). The individual life, as we noted above, ‘is present in the memory’ of the individual; thus ‘the sequence of a life is held together by the consciousness of identity…the discrete is linked into continuity’. Likewise, history is only possible…through the reconstruction of the course of events in a memory which reproduces…the system of connections and the stages of its development. What memory accomplishes when it surveys the course of a life is achieved in history by linking together the expressions of life which have become part of the objective mind, according to their temporal and dynamic relationships. This is history. ([8.35], 89) Just as the individual life is lived always in the present, but a present which includes (memories of) the past, so the present of collective humanity also includes its past—is historical: We are hourly surrounded by the products of history. Whatever characteristics the mind puts into expressions of life are tomorrow, if they persist, history. As time marches on we are surrounded by Roman ruins, cathedrals, and the summer castles of autocrats. History is not something separated from life or divided from the present by distance in time. ([8.35], 124) And in another striking passage, Dilthey suggests that the role played by memory in the life of the individual is played, in that of ‘nations, communities, of mankind itself by the historian. But for his efforts, their past would mean as little to them as would his to a person without a memory. ‘The ruins, the remnants of things past, the expressions of mind in deeds, words, sounds and pictures, of souls who have long since ceased to be’ surround us but are in themselves dead and meaningless. The historian ‘stands in the midst’ of these things: his task is to ‘conjure up’ the past, by ‘interpretation of the remnants that remain’ ([8.35], 139). He provides human communities with an essential part of human life. It may seem from the above quotations as if Dilthey, qua historian, was a believer in what could be called ‘collective minds’ of human communities such as nations. This, however, is at best an oversimplification, at worst misleading. Certainly he accepted the reality of peoples or nations (Völker) as significant social and historical entities: this is explicit, for example, in the Introduction to the Human Sciences ([8.32], 100). But in that book he immediately went on to reject as mystical any suggestion that these entities are supra-individual organisms, or possess a supra-individual ‘folk soul’ or ‘folk spirit’ (Volksgeist). Such notions were unacceptable from Dilthey’s fundamentally empirical standpoint: empirically, the only bearer of mind is the individual. The relation between the individual and collective entities like nations was therefore a problem that Dilthey took seriously. He later posed it as follows: The question now arises, how can a system which is not produced as such in one mind, and which is therefore not directly experienced nor can be reduced to the lived experience of one person, take shape as a system in the historian’s mind from the expressions of persons and statements about them? This presupposes that logical subjects can be formed which are not psychological subjects. There must be a means of delimiting them, there must be a justification for conceiving them as units… And here arises the great problem. ([8.71], 289) Dilthey’s solution to the problem was to identify the nation or people with the national consciousness of individuals: ‘It is…the consciousness of belonging together, of nationality and national feeling, on which the unity of the subject finally rests.’ This consciousness is firmly rooted by Dilthey in individual psychology: ‘The consciousness of belonging together is conditioned by the same elements that assert themselves in the individual’s consciousness of himself ([8.35], 152–3). Yet the consciousness of belonging together creates a collective entity, which in turn influences the consciousness of individuals: ‘The common experiences of a nation, common purposes and memories are real. They are the source of the communally determined purposes of individuals.’ It is a commonplace, Dilthey says, that only individuals can experience the satisfaction of realized purposes: yet such satisfaction may come from identification with one’s nation. ‘An individual wills national ends as his own, experiences the nation’s experiences as his own, has memories of such experiences as belonging to himself, is filled with them and carried along by them’ ([8.71], 294). A nation, therefore, is not only a reality but a distinctive unity: ‘Nations are often relatively self-contained and because of this have their own horizon’ ([8.35], 130). By this Dilthey means that they have a characteristic conception of reality and system of values. They are not only (through, for example, state organization) historical agents, but appropriate contexts for the interpretation of individual acts and expressions, which they condition. In this, non-metaphysical sense, the term Volksgeist can be accepted. Much the same may be said about the term Zeitgeist (or Geist des Zeitalters). The Zeitalter (epoch, era or historical period) is in Dilthey’s thought an important and undoubted reality, often indeed referred to alongside, and in similar terms to, the people or nation, as a ‘structural system’ or ‘unit of the world of mind’. Dilthey puts it thus: The common practices of an epoch become the norm for the activities of individuals who live in it. The society of an epoch has a pattern of interactions which has uniform features. There is an inner affinity in the comprehension of objects. The ways of feeling, the emotions and the impulses which arise from them, are similar to each other. The will, too, chooses uniform goals, strives for related goods… It is the task of historical analysis to discover the consensus which governs the concrete purposes, values and ways of thought of a period. ([8.36], 198) The Zeitgeist is, once again, an appropriate context for the understanding of such expressions, and vice versa. Thus (to cite an example given by Dilthey), the historian can use the civil law of the ‘age of Frederick’ to ‘understand the spirit of that age; he goes back from the laws to the intentions of the legislature and from there back to the spirit from which they arose’, or in other words ‘the social values, purposes [etc.] present at a certain time and place and which [thus] expressed themselves’ ([8.35], 76). Another example, developed at some length by Dilthey, is Teutonic society in the time of Caesar and Tacitus: Here, as in every later period, we find economic life, state and law linked to language, myth, religiousness and poetry… Thus heroic poetry arose from the warlike spirit in the Teutonic age of Tacitus, and this poetry invigorated the warlike spirit. From this same warlike spirit inhumanity arose in the religious sphere, as in the sacrifice of prisoners and the hanging up of their corpses in sacred places. The same spirit then affected the position of the god of war in the world of the gods. ([8.35], 150–1) It must be stressed, once again, that for Dilthey the Zeitgeist is an empirical generalization, not a deterministic force—for if it were the latter there would, presumably, be no change—no history. Yet historicity is, as we know, central to Dilthey’s vision of human life. Thus every ‘historical configuration’ is ‘ephemeral’. But historical change is of course neither random nor total. According to Dilthey it arises (in part at least) from the perceived imperfection inevitable in every age, from man’s ‘unfulfilled longing’ (due, for example, to the social inequalities—‘impoverishment of existence’ and ‘servitude’—said by Dilthey to spring from the power relations that are inseparable from human social life). Thus successive ages are linked in the following way: Every age refers back to the preceding one, for the forces developed in the latter continue to be active in it; at the same time it already contains the strivings and creative activities which prepare for the succeeding age. As it arose from the insufficiency of the preceding one so it bears in itself the limits, tension, sufferings, which prepare for the next age. ([8–35], 156) Thus Dilthey integrates his conception of the Zeitgeist into his concep-tion of historical change in a way that allows for individual freedom and creativity. Although we quoted Dilthey (above) on the historian’s task of discovering ‘the consensus which governs’ the values and conceptions of an epoch, ‘governs’ is really too strong a word; for almost at once Dilthey adds that the historian must assess ‘what the individual has achieved within this context, and how far his vision and activity may have extended beyond it’ ([8.36], 198, emphases added). History is not a realm governed by scientific causality but of ‘action and reaction’. The coherences and structures that the historian seeks and discovers are real but ‘can never bind or determine what is new, or may appear in the future’. Historical events and changes can be understood after the event, but not predicted in advance. As Dilthey sums it up, ‘History does not cause, it creates’. He adds: ‘It creates because the structure of life is at work in the acts of knowing, evaluating, setting of goals, and striving for ends’ ([8.65], 308). The concepts of all the human sciences (not only history) reflect this fact. Despite the limits placed on human freedom by the causal necessities of nature (within which humanity exists), the freedom due to the human element is real: Surrounded though it is by that structure of objective necessity which nature consists of, freedom flashes forth at innumerable points… Here the actions of the will—in contrast with the mechanical processes of change in nature (which already contains from the start everything which ensues later)—really produce something and achieve true development both in the individual and in humanity as a whole. ([8.32], 79) DILTHEY’S HERMENEUTIC TURN In only the last decade or so of his life, Dilthey elaborated what is probably now the most celebrated aspect of his philosophy of the human sciences, or critique of historical reason—namely, hermeneutics. Not that hermeneutics was by any means a new interest for Dilthey—his first major work, indeed, was a notable biography of Schleiermacher (the ‘father of modern hermeneutics’), so that the late ‘turn to hermeneutics’ was for Dilthey a return to scholarly beginnings. Nevertheless, the innovation was marked, for only in his late phase did hermeneutics become for Dilthey the centre of his philosophy rather than an object of historical study. Dilthey defined hermeneutics as the ‘science’ of ‘the interpretation of the written records of human existence’ ([8.36], 228). Thus, his hermeneutic methodology of the human sciences gives pride of place to a science of linguistic interpretation. This is not to say that Dilthey wished these sciences to take as their object of study only written documents: the latter are only one (though very important) category of the ‘expressions of mind’ which form their subject-matter. Nevertheless, the hermeneutic emphasis does put a particular slant on the mode of interpreting these expressions: they are to be interpreted, so to say, ‘as if they were verbal expressions. This has significant implications for some of the central concepts of Dilthey’s philosophy of the human sciences—notably understanding (Verstehen) and meaning (Sinn, Bedeutung). Some of these implications emerge from a consideration of the two typical concerns of hermeneutic technique as it developed prior to Schleiermacher and Dilthey (according to the Dilthey scholar Use Bulhoff). One (dubbed ‘philological’) was concerned to restore corrupt texts (e.g. classical texts) in which errors had accumulated through repeated copying. Another (called ‘theological’) aimed at grasping the ‘true meaning’ of Biblical texts ([8.60], 56). Different though these are, both make sense only given a presumption of unity or coherence in the texts handled. Errors in corrupt texts become apparent through their failure to ‘fit’, to ‘make sense’, in terms of the text as a whole—correction restores the ‘fit’; similarly, the exegesis of biblical texts proceeded on the assumption that they are mutually coherent and consistent—it might be described as the enterprise of demonstrating their coherence or unity. Dilthey’s hermeneutic methodology of the human sciences bears the marks of this ancestry, in its preoccupation with relations of coherence between wholes and parts. To be sure, we have already seen a similar preoccupation in Dilthey’s earlier work; however, some problematic aspects thereof are thrown into relief by the later hermeneutic emphasis. Perhaps the best-known element of hermeneutic methodology is the so-called ‘hermeneutic circle’. Here is how Dilthey at one point defined it: ‘The general difficulty of all interpretation [is that] the whole of a work must be understood from individual words and their combinations, but full understanding of an individual part presupposes understanding of the whole’ ([8.36], 259). Another passage elaborates the point. In hermeneutics, understanding must try to link words into meaning and the meaning of the parts into the structure of the whole given in the sequence of words. Every word is both determined and undetermined. It contains a range of [possible] meanings… In the same way…the whole, which is made up of sentences, is ambiguous within limits, and must be determined from the whole [sic—error for parts?]. This determining of determinate-indeterminate particulars is characteristic of hermeneutics. ([8.36], 231) In brief, hermeneutics is a procedure in which the parts and whole of a text mutually clarify each other, on the presumption that the whole is a meaningfully coherent relation of parts. To repeat, this is the model for Dilthey’s late philosophy of the human sciences which, however, embraces not just texts but also non-linguistic expressions of the human mind. Thus extended, the analogy gives rise to certain problems (or at least issues), of which three sources may be mentioned, (1) Not all ‘expressions’ express meanings in the same sense as do words and texts; (2) Dilthey applies (or seems to apply) the hermeneutic methodology to a range of expressions much wider than the purely linguistic, but not to all expressions; (3) in applying the hermeneutic analogy to the human sciences generally, rather than the exegesis of texts narrowly, Dilthey greatly expands the range of ‘wholes’ (and parts) relevant to interpretation, understanding and the elucidation of meaning. Regarding the first of the three points above, Dilthey himself explicitly distinguished several different sorts of ‘expressions’ relevant to the human sciences. Particularly germane is the distinction between actions and so-called Erlebnisausdrücke (‘expressions of experience’), which are verbal, usually written, accounts. The former are ‘expressions’ in the sense that they reflect purposes, the pursuit of goals etc., and are in this sense meaningful or have a meaning ([8.97], 65–6). Verbal utterances are no doubt likewise purposeful acts, but they also have a meaning in another sense, that is, words conventionally signify some semantic content. It therefore seems as if the fundamental, or most general, sense in which expressions of mind have a meaning which can be grasped or understood is not the same as the straightforwardly hermeneutic sense. This introduces some ambiguities into Dilthey’s terminology in that, alongside the hermeneutic version of meaning and understanding, he continued to make use of the ‘pre-hermeneutic’ sense. Thus, he remarks on ‘the fact that inner states find outward expressions, and that the latter can be understood by going back to the former’ (this is the business of the human sciences) ([8.35], 75). But he adds that there are two ways in which ‘an outer manifestation is the expression of an inner state, namely, ‘by means of an artificial convention’ [e.g. as in language], or ‘by a natural relationship between expression and what is expressed’ (as in non-linguistic expressions such as actions which express, and can be understood as expressing, a purpose). It seems that Dilthey is reluctant to make any sharp distinction between the two cases. It is arguable that the blurring of this distinction encouraged Dilthey to apply his hermeneutic methodology to a wider range of ‘expressions’ than may be justified. But how widely did he wish to apply it? It appears (though it is difficult to be certain on this point) that the hermeneutic methodology is not coextensive with all acts of understanding of expressions. Dilthey makes a distinction between ‘elementary’ and ‘higher’ understanding. The distinction is not particularly clear, but one aspect of it seems to be that ‘elementary’ understanding is understanding of a single expression, such as ‘picking up an object, letting a hammer drop, cutting wood with a saw’—actions which ‘indicate the presence of certain purposes’ ([8.36], 220). All that is involved in this understanding is ‘to spell out the mental content’ which constitutes the goal of the action. The implication is that ‘higher understanding’ goes beyond this, and involves the placing of actions in a wider context. It appears to be Dilthey’s view that the hermeneutic methodology is a means to ‘higher understanding’, and is required, or appropriate, where the understanding of expressions is not straight-forward but problematic ([8.97], 101). Clearly this is liable to be the case in relation to textual records emanating from distant periods or cultures; but it is equally likely to be true wherever ‘understanding’ has to go beyond the everyday intercourse of participants in a common culture—in other words, to embrace the understanding required of historians and social scientists. It looks, therefore, as if Dilthey considered the range of the hermeneutic methodology to be more or less coextensive with that of the human sciences. It is to apply, that is, to actions (as studied by historians and social scientists), as well as to written material. From Dilthey’s assimilation of these different kinds of expressions arise some problematic implications. One is that he is led, quite explicitly, to detach the understanding of expressions, and their meaning, from the goals and intentions of agents ([8.35], 163). For this there seem to be two slightly different reasons, both however derived from the hermeneutic perspective. One is that the meaning of language (which is the focus of hermeneutic interpretation) is a matter of public conventions, rather than the intentions of language users. The other is that, as we saw, the fundamental tool of hermeneutic interpretation is the ‘hermeneutic circle’, which rests understanding and the grasping of meaning on the part-whole relation, on the presumption that one is dealing with a coherent whole made up of consistently related parts. Dilthey applies this idea (or analogy) quite universally to the categories of understanding and meaning in the human sciences. For example: ‘Meaning means nothing except belonging to a whole’ ([8.36], 233); ‘The category of meaning designates the relationship, inherent in life, of parts of a life to the whole’ ([8.36], 235). Dilthey makes it clear that these definitions follow from an analogy between linguistic meaning and the understanding of life in passages such as the following: As words have a meaning (Bedeutung) by which they designate something…so on the basis of the determined-undetermined (bestimmt-unbestimmten) meaning of the parts of life, its structure (Zusammenhang) can be figured out. Meaning is the special kind of relationship which the parts of life have to life as a whole. ([8.60], 121) In detaching the meaning and understanding of expressions from the intentions of agents, Dilthey appears to risk an incoherence in his philosophy. For he never abandoned his original insight, on which he based his distinction between natural and human sciences, namely that we understand others, their doings and their products in fundamentally the same way as we understand our own. Thus: we cannot understand ourselves and others except by projecting what we have actually experienced into every expression of our own and others’ lives. So man becomes the subject-matter of the human studies only when we relate experience, expression and understanding to each other. ([8.36], 176) This concept of understanding surely cannot be detached from agents’ goals and intentions—rather it seems to require our empathizing with them. Displacement of understanding of actions and their meaning from agents’ intentions to the place of the action in a larger whole raises another problem: how to specify the relevant whole. In the strictly or narrowly hermeneutic case, this problem may not appear to be insoluble; but when a hermeneutic approach is applied to history and the human sciences in general, it becomes acute. We have already taken note (above) of Dilthey’s predilection for treating the individual human life as a meaningful unity, in terms of which the meanings of its parts are to be discerned. A similar approach is applied to historical events. But as we shall now see, this—and especially the latter—appears to introduce an intrinsic uncertainty or relativism into Dilthey’s central concept of meaning (and hence of understanding, which is the grasping of meaning). Dilthey writes: The category of meaning designates the relationship, inherent in life, of parts of a life to the whole. The connections are only established by memory, through which we survey our past… But in what does the particular kind of relationship of parts to a whole in life consist? It is a relationship which is never quite complete. One would have to wait for the end of a life, for only at the hour of death could one survey the whole from which the relationship between the parts could be ascertained. One would have to wait for the end of history to have all the material necessary to determine its meaning… Our view of the meaning of life changes constantly. Every plan for your life expresses a view of the meaning of life. ([8.36], 235–6) Some obvious problems arise from this passage. So far as the individual life is concerned, Dilthey vacillates between two points of view: namely, that a human life is a natural unity stretching from birth to death, from which the meaning of its parts derives; and that it is a continually developing and changing unity, with corresponding change in the meaning of parts. Something similar applies to history. ‘One would have to wait for the end of history to have all the material necessary to determine its meaning.’ But Dilthey elsewhere has explicitly stated that history as a whole has no single meaning, no over-arching telos or goal ([8.71], 303). Where then can the historian find the unity needed to discern meaning and permit understanding? Does he or she need to find such a unity? Undoubtedly, historical development continually reveals new connections (as Dilthey might have put it, Zusammenhänge) which call for reinterpretation of past events, and the historian’s function is a continual analysis and re-analysis of these connections. But a Zusammenhang, in the sense of structured connection, is not a definable whole made up of definable parts. Or to put it another way, to ask the historian to convert a pattern of connections into a meaning-conferring whole seems to give him or her a great deal of latitude in the assignment of meaning. One has to wonder if this is any longer ‘science’. HISTORICISM AND THE PROBLEM OF RELATIVISM: DILTHEY’S SOLUTION There is one answer given by Dilthey to this problem of the definition of historical wholes, which is of particular interest because, in so far as it does help to solve that particular problem, it immediately raises another. We noted above the importance attached by Dilthey to the concept of the historical period (Zeitalter) and its unifying ‘spirit’: we must now note his view that this constitutes a whole that confers meaning on its parts: Everything in an age derives its meaning from the energy which gives it its fundamental tendency… All the expressions of the energy which determines the age are akin to each other. The task of analysis is to find the unity of valuation and purpose in different expressions of life… The context forms the horizon of the age and through it, finally, the meaning of every part in the system of the age is determined. ([8.35], 156) For the sake of argument, let us suppose that this particular kind of unity is a more or less objective fact that can be discovered by the scientific historian. If so, we have solved one problem only to raise another—one of which Dilthey was acutely aware, indeed it concerned him deeply. Each age takes its own values, its own world-view, as unproblematically valid—this is even the necessary condition of its creativity—but historiography shows such assumptions to be naive and untenable. The historical study of human life reveals—this indeed is its point, and its glory—the immense variety of expressions of that life, including values and world-views. But the obverse of this is the problem of historical relativism: Historical comparison reveals the relativity of all historical convictions. They are all conditioned by…circumstances… Historical consciousness increasingly proves the relativity of every metaphysical or religious doctrine which has emerged in the course of the Ages. ([8.36], 112) The same applies to ‘values, obligations, norms and goods’. Dilthey writes: History does indeed know the positing of something unconditional as value, norm, or good… But historical experience knows only the process of positing… and nothing of their universal validity. By tracing the course of development of such unconditional values, goods or norms, it notices that life has produced different ones and that the unconditional positing itself becomes possible only because the horizon of the age is limited… It notices the unsettled conflict among the unconditional positings. ([8.35], 165) This state of affairs Dilthey called ‘the wound brought about by the knife of historical relativism’ ([8.60], 21). Is the wound so fatal? Does the ‘chaos’ of conflicting world-views and values mean that none of them can be objectively true, or—worse—that there is no such thing as objective truth in these realms? It might well seem that such sceptical and unsettling conclusions do not follow from any amount of historical evidence. But here we must remind ourselves of Dilthey’s philosophy of values, which like everything else in his philosophy rests finally on the bedrock of ‘life’—values arise in life, and there is nothing ‘behind’ life to which we can appeal. The relativist implications of Dilthey’s combination of ethical subjectivism and historicism seem inescapable. Yet Dilthey sought to escape them, and to assert at least some universal values—even to deduce them as implications of his philosophy of history and the human sciences. These are values of individualism, freedom and creativity. According to Dilthey ‘the dignity and value of every individual’ is an unconditional value ([8.35], 74); ‘the individual is an intrinsic value [which] we can ascertain beyond doubt’ ([8.36], 224). Why so? Because says Dilthey, the individual is the ultimate ‘subject-matter of understanding’. ‘Understanding has always an individual for its object’ ([8.71], 276). A philosophy of human sciences which proposes to understand mental life must presuppose the value of the bearer of mental life, the human individual. Furthermore, Dilthey’s philosophy of the human sciences is posited on a conception of mankind as being (unlike nature) free and genuinely creative. A historiography which reveals a multiplicity of values and world-views is a revelation of this freedom and creativity. Revelation of this truth is liberating. Historicism, therefore, continues and even completes the increasing realization of man’s potential for freedom and creativity that was earlier carried forward by such episodes as the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment: The historical consciousness of the finitude of every historical phenomenon… and of the relativity of every kind of faith, is the last step towards the liberation of mankind. With it man achieves the sovereignty to enjoy every experience to the full and surrender himself to it unencumbered, as if there were no system of philosophy or faith to tie him down… The mind becomes sovereign over the cobwebs of dogmatic thought… And in contrast to relativity, the continuity of creative forces asserts itself as the central historical fact. ([8.35], 167) Alas, this resolution of the problem hardly seems satisfactory. Dilthey seems to oscillate uneasily between spelling out what he takes to be the moral implications of a humanistic science, and extracting a historicist ethic from its findings. This latter kind of argument hardly seems open to him, given his denial that history has any necessary telos or goal. We surely do not want to put the values of individuality, freedom and creativity at the mercy of unpredictable historical trends. The last quotation cited above bristles with problems. How can Dilthey predict with such confidence the liberating effects of the ‘historical consciousness’, given his view that history is inherently unpredictable? And suppose his prediction is right—is it really desirable that people become free ‘to enjoy every experience to the full’? The problem of liberty and its proper limits cannot be solved by invoking history in this way. A historicist ethic is liable to end up with either an arbitrary interpretation of history, or an undiscriminating endorsement of whatever happens. Dilthey, unhappily, falls into the latter trap. Let us fill in some gaps left in the last quotation above. ‘The mind’ writes Dilthey ‘becomes sovereign over the cobwebs of dogmatic thought’. He continues: Everything beautiful, everything holy, every sacrifice relived and interpreted, opens perspectives which disclose some part of reality. And equally, we accept the evil, horrible and ugly, as filling a place in the world, as containing some reality which must be justified in the system of things. Do we? Must it? Surely not. DILTHEY’S HUMANISM Dilthey’s attempts to solve the problem of relativism led him to an unacceptable conclusion; however, the problem itself is, in part, the obverse of what is perhaps most attractive in his philosophy, namely what may be called his humanism—his passion to understand all the varied and multifarious expressions of the human spirit. Dilthey stressed equally the enormous variety of these expressions, and the fundamental unity of human nature from which they spring. As he put it in a famous remark, for interpretation of the expressions of human life to be necessary—to be a science—there must be something alien about them, something puzzling that sets us a problem of understanding: on the other hand, if they were utterly alien, interpretation and understanding would be impossible. His entire enterprise therefore presupposes a fundamental unity of the human race. DILTHEY’S INFLUENCE Dilthey’s influence on later thought has undoubtedly been significant, in both philosophy and the social sciences. So far as philosophy is concerned, a recent discussion underlines his relevance to the shaping ‘of the dominant Continental movements of phenomenology, existentialism, and hermeneutic philosophy’ ([8.87], vii). In Dilthey’s relations with Edmund Husserl (the chief creator of phenomenological philosophy) influences in fact ran in both directions. The two men met in the winter of 1905/6, and, according to Husserl’s own testimony, thereafter ‘the problems pertaining to phenomenology as a human science…occupied me more than almost all other problems’ ([8.87], ix–x). There is no doubting the influence of Dilthey’s ‘philosophy of life’ on Husserl’s central concept of the ‘life world’. Equally clear is the kinship between some of Dilthey’s ideas and those of the existentialism of Martin Heidegger—for example, the key role of time and memory in human life, the conception of man as essentially free and creative, and the corresponding relativity of values. Another existentialist philosopher, Karl Jaspers, explicitly acknowledged Dilthey’s influence on his thinking (in his Allgemeine Psychopathologie, a work of psychiatry rather than philosophy—nevertheless the influence is likely to have been more general). Dilthey’s importance for the hermeneutic movement in philosophy is almost too obvious to mention (a recent review in the Times Literary Supplement, 24 July 1992, p. 7, refers to him simply as ‘the founder of modern hermeneutics’). But it is perhaps worth pointing out, in this connection, that (for example) Hans-Georg Gadamer’s well-known concept of the ‘fusion of horizons’ seems clearly to be a response to Dilthey’s references to the ‘closed horizon’ of the historical period (Zeitalter). Equally obviously, Jürgen Habermas, leading contemporary representative of the ‘critical theory’ of the Franfurt School, is indebted to Dilthey for his categorization of human knowledge—or rather for two-thirds of it, since Habermas has turned Dilthey’s dichotomy into a trichotomy. However, Habermas’s category of ‘historical-hermeneutic sciences’ has an unmistakable Diltheyan ring, while his category of ‘empirical-analytic sciences’ stemming from a human interest in technical control of nature has much in common with Dilthey’s conception of the Naturwissenschaften. Even more important, perhaps, has been Dilthey’s influence on social science and psychology, or rather on those within these ‘human sciences’ who resist their assimilation to the natural sciences. In anglophone psychology Dilthey’s influence has not been great (it has been swamped by the behaviourists and Freudians) but in the German-speaking world it has given birth to a movement known as verstehende Psychologie and has been influential with a number of psychiatrists, such as Heinz Hartmann and Ludwig Binswanger ([8.60], 160). Cultural anthropology is another field in which significant influence has been attributed to Dilthey—Franz Boas attended his lectures in Berlin, while Ruth Benedict explicitly invokes Dilthey in her Patterns of Culture ([8.60], 175). But if Dilthey has been influential within the social sciences, it has been above all by influencing one of the most influential of all social scientists, Max Weber. Marianne Weber, in her famous biography of her husband, informs us that Dilthey was a frequent visitor to the Weber household in Berlin ([8.111], 39) and confirms that Weber based his own concept of Verstehen, so central to his sociology, on that of Dilthey ([8.111], 312). Another central concept of Weberian sociology—that of meaning and the meaningful— likewise looks to have a Diltheyan ancestry. However, some care is needed here, and it is perhaps as important to point to the differences as to the similarities in the conceptual schemes of the two men. According to Weber, the subject-matter of the social sciences is ‘social action’, and by ‘action’ he means ‘all human behaviour when and insofar as the acting individual attaches a subjective meaning to it’ ([8.112], 88) In other words, for Weber, the meaning of an action is defined by the agent’s motives and intentions: understanding is grasping these motives and intentions. Weber’s concept of understanding or Verstehen, therefore, seems to derive from the earlier, pre-hermeneutic phase of Dilthey’s thought—the later, hermeneutic phase had no influence on him. Nor did Weber (unlike Dilthey) see any incompatibility between understanding (Verstehen) and causal explanation (Erklären)—in his view of the social sciences the two must go hand in hand. BIBLIOGRAPHY Original language editions Only a fraction of Dilthey’s work was published in his lifetime. Since his death, his students and followers have undertaken a multi-volume publication in German of his entire oeuvre, the Gesammelte Schriften (Collected Works). The undertaking, not yet complete, projects a total of thirty-two volumes. So far, twenty volumes have been published. The first twelve volumes were published jointly by B.G. Teubner of Stuttgart, and Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht of Göttingen; subsequent volumes by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht alone. The titles, editors and original publication dates of individual volumes are as follows: 8.1 Vol. 1: Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften: Versuch einer Grundlegung für das Studium der Gesellschaft und der Geschichte, ed. B.Groethuysen, 1922. 8.2 Vol. 2: Weltanschauung und Analyse der Menschen seit Renaissance und Reformation, ed. G.Misch, 1914. 8.3 Vol. 3: Studien zur Geschichte des deutschen Geistes, ed. P.Ritter, 1921. 8.4 Vol. 4: Die Jugendgeschichte Hegels und andere Abhandlungen zur Geschichte des deutschen Idealismus, ed. H.Nohl, 1921. 8.5 Vol. 5: Die geistige Welt: Einleitung in die Philosophie des Lebens. Erste Hälfte: Abhandlungen zur Grundlegung der Geisteswissenschaften, ed. G.Misch, 1924. 8.6 Vol 6: Die geistige Welt: Einleitung in die Philosophie des Lebens. Zweite Hälfte: Abhandlungen zur Poetik, Ethik und Pädagogik, ed. G.Misch, 1924. 8.7 Vol. 7: Der Aufbau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaften, ed. B.Groethuysen, 1927. 8.8. Vol. 8: Weltanschauungslehre: Abhandlungen zur Philosophie der Philosophie, ed. B.Groethuysen, 1931. 8.9 Vol. 9: Pädagogik: Geschichte und Grundlinien des Systems, ed. O.F. Bollnow, 1934. 8.10 Vol. 10: System der Ethik, ed. H.Nohl, 1958. 8.11 Vol. 11: Vom Aufgang des geschichtlichen Bewusstseins: Jugendaufsätze und Erinnerungen, ed. E.Weniger, 1936. 8.12 Vol. 12: Zur preussischen Geschichte, ed. E.Weniger, 1936. 8.13 Vol. 13: Leben Schleiermachers, Erster Band (in two half-volumes), ed. M. Redeker, third edn 1970. 8.14 Vol. 14: Leben Schleiermachers, Zweiter Band (in two half-volumes), ed. M. Redeker, 1966. 8.15–17 Vols. 15–17: Zur Geistesgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, ed. U.Herrmann, 1970–4. 8.18 Vol. 18: Die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, der Gesellschaft und der Geschichte: Vorarbeiten zur Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, ed. H.Johach and F.Rodi, 1977. 8.19 Vol. 19: Grundlegung der Wissenschaften vom Menschen, der Gesellschaft und der Geschichte: Ausarbeitungen und Entwürfe zum zweiten Band der Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, ed. H.Johach and F.Rodi, 1982. 8.20 Vol. 20: Logik und System der philosophischen Wissenschaften, ed. H.Lessing and F.Rodi, 1990. N.B.Rickman 1976 [8.36], contains (pp. 264–6) an extremely useful English translation of the table of contents of each volume of the Gesammelte Schriften up to vol. 17. Other works by Dilthey, not yet included in the Gesammelte Schriften 8.21 Das Erlebnis und die Dichtung: Lessing, Goethe, Novalis, Hölderlin, first published 1906, and frequently reprinted, e.g. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1970. 8.22 Mozart: Figaro, Don Juan, die Zauberflöte, Tiessen, 1986. 8.23 Gadamer, H.G. ed., Grundriss der allgemeinen Geschichte der Philosophie, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1949. 8.24 Nohl, H., ed., Die grosse Phantasiedichtung und andere Studien zur vergleichende Literaturgeschichte, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1954. 8.25 Nohl, H. and G.Misch, eds, Von deutscher Dichtung und Musik: Aus den Studien zur Geschichte des deutschen Geistes, first published 1932, 2nd edn, Stuttgart: B.G.Teubner; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1957. Letters and diaries 8.26 Misch, C. ed., Der junge Dilthey: Ein Lebensbild in Briefen und Tagebüchern, 1852–70, first published 1933, 2nd edn, Stuttgart, B.G.Teubner; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1960. 8.27 Schulenburg, S. v.d. ed., Briefwechsel zwischen Wilhelm Dilthey und dem Grafen Paul Yorck v. Wartenburg 1877–1897, Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1923. 8.28 ‘Der Briefwechsel Dilthey-Husserl’ (with introduction by W.Biemel), Man and World, 1 (1968): 428–46. (English translation in P.McCormick and F.Elliston, eds., Husserl: Shorter Works, Notre Dame, Indiana, Notre Dame University Press, 1981.) English translations 8.29 Dilthey’s Philosophy of Existence: Introduction to Weltanschauungslehre, trans. W.Kluback and M.Weinbaum, London: Vision, 1960. 8.30 The Essence of Philosophy, trans. S.A.Emery and W.T.Emery, New York: AMS, 1969. 8.31 Descriptive Psychology and Historical Understanding, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977. Contains ‘Ideas Concerning a Descriptive and Analytic Psychology’, trans. R.M.Zaner, and ‘The Understanding of Other Persons and their Expressions of Life’, trans. K.Heiges. There is a lengthy introduction by R.A.Makkreel. 8.32 Introduction to the Human Sciences, trans. R.J.Betanzos, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf and Wayne State University Press, 1988. 8.33 Makkreel, R.A. and F.Rodi, eds., Poetry and Experience, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985. (This is vol. 5 of a projected Selected Works in six volumes.) 8.34 Makkreel, R.A. and F.Rodi, eds., Introduction to the Human Sciences, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989. (Vol. 1 of the Selected Works.) 8.35 Rickman, H.P., ed., Meaning in History: W.Dilthey’s Thoughts on History and Society, London: Allen & Unwin, 1961. Contains selections from vol. 7 of the Gesammelte Schriften, with commentaries. 8.36 Rickman, H.P., ed., Dilthey: Selected Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. 8.37 Hodges, H.A. Wilhelm Dilthey: An Introduction, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1944. Contains some fifty pages of selections in translation. 8.38 ‘The Dream’, trans. W.Kluback, in his Wilhelm Dilthey’s Philosophy of History, New York: Columbia University Press, 1956. 8.39 ‘The Understanding of Other Persons and Their Life-Expression’, trans. J.J.Kuehl, in P.Gardiner, ed., Theories of History, New York: Free Press, 1959. 8.40 ‘The Rise of Hermeneutics’, trans. F.Jameson, in New Literary History, 3 (1972):229–44. 8.41 ‘The Eighteenth Century and the Historical World’, trans. J.W.Moore, in P.Gay and G.J.Cavanaugh, eds., Historian at Work, vol. 4, New York and London: Harper & Row, 1975. Bibliographies 8.42 Diaz de Cerio, F. ‘Bibliografia de W.Dilthey’, Pensamiento, 24 (1968): 196–223. 8.43 Herrmann, U. Bibliographie Wilhelm Diltheys, Weinheim: Julius Beltz, 1969. 8.44 Weniger, E. ‘Verzeichnis der Schriften Wilhelm Diltheys von den Anfägen bis zur Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften’, in Gesammelte Schriften, 22:208–13. 8.45 The Dilthey-Jahrbuch für Philosophie und Geschichte der Geisteswissenschaften, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (first published in 1983), regularly includes bibliographical supplements on Dilthey. Commentaries and other relevant literature 8.46 Abel, T. ‘The Operation Called Verstehen’, in H.Feigl and M.Brodbeck, eds., Readings in the Philosophy of Science, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1953. 8.47 Antoni, C. From History to Sociology, trans. H.V.White, Detroit: Wayne State University Press , 1959. 8.48 Apel, K.O. Analytic Philosophy of Language and the ‘Geisteswissenschaften’, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1967. 8.49 Aron, R. La Philosophie critique de l’histoire: Essai sur une théorie allemande de l’histoire, Paris: J.Vrin, 1950 (originally published in 1938 as Essai sur la théorie de l’histoire dans l’Allemagne contemporaine). 8.50 Bambach, C.R. The Crisis of Historicism: Neo-Kantian Philosophy of History and Wilhelm Dilthey’s Hermeneutics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1987. 8.51 Bauman, Z. Hermeneutics and Social Science, London: Hutchinson, 1978. 8.52 Bergstraesser, A. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey and Max Weber’, Ethics, 62 (1947): 92–110. 8.53 Betti, E. Die Hermeneutik als allgemeine Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften, Tübingen: Mohr, 1962. 8.54——Allgemeine Auslegungslehre als Methodik der Geisteswissenschaften, Tübingen: Mohr, 1967. 8.55 Binswanger, L. Grundformen und Erkenntnis menschlichen Daseins, 4th edn, Munich and Basel: Ernst Reinhardt, 1964. 8.56 Bollnow, O.F. Das Verstehen: Drei Aufsätze zur Theorie der Geisteswissenschaften, Mainz: Kirchheim, 1949. 8.57——Dilthey: Eine Einführung in seine Philosophie, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 8.58——Die Lebensphilosophie, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1958. 8.59 Brown, D.K. ‘Interpretive Historical Sociology: Discordances of Weber, Dilthey and Others’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 3 (1990):166–91. 8.60 Bulhoff, I.N. Wilhelm Dilthey: a Hermeneutic Approach to the Study of History and Culture, The Hague, Boston and London: Martinus Nijhoff, 1980. 8.61 Choi, J.-U. Die geistig gesellschaftliche Krise des 19. Jahrhunderts und die Aufgaben der Diltheyschen ‘Kritik der historischen Vernunft’, 1987. 8.62 de Mul, J. ‘Dilthey’s Narrative Model of Human Development: Necessary Reconsiderations after the philosophical Hermeneutics of Heidegger and Gadamer’, Man and World, 24 (1991):409–26. 8.63 Donoso, A. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey’s Contribution to the Philosophy of History’, Philosophy Today, 12 (1968):151–63. 8.64 Ebbinghaus, H. ‘Über Erklärende und Beschreibende Psychologie’, Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie, 9 (1895):161–205. 8.65 Ermarth, M. Wilhelm Dilthey: The Critique of Historical Reason, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978. 8.66 Friess, H.L. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey: a Review of his Collected Works as an Introduction to a Phase of Contemporary German Philosophy’, Journal of Philosophy, 26 (1929):5– 25. 8.67 Gadamer, H.G. Truth and Method, trans. G.Burden and J.Cumming, New York: Sheed & Ward, 1975. 8.68 Habermas, J. Knowledge and Human Interests, trans. J.J.Shapiro, Boston: Beacon Press, 1971. 8.69 Herva, S. ‘The Genesis of Max Weber’s Verstehende Soziologie’, Acta Sociologica, 31 (1988):143–56. 8.70 Heinen, M. Die Konstitution der Ästhetik in Wilhelm Diltheys Philosophie, Bonn, Bouvier, 1974. 8.71 Hodges, H.A. The Philosophy of Wilhelm Dilthey, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1952. 8.72 Holborn, H. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey and the Critique of Historical Reason’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 11 (1950):93–118. 8.73 Horkheimer, M. ‘The Relation between Psychology and Sociology in the Work of Wilhelm Dilthey’, Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, 8 (1939):430–43. 8.74 Hughes, H.S. Consciousness and Society: The Reorientation of European Social Thought 1890–1930, New York: Alfred A.Knopf, 1958. 8.75 Iggers, G.G. The German Conception of History, Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1975. 8.76 Ineichen, H. Erkenntnistheorie und geschichtlich-gesellschaftliche Welt: Diltheys Logik der Geisteswissenschaften, Frankfurt: Klostermann, 8.77 Jalbert, J.E. ‘Husserl’s Position between Dilthey and the Windelband-Rickert School of Neo-Kantianism’, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 26 (1988):279–96. 8.78 Jaspers, K. General Psychopathology, trans. J.Hoenig and M.W.Hamikon, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963. 8.79 Johach, H. Handlender Mensch und Objektiver Geist: Zur Theorie der Geisteswissenschaften bei Wilhelm Dilthey, Meisenheim am Glan: Anton Hain, 1974. 8.80 Kluback, W. Wilhelm Dilthey’s Philosophy of History, New York: Columbia University Press, 1956. 8.81 Knüppel, R. Diltheys erkenntnistheoretische Logik, Fink, 1991. 8.82 Krausser, P. Kritik der endlichen Vernunft: Diltheys Revolution der Allgemeinen Wissenschafts- und Handlungstheorie, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1968. 8.83 Linge, D.E. ‘Dilthey and Gadamer: Two Theories of Historical Understanding’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 41 (1973):536–53. 8.84 Makkreel, R.A. Dilthey: Philosopher of the Human Studies, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975. 8.85——‘Husserl, Dilthey and the Relation of the Life-World to History’, Research in Phenomenology, 12 (1982):39–59. 8.86——‘Traditional Historicism, Contemporary Interpretation of Historicity, and the History of Philosophy’, New Literary History, 21 (1990): 977–91. 8.87 Makkreel, R.A. and J.Scanlon, eds., Dilthey and Phenomenology, Washington, DC: Centre for Advanced Research in Phenomenology and University Press of America, 1987. 8.88 Masur, G. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey and the History of Ideas’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 13 (1952):94–107. 8.89 Misch, G. Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie: Eine Auseinandersetzung der Diltheyschen Richtung mit Heidegger und Husserl, 3rd edn, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1967. 8.90——Vom Lebens- und Gedankenkreis Wilhelm Diltheys, Frankfurt am Main: G.Schulte-Bulmke, 1947. 8.91 Morgan, G.A. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey’, Philosophical Review, 42 (1933):351–80. 8.92 Müller-Vollumer, K. Towards a Phenomenological Theory of Literature: a Study of Wilhelm Dilthey’s Poetik, The Hague: Mouton, 1963. 8.93 Nenon, T. ‘Dilthey’s Inductive Method and the Nature of Philosophy’, South- Western Philosophical Review, 5 (1989):121–34. 8.94 Ortega y Gasset, J. ‘A Chapter from the History of Ideas—Wilhelm Dilthey and the Idea of Life’, trans. H.Weyl, in Concord and Liberty, New York : Norton, 1963. 8.95 Orth, E.W., ed. Dilthey und die Philosophie der Gegenwart, Freiburg: Alber, 1985. 8.96 Palmer, R.E. Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, and Gadamer, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1969. 8.97 Plantinga, T. Historical Understanding in the Thought of Wilhelm Dilthey, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980. 8.98 Rickman, H.P. Understanding and the Human Studies, London: Heinemann, 1967. 8.99——Wilhelm Dilthey—Pioneer of the Human Studies, Stanford: University of California Press, 1979. 8.100——Dilthey To-day, New York: Greenwood, 1988. 8.101 Rand, C.G. ‘Two Meanings of Historicism in the Writings of Dilthey, Troeltsch and Meinecke’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 25 (1964): 503–18. 8.102 Ricoeur, P. ‘The Model of the Text: Meaningful Action considered as a Text’, Social Research, 38 (1971):529–62. 8.103 Rodi, F. Morphologie und Hermeneutik: Zur Methode von Dilthey s Aesthetik, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1969. 8.104 Sauerland, Dilthey’s Erlebnisbegriff: Entstehung, Glanzzeit und Verkümmerung eines literaturhistorischen Begriffs, Berlin: de Gruyter, 1972. 8.105 Spranger, E. Lebensformen: Geisteswissenschaftliche Psychologie und Ethik der Persönlichkeit, 5th edn, Halle (Saale): Max Niemeyer, 1925. 8.106 Tapper, B. ‘Dilthey’s Methodology of the Geisteswissenschaften’, Philosophical Review 34 (1925):333–49. 8.107 Taylor, C. ‘Interpretation and the Sciences of Man’, Review of Metaphysics, 25 (1971):3–51. 8.108 Tuttle, H.N. Wilhelm Dilthey’s Philosophy of Historical Understanding: A Critical Analysis, Leiden: Brill, 1969. 8.109 Wach, J. Die Typenlehre Trendelenburgs und ihr Einfluss auf Dilthey, Tübingen: Mohr, 1926. 8.110——Das Verstehen: Grundzüge einer Geschichte der hermeneutischen Theorie im 19. Jahrhundert, 3 vols, Tübingen: Mohr, 1926–33. 8.111 Weber, Marianne Max Weber: A Biography, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1988. 8.112 Weber, Max The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, Glencoe: Free Press, 1964. 8.113 Weiss, G. ‘Dilthey’s Conception of Objectivity in the Human Studies: a Reply to Gadamer’, Man and World, 24 (1991):471–86. 8.114 Wellek, R. ‘Wilhelm Dilthey’s Poetics and Literary Theory’ in Wächter und Hüter, Festschrift für Hermann J.Weigand, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957. 8.115 Wilson, B.A. Hermeneutical Studies: Dilthey, Sophocles and Plato, Leviston: Mellen Press, 1990. 8.116 Zöckler, C. Dilthey und die Hermeneutik: Diltheys Begründung der Hermeneutik als ‘Praxiswissenschaft’ und die Geschichte ihrer Rezeption, Stuttgart: Metzlersche, 1975. See also editorial introductions to works listed under English translations.

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