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The German Historicist Tradition$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691555.001.0001

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Wilhelm Windelband and the Forces of History

Wilhelm Windelband and the Forces of History

(p.365) 9 Wilhelm Windelband and the Forces of History
The German Historicist Tradition

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

This chapter is an account of the historical views of Wilhelm Windelband (1848–1915), who was the leader of the Southwestern school of neo‐Kantianism. The first sections treat the relation between neo‐Kantianism and historicism. Rising historicism became a grave threat to the neo‐Kantian belief in the authority of reason. This chapter examines Windelband's attempt to respond to this threat: his concept of normativity. It also considers his theory of historical discourse, his famous distinction between the idiographic and nomothetic.

Keywords:   Wilhelm Windelband, normativity, ideographic, nomothetic, relativism, neo‐Kantianism

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