The work of Theodor Waitz is an important but hitherto unnoticed source of Dilthey’s concept of ‘human sciences’ (Geisteswissenschaften). Waitz (1821-1864) was an outstanding philosopher and psychologist who, in the late 1850s, devoted himself wholeheartedly to empirical anthropology. In this field Waitz distinguished himself for his defence of the unity of humankind against mainstream polygenic and racial doctrines. Waitz inspired Dilthey’s articulation of psychology into two branches: the ‘descriptive’ one and the ‘explanative’ one. Even more remarkably, in a work reviewed by Dilthey in warmly favourably terms, Waitz explicitly mentioned and defined the ‘sciences which treat of the spirit (Geist)’. Many important insights of Dilthey’s work are thus prefigured in Waitz’s long underrated work.

Defining Human Sciences: Theodor Waitz’s Influence on Dilthey

MARTINELLI, RICCARDO
2017-01-01

Abstract

The work of Theodor Waitz is an important but hitherto unnoticed source of Dilthey’s concept of ‘human sciences’ (Geisteswissenschaften). Waitz (1821-1864) was an outstanding philosopher and psychologist who, in the late 1850s, devoted himself wholeheartedly to empirical anthropology. In this field Waitz distinguished himself for his defence of the unity of humankind against mainstream polygenic and racial doctrines. Waitz inspired Dilthey’s articulation of psychology into two branches: the ‘descriptive’ one and the ‘explanative’ one. Even more remarkably, in a work reviewed by Dilthey in warmly favourably terms, Waitz explicitly mentioned and defined the ‘sciences which treat of the spirit (Geist)’. Many important insights of Dilthey’s work are thus prefigured in Waitz’s long underrated work.
2017
4-dic-2017
Epub ahead of print
http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rbjh20
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2913187
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