German historian, psychologist, sociologist, student of hermeneutics, and philosopher
Wilhelm Dilthey was a German historian, psychologist, sociologist, and hermeneutic philosopher, who held G. W. F. Hegel's Chair in Philosophy at the University of Berlin. As a polymathic philosopher, working in a modern research university, Dilthey's research interests revolved around questions of scientific methodology, historical evidence and history's status as a science. He could be considered an empiricist, in contrast to the idealism prevalent in Germany at the time, but his account of what constitutes the empirical and experiential differs from British empiricism and positivism in its central epistemological and ontological assumptions, which are drawn from German literary and philosophical traditions.
Wilhelm Dilthey Quotes
A knowledge of the forces that rule society, of the causes that have produced its upheavals, and of society's resources for promoting healthy progress has become of vital concern to our civilization.
The existence of inherent limits of experience in no way settles the question about the subordination of facts of the human world to our knowledge of matter.
Thus, in accordance with the spirit of the Historical School, knowledge of the principles of the human world falls within that world itself, and the human sciences form an independent system.
To attempt this would be like seeing without eyes or directing the gaze of knowledge behind one's own eye. Modern science can acknowledge no other than this epistemological stand-point.
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