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The Relevance of RomanticismEssays on German Romantic Philosophy$
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Dalia Nassar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199976201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199976201.001.0001

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Hermeneutics, Individuality, and Tradition

Hermeneutics, Individuality, and Tradition

Schleiermacher’s Idea of Bildung in the Landscape of Hegelian Thought

Chapter:
(p.92) 5 Hermeneutics, Individuality, and Tradition
Source:
The Relevance of Romanticism
Author(s):

Kristin Gjesdal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199976201.003.0006

Within the context of German idealism, the notion of Bildung is often led back to G. W. F. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. This paper argues that an alternative notion of Bildung is developed, a few years earlier, in the work of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Both Schleiermacher and Hegel develop their notions of Bildung with reference to Fichte’s philosophy. However, whereas Hegel’s understanding of Bildung reflects his interest in the gradual self-understanding of humanity (Spirit), Schleiermacher takes his point of departure in the diversity of individuals within a given context of cultural and linguistic mediation; whereas Hegel is committed to the idea that historical development will, at some point, reach a point of culmination, Schleiermacher’s philosophy is driven by the notion of education and self-understanding as an ongoing exercise. This chapter suggests that both these notions of Bildung must be ascribed some value—within the specific systematic framework in which they occur and with regard to a wider philosophical discussion of Bildung as such. Only if we take into account the romantic as well as the Hegelian understanding of Bildung can we arrive at an adequate notion of Bildung.

Keywords:   Schleiermacher, Hegel, Gadamer, Bildung, hermeneutics, tradition, individuality, style, romantic aesthetics

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