Wilhelm Windelband

Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Windelband, Wilhelm


Bora May 11, 1848, in Potsdam; died Oct. 22, 1915, in Heidelberg. German idealist philosopher; leader of the Baden school of neo-Kantianism. Professor at Zürich (1876), Freiburg (1877), Strasbourg (1882), and Heidelberg (1903).

Windelband is known for his works on the history of philosophy, History of Ancient Philosophy (1888; Russian translation, 1893) and History of Modern Philosophy (vol. 1-2, 1878-80; Russian translation, vol. 1-2, 1902-05), in which the philosophical systems of the past are presented from a Kantian position. In a characteristically neo-Kantian spirit Windelband eliminates the concept of thing-in-itself from Kant’s doctrine and attempts thereby to overcome the dualism of Kantian philosophy in a subjectivistic way. Windelband defines philosophy as “the critical study of values of universal validity” (Preliudii [Praludien], St. Petersburg, 1904, p. 23) and as a normative doctrine based on value judgments and on the cognition of what ought to be. He contrasts philosophy with the natural sciences, which are based on theoretical judgments and empirical data of what is. Windelband interprets values as being a priori, transcendental, and universally valid. By acknowledging mankind’s self-determination in accordance with an “ethical ideal” as the ultimate aim of historical progress, Windelband reduces social problems to ethical ones. He declares the dualism of the world of reality and the world of values to be a “sacred mystery” revealing the limitation of our knowledge and directs us into the sphere of religious values.

In evolving a methodology of the sciences he breaks down the sciences into nomothetic sciences, which deal with laws, and idiographic sciences, which study specific phenomena in their uniqueness. “The former are the sciences of laws, the latter are the sciences of events” (ibid., p. 320). In this way Windelband denies that the discovery of laws is the guiding principle of historical knowledge.


Geschichte und Naturwissenschaft, 3rd ed. Strasbourg, 1904.
Uber Willensfreiheit, 4th ed. Tubingen, 1923.
Lehrbuch der Geschichte der Philosophic, 15th ed. Tübingen, 1957.
In Russian translation:
O svobode voli. Moscow, 1905.
Platon, 4th ed. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Filosofiia v nemetskoi dukhovnoi zhizni 19 stoletiia. Moscow, 1910.


Plekhanov. G. “O knige V. Vindel’banda.” In Soch., vol. 17. Moscow, 1925. Pages 155-59.
Iakovenko, B. “Vil’gel’m Vindel’band.” In Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii, 1916, books 132-33.
Blonskii, P. Sovremennaia filosofiia, part 1. Moscow, 1919.
Rickert, H. Wilhelm Windelband, 2nd ed. Tubingen, 1929.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But Beiser does not shoehorn his account into the received narrative: Cohen's Kants Theorie der Erfahrung is treated in its historical specificity, while the next chapter enlivens Wilhelm Windelband's overlooked moral and political philosophy.
simply mentions "Southwest neo-Kantianism" (35) without explaining that its major figures, Wilhelm Windelband and Heinrich Rickert, sought to place the "human sciences" on an equal footing with the natural sciences by showing that the concepts employed were individual rather than abstract, and were valid for historical occurrences but not universally applicable.
Seguindo a proposta de analise da Introducao de Allan Megill, podemos perceber que nos textos de autoria de Wilhelm Dilthey, Karl Lamprecht, Wilhelm Windelband, Heinrich Rickert, Max Weber e Friedrich Meinecke a questao sobre o metodo e a concepcao da antinomia entre as ciencias naturais e as ciencias humanas ocupam o centro das preocupacoes.
Tucker's book suggests that, although Beckett first encountered Geulincx in Wilhelm Windelband's A History of Philosophy (1893 and 1901)--Beckett's go-to philosophical digest--his knowledge of Geulincx's work was likely more comprehensive than his understanding of other philosophers for whom prominent cases for such influence have been made (for instance, Leibniz or Sartre).
The philosophers who cut their teeth on the debate include Trendelenburg's student, the founder of the Marburg school, Hermann Cohen, and Fischer's student, one of the founders of the Baden school, Wilhelm Windelband.
The term 'idiographic' was first introduced, in a contrast with 'nomothetic', by the Kantian philosopher of science Wilhelm Windelband in 1894 in this way:
Mises placed himself in the tradition of the Southwest German School of Wilhelm Dilthey, Wilhelm Windelband, Heinrich Rickert, and Max Weber.
Droysen, Wilhelm Dilthey, Wilhelm Windelband e Heinrich Rickert non furono, tuttavia, tanto lontani nella loro anticoncettualizzazione come Meinecke.
The course, which begins with a critique of Wilhelm Windelband and Heinrich Rickert (the director of Heidegger's dissertation), shows the young teacher's mastery of the history of philosophy as he prosecutes his program "to press methodically into the realm of primordial science" and thus to arrive at essential elements of the idea of philosophy (p.