Germanophilia and Germanophobia*

by EGO-Redaktion last modified 2021-06-14T15:14:08+02:00

German Education and Science

Prior to the 19th century, poetry, rhetoric, historiography and moral philosophy were considered particularly valuable to humane education, as they transmitted knowledge of beauty, goodness and truth. These so-called "fine sciences" ("schöne Wissenschaften") were discredited by Immanuel Kant, who no longer recognised values as objects of scientific knowledge. Kant advanced an ideal of "rigorous science" entailing a novel concept of "scientific education" ("wissenschaftliche Bildung"): through methodically exploring the harmonious totality of human knowledge, the human mind would take on a correspondingly harmonious form. In the course of the 19th century, the disciplinary differentiation and specialisation that resulted from the new concept of rigorous science proved ever more difficult to reconcile with the educational ideal that had once been its motivating force.