Gottfried Herder (1784-1791)

Wrote a "History of human soul, in periods and peoples"

Peoples (Volker) were characterised by shared language and historical traditions
Volkgeist - the "personality" or character of a group of people

His orientation is characterised by: populism, expressionism, pluralism (Berlin, 1976).

-Foreshadows Hermeneutics:


Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911)

-Self understanding is always against a context of cultural understanding


Post Kantian German Idealism & Romanticism

From Kant, the notion of human Will was central to Fichte, Schelling and, certainly

 G.F. Hegel (1770-1831)

Addressed most pressing questions of: the absolute, the ineffable soul, Art, and Religion

Invented Phenomenology

-Based on Kant's phenomena 'subjective' set out to lay bare the naked truths

'Reasons' replace 'causes' as response to Hume's critique

Dialectics of mind and world

anticipates (influences) Freud's notions of ego (& id), stages of development, ...

-Soul develops historically through stages 'beginning of spirit'-mere being,

unable to reflect on self nor assimilate objects through the acquisition of sensuous

consciousness, sense perception, and intellect





Essence Notion

Nature Spirit


Quality Quantity




Determined Being

Being for Self






 -Influenced Marx