1887
Volume 15, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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Abstract

SUMMARYThis paper — whose point of departure is Hans Aarsleff s thesis that the intellectual environment provided by the Ideologues in the years 1798-1801 decisively influenced Humboldt's resolve to make the study of language his central intellectual preoccupation and decisively shaped his ideas about language — comes to the following conclusions: 1) In his years in Jena (1794-97) Humboldt's concern with problems of language was already manifest, and formulations characteristic of his mature linguistics already appear in his writings. At this time he became intimately conversant with Fichte's philosophy and Fichtean concepts made a lasting imprint on his approach to general grammar. Humboldt, however, did not cast aside altogether what he had absorbed from the tradition of Locke and the Enlightenment. He remained firmly committed to empirical methods in what he considered their appropriate sphere. 2) In his first year in Paris (1798) Humboldt confronted head-on the leading Ideologues with a critique from a Kantian-Fichtean standpoint, but he manifested no preoccupation with the Ideologues' ideas about linguistic matters per se. During his later years in Paris he found a more congenial intellectual partner in Joseph Degerando, and serious exchanges about linguistic questions did occur, with Humboldt however as the dominant partner. Meanwhile Humboldt's fascination with the Basques was the wedge opening up an approach to the philosophy of language based on detailed study of many languages. In moving in this direction he was propelled mainly by an inner dynamic rather than by intellectual 'influences'. Or so it would seem. Meanwhile he became disenchanted with philosophical systems. 3) A subsidiary theme is Humboldt's relations with Herder.RÉSUMÉL'article — dont le point de depart est l'hypothese de Hans Aarsleff se-lon laquelle l'environnement intellectuel, fourni par les Ideologues pendant les annees 1798-1801, avait, d'une façon decisive, influence la decision de Guillaume de Humboldt (1767-1835) de faire de l'etude du langage le centre de ses preoccupations intellectuelles et la structure de sa pensee au sujet de la langue humaine — arrive a des conclusions suivantes: 1) Deja durant ses annees a Iena (1794-1797) l'interet de Humboldt a des problemes du langage se manifestait; dans ses ecrits de cette epoque, on trouve des formulations caracteristiques de sa maturite en matiere linguistique. A ce temps-la, Humboldt devenait intimement familier avec la philosophic de Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814), et des concepts de celui-ci produisaient une,impression permanente sur l'approche humboldtienne a la linguistique generate. Cependant, Humboldt n'abandonait pas entierement tout de qu'il avait apris de la tradition lockienne et des Lumieres. Il restait fidele a des methodes empiriques dans les domaines appropries. 2) Pendant sa premiere annee a Paris (1798) Humboldt faisait face aux Ideologues qui domi-naient la scene intellectuelle avec une critique venant d'une position kan-tienne et fichtienne, mais il ne manifestait aucun interet particulier pour les idees langagieres des Ideologues. Durant les annees suivantes de son sejour a Paris, Humboldt avait des echanges plus intenses avec Joseph Degerando (1772-1842), et Humboldt le partenaire dominant. Pendant ce temps la fascination que Humboldt eprouvait en etudiant la langue et la civilisation des Basques ouvrait une ligne d'approche a la philosophic du langage basee sur l'etude detaillee de nombre de langues. Cette nouvelle voie prise par Humboldt a sa source principale dans sa dynamique individuelle plutot que tou-tes sortes d"influences\ Au moins c'est l'impression que Ton a en lisant ses ecrits de l'epoque. A ce temps-la Humboldt devenait desenchante avec les systemes philosophiques. 3) Un theme subsidaire tient aux rapports entre Humboldt et Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803).
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/content/journals/10.1075/hl.15.3.03swe
1988-01-01
2019-10-19
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/hl.15.3.03swe
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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