Bildung A construction of a historyof philosophy of education
Author: Rebekka Horlacher
Source: Studies in Philosophy and Education, Volume 23, Number 5, September 2004 , pp. 409-426(18)
Abstract:The paper examines the "prehistory" in the 18th century of the theory of Bildung. Pedagogical historiography commonly traces the theory back to the influence of Anthony Ashley Cooper, third Earl of Shaftesbury, who is held to be the founder of the concept of "innere Bildung; on the grounds that Shaftesburys concept of "inward form" was translated into German as Bildung. The study focuses on the reception of Shaftesburys writings in the German-speaking realm in the 17th century in order to discover the contexts of discourse in which this reception took place and to find out what significance the various discourses had for the formulation of a German "theory of Bildung." What is revealed are varied influences of a religious, literary theory, and aesthetics nature that give indications as to why the construct of Bildung has remained diffuse and excessive in the German tradition up to the very present. It is also shown that the concept, in comparison to other discourses, found its way into the pedagogical discourse relatively late, which may be another reason for the difficulties that the German theory of Bildung continues to present to the science of pedagogy.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2004-09-01