Academic Illusions in the Field of Letters and the Arts: A Survey, a Criticism, a New Approach, and a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Study of Letters and Arts

By Martin Schütze | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XII
FACTUALISM

Historical account. Scherer and his school. Analysis of his theory. Goethe "Satyros." Walther's von der Vogelweide "Unter der Linde."

During the latter part of the 19th century the metaphysical system of dialectic absolutism, in both its rationalistic-conceptualistic and its romantic "Gefühl"- types, gave way to a factualistic tendency. The later movement, following in the wake of the theory and technic of biological evolution perfected by Darwin, became dominant under the leadership of Wilhelm Scherer about 1870 and remained so until the metaphysical counter-reaction of contemporary neo-romanticism and neo-Kantianism which may be dated from Dilthey Erlebnis und Dichtung and Unger Hamann und die Aufklärung.

Although the metaphysical movement had held a far more extended sway, both in time and range of generalization, than did the factualist system, yet the latter, riding the wave of the evolutionary theory, became promptly identified, especially in America and other English-speaking countries, with the dominant academic technic. This technic has been developed independently in America and is embodied in the ruling system. It is firmly and universally imbedded in the organization of the humanities. There have recently been made, however, enthusiastic and able efforts to displace it by the metaphysics of "Geisteswissenschaft" or "Science of the

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