History and Theory 19 (2):165 (1980)

Wilhelm Windelband transformed the conception of the history of philosophy from a purely chronological narrative of a specific philosopher to an inquiry into philosophical problems. The collapse of Hegelianism in the mid-nineteenth century was followed by the positivistic view which limited philosophy to problems of logic and epistemology. Such problems were held, in turn, to be resolvable by empirical science. Windelband lashed out at this attitude in his rectorial address at Strasbourg. There, he first set out his distinction between nomothetic and idiographic methods. He argued that truth is a value to which necessity and universality must be ascribed. Just as Kant had considered the natural sciences the legitimate object of philosophical critique, so Windelband conceived the historical sciences. His lecture outlined the problematic later developed by Dilthey and Weber
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DOI 10.2307/2504797
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