ERIC Number: EJ1172769
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Hölderlin's Idea of "Bildungstrieb": A Model from Yesteryear?
Waibel, Violetta L.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v50 n6-7 p640-651 2018
The term "Bildungstrieb", which was used toward the end of the eighteenth century by thinkers like Johann Gottfried Herder, Immanuel Kant, or Friedrich Schiller, but which is obsolete in today's vernacular, was of great importance for Friedrich Hölderlin. In this article, I explore the historical roots of this concept in the biology of the time, which was then still searching for the right concepts to describe the organic. "Bildungstrieb" is found in Kant's teleology in the "Critique of Judgment," where Kant with the help of this concept works out the specificity of organic life as well as its vicinity and difference to the teleology of human acts and action. Kant himself refers to the Göttingen anatomist, zoologist, and anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, in whose writings Kant found the term which he reinterpreted for his own purposes. Friedrich Schiller adopts the word Bildungstrieb in his work "On the Esthetic Education of Man in a Series of Letters," reinterpreting it from the point of view of the history of ideas. It is Friedrich Hölderlin, finally, who in his Essay "The Perspective from which We Have to Look at Antiquity," and in related texts, gives the "Bildungstrieb" an important role. The "Bildungstrieb" needs to be awakened, if art is going to draw in an original way from an undeformed source. During work on the tragedy "The Death of Empedocles," the poet further developed the concept of "Bildungstrieb" to include the idea of an opposition between what he calls the 'aorgic' and the 'organic', which mutually condition, complete, and penetrate one another, in a manner similar to Nietzsche's even more powerful formulation of the Janus-faced artistic impulse, as embodied in the opposition of the Dionysian and the Apollonian.
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