WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO
FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF ITS
PROBLEMS AND CONCEPTIONS
DR. W. WINDELBAND
PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF STRASSBUI
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION BY
JAMES H. TUFTS, PH.D.,
PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Second Edition, Revised and EnlarQ
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
All rights reserved
COPYRIGHT, 1893, 1901.
BY MACMILLAN AND CO.
Set up and electrotyped September, 1893. Reprinted January.
1895; January, 1896; November, 1898 ; September, 1901; July, 1905;
July. 1907; July, 1910; July, 1914.
J. S. Gushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith
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TRANSLATOR S PREFACE.
REGARDED simply as a historical discipline, the history of thought
might fairly claim a prominent place in education, and an equal
share of the attention now given to comparative and historical
studies. The evolution of an idea is in itself as interesting and
valuable an object of study as the evolution of a word, of an insti
tution, of a state, or of a vegetable or animal form.
But aside from this interest which it has in common with other
historical sciences, the history of philosophy has a peculiar value of
its own. For the moment we attempt any serious thinking in any
field, natural science, history, literature, ethics, theology, or any
other, we find ourselves at the outset quite at the mercy of the
words and ideas which form at once our intellectual atmosphere
and the instruments with which we must work. We cannot speak,
for example, of mind or matter, of cause or force, of species or indi
vidual, of universe or God, of freedom or necessity, of substance or
evolution, of science or law, of good or true or real, without involv
ing a host of assumptions. And the assumptions are there, even
though we may be unconscious of them, or ignore them in an effort
to dispense with metaphysics. To dispense with these conceptions
is impossible. Our only recourse, if we would not beg our questions
in advance, or remain in unconscious bondage to the instruments of
our thought, or be slaves to the thinking of the past generations
that have forged out our ideas for us, is to " criticise our categories."
And one of the most important, if not the only successful, means to
this end is a study of the origin and development of these categories.
We can free ourselves from the past only by mastering it. We
may not hope to see beyond Aristotle or Kant until we have stood
vi Translator s Preface.
on their shoulders. We study the history of philosophy, not so
much to learn what other men have thought, as to learn to think.
For an adequate study of the history of thought, the main requi
sites are a careful study of the works of the great thinkers a
requisite that need not be enlarged on here, although such study is
a comparatively recent matter in both Britain and America, with a
few notable exceptions and a text-book to aid us in singling out
the important problems, tracing their development, disentangling
their complications, and sifting out what is of permanent value. To
meet this second need is the especial aim of the present work, and,
with all the excellencies of the three chief manuals already in use,
it can scarcely be questioned that the need is a real one. Those
acquainted with the work here translated (W. Windelband s Ge-
schichte der Philosophic, Freiburg i. B., 1892) have no hesitation in
thinking that it is an extremely valuable contribution toward just
this end. The originality of its conception and treatment awaken
an interest that is greater in proportion to the reader s acquaintance
with other works on the subject. The author shows not only
historical learning and vision, but philosophical insight ; and in his
hands the comparative treatment of the history of thought proves as
suggestive and fruitful as the same method applied to other subjects
in recent times. A work like the present could only have been
written with some such preparation as has come in this case from
the previous treatment of Greek and Modern Philosophy at greater
length, and in presenting it to English readers I am confident that
it will meet the wants, not only of special students of philosophy,
but also of all who wish to understand the development of thought.
Teachers will, I think, find it very valuable in connection with
As regards the work of the Translator, little need be said. He
has tried like many others to make a faithful translation into
intelligible English, and is fully conscious that it has been with
varying success. Of course translation in the strict sense is often
impossible, and I cannot hope to have adopted the happiest com
promise or found the most felicitous rendering in all cases.
"Being" (spelled with a capital) is used for " Sein." Where the
German " Form " seemed to differ enough from the ordinary English
Translator s Preface. vii
sense of the word to make "form" misleading, I have spelled it
"Form," and the same course has been taken with "Real," " Re-
alitat," where the German seemed to desire to distinguish them from
"wirklich," which has been translated sometimes by "real," some
times by "actual." " Vorstellung" is usually rendered by "idea,"
following Locke s usage, except in connection with the system of
Leibniz, where "representation " is necessary to bring out his thought.
"Idee," in the Platonic and Kantian use, is rendered "Idea" (spelled
with a capital). The convenient word "Geschehen" has no exact
counterpart, and has been variously rendered, most frequently per
haps by "cosmic processes." In the additions made to the bibliog
raphy, no attempt has been made to be exhaustive ; I have simply
tried to indicate some works that might aid the student. It is
scarcely necessary to say that any corrections or suggestions will
be gratefully received and utilised if possible. Material in square
brackets is added by the translator.
In conclusion, I desire to express my indebtedness to my col
leagues, Professors Shorey, Strong, and Cutting, and Dr. Schwill
for helpful suggestions. My chief indebtedness, however, is to the
critical taste and unwearied assistance of my wife. If I have in
any degree succeeded in avoiding German idioms, it is largely due
JAMES H. TUFTS.
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO,