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Wissenschaft zwischen neuhumanistischem Bildungsideal und Staatsnutzen Zur Gründung der Berliner Universität 1810

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image of Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte

By now scholars agree that the foundation of the University of Berlin in 1810 and its glorification through the “Humboldtian myth” must be viewed separately. Nevertheless, ever since the 1910 centennial, historiography has rarely gone beyond references to the historical documents edited by Rudolf Köpke (1860) and Max Lenz (1910). Analyzing the lectures announced in the university calendar for the fall semester 1810/11, the essay shows that applied science and vocational training played a larger role than assumed. In founding the university, it seems, the authorities looked rather for the advancement of the common public interest (“Staatsnutzen”) than for the realization of a “Bildungsideal”. This essay pleads, therefore, for a comprehensive reassessment of the historical documents from the planning and founding stages of the University of Berlin.


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