W. H. Bruford (essay date 1959)
SOURCE: Bruford, W. H. “The Idea of ‘Bildung’ in Wilhelm von Humboldt's Letters.” In The Era of Goethe: Essays Presented to James Boyd, pp. 17-46. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1959.
[In the following essay, Bruford presents a detailed examination of Humboldt's theory of “bildung,” or the quest for perfection, noting that its evolution was inextricably linked to Humboldt's own life experiences.]
The name of Wilhelm von Humboldt is inseparably connected with the growth of German ideas about ‘Bildung’. The importance of his personal influence on university and school education in Prussia and in Germany as a whole is beyond all question. A...
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