Kultur, Bildung, Geist

I distinguish three strands in the discussion of "culture" in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany. One is centered around the analysis of the diverse folkways of various human groups. A second focuses on the cultivation of individual talents and capacities. The third treats aesthetic experience and judgment and its relation to forms of sociability. I discuss some of the various ways in which these three strands of discussion interacted historically and suggest some ways in which the study of this historical episode might be relevant to contemporary discussions of "culture."


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