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Neues FIW Working Paper zur Entstehung der deutschen 'Geisteswissenschaften'

FIW Working Paper NO. 7 im Juni erschienen.

Neues FIW Working Paper zur Entstehung der deutschen 'Geisteswissenschaften'

Working Paper No.07

Hamann, Julian

The Making of the 'Geisteswissenschaften'. A Case of Boundary Work?

FIW Working Paper NO. 7 [Download]



The paper is concerned with the making of the German humanities. To address this topic, the boundary work approach is applied to the late 19th century, a historical episode that has been crucial for the formation of an entity called ‘Geisteswissenschaften’.
The analysis reconstructs how boundary strategies that are scattered in programmatic manifestos, lectures, and introductions, and that can be found in neo-Kantianism, in historicism, in Dilthey’s work, and not least in the Naturwissenschaften, cumulate from local negotiations and constitute the Geisteswissenschaften as a stable and robust social entity. Proceeding from this insight, the focus on boundary work emphasizes the temporality, the situatedness, and the relational character of symbolic demarcations. By emphasizing these three aspects, the boundary work concept facilitates a fruitful analysis of how the Geisteswissenschaften emerged. The paper contributes to a historical sociology of the social sciences and humanities by illustrating the analytical usefulness of the boundary work approach.


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