By Bas Van Bommel
This publication demanding situations the typical view that classical schooling in 19th-century Germany was once ruled via a revolutionary perfect referred to as "neohumanism." the existing excellent of schooling on the German Gymnasien was once emphatically conventional and is healthier defined as classical humanism. furthermore, this 19th-century classical humanism dynamically regarding glossy society and will hence be visible because the continuation of a residing culture.
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Additional info for Classical Humanism and the Challenge of Modernity: Debates on Classical Education in 19th-Century Germany
13 Wolf’s and Humboldt’s ideal of classical education, then, arose from dissatisfaction with the utilitarian tendency of their time, which they aimed to counterbalance with the historical study of a bygone but ideal civilisation. According to Paulsen, ‘neohumanism’ should primarily be understood as a critical response to the rise of modern society. 14 Especially after the Second World War, scholars have sought to further expose the modern foundations of Wolf’s and Humboldt’s educational ideal.
20 Yet the sheer currency of the concept of ‘neohumanism’ allows us to easily overlook the fact that it was wholly unknown to the people to whom it refers. It is a telling fact that only shortly before the term ‘neohumanism’ was coined in 1885, classical education was seen in a very different light. ”22 Even after Paulsen, the concept of ‘neohumanism’ for a long time was not as established as it is today. ’ Is this concept, with its emphasis on innovation, truly suitable to describe the educational ideal embraced by late 18th- and early 19th-century classicists?
If I was to inspire them at all, I had to begin from scratch. Thus, I made the fundamental realisation – obvious but often forgotten – that the survival of what we call ‘the classical heritage’ is almost entirely dependent on education, and therefore anything but self-evident. Through this confrontational experience I became interested in the complex relationship between classical education and modern society. Why do we still teach the classics at the beginning of the 21st century? What is their meaning?
Classical Humanism and the Challenge of Modernity: Debates on Classical Education in 19th-Century Germany by Bas Van Bommel