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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


This was the dominant current in German philosophy at the turn of the twentieth century and was influential across the humanities and social sciences. It originated in a “return to Kant” in the mid-nineteenth century, following a period of H egel ian and neo-Fichtean H egemony over the intellectual direction and institutions of German philosophy. The neo-Kantians may be divided into the “Marburg” and “Heidelberg schools,” each of which pursued a distinct interpretation of K ant . The Marburg school represented by Hermann Cohen emphasized the theme of validity, what it was that made judgments valid, while the Heidelberg school represented by Rickert and Lask focused upon the creation of value: the former may be described as an “objective,” the latter as a “subjective” idealism. The main impact of neo-Kantianism on C ultural theory was in the areas of the sociology, the history of A rt , and the history of ideas. The sociologists of art influenced by this current of thought were Georg Simmel, Max Weber, and Georg L ukács . They all inclined toward the subjective idealism of the Heidelberg school, although Weber combined aspects of both traditions. Simmel's work in the sociology of art included studies of Rembrandt, Rodin, and other contemporary artists, and emphasized the tension between the active creation of meaning or “life” and its presentation in “form.” Weber's study of the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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