The Concept of Weltansicht within the Context of Humboldt’s Philosophy of Language

Tomáš Koblížek

The essay focuses on certain basic aspects of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s concept of Weltansicht, a central point of his philosophy of language. The exposition is divided into several steps. First, the author outlines the intellectual context which formed Humboldt’s linguistic concept (contemporary debates on origin of language, Kant’s critical philosophy, and discussions regarding the national character of language). Subsequently, three main philosophical issues are brought up: Humboldt’s claim that language is [[]]the manifestation of spirit striving for expression; the linguistic articulation of thought; and finally, the individual character of each language.