How does time correlate with reality

DIE GELEBTE ZEIT - Dilthey’s view of time and his criticism of Kant’s theory of time

Table of Contents


CHAPTER I: Dilthey's theory of time
1. The meaning of the concept of time in Dilthey's philosophy
2. Time as a real life category
3. Time dimensions at Dilthey
3.1. presence
3.2. past
3.3. future
4. The differences between the time dimensions
5. The categories of thought in relation to time
6. The temporality of life
6.1. The course of life in the context of temporality
6.2. The distinction between concrete time and phenomenal time (the time of natural events)
7. The immensity of time in terms of distinguishing it from real
and objective time

CHAPTER II: Kant's theory of time
1. A brief history of the conception of time before I. Kant
2. The theory of time in Kant's dissertation
3. The determination of time in the transcendental aesthetic of Criticism of the
pure reason

4. The problem of time in the transcendental analytics

III. CHAPTER: Dilthey's criticism of Kant's theory of time
1. The importance of the Kantian philosophy for Dilthey
2. Dilthey's criticism in the Berlin logic lectures of the eighties
3. Dilthey's criticism of Kant's theory of time in elaborations and drafts for the second volume of the "Introduction to the Humanities."
4. Duration and change in time in connection with the criticism of the Kantian theory of time
5. Further criticism of Dilthey in relation to the psychic acts




The question of time seems to be one of the oldest human cultural assets. The endeavor to solve this question can already be found in mythology. Because man can only understand his existence and the existence of others if he knows what time is. Despite the long maturity of this problem, man has not yet come to a definitive answer to this question.

Western philosophy has been dealing with this question explicitly since Parmenides and Heraclitus. If one thinks about the different determinations of time in the philosophical tradition, a variety of conceptions can be shown, which nevertheless reveals an inner unity that can be articulated as follows. Time is a form in which everything happens. Whether the event is a process of nature or of the spirit and whether this form was conceived as an existing dimension or as an action that is constructed depends essentially on the determination of the respective theory of time.

Not only philosophy strives to understand the reality of time and to solve it. The early occidental physicists, too, have been aiming to solve the problem of time since the early 16th century. A brief discussion of how modern physics has worked out the problem of time is therefore useful for understanding the thoughts of W. Dilthey and H. Bergson, because both have positioned themselves against the time conception of physics.

The development in the micro and macro area of ​​physics as well as the new development movement in biology lead to a new conception of time. In this sense, Prigogine was the first to introduce a groundbreaking discussion for the new understanding of time using traditional philosophical terms relating to the opposition of “to be” and “to become”.[1] He states that as long as physics has the non-quality parameter t as its basis, it merely describes static-ideal structures to which, like Plato's ideas, any becoming is alien. He demands that the program of physics must be reformulated and that the “becoming” typical of a large number of phenomena should no longer be ruled out. According to Prigogine, the physical conception of time is not enough to recognize the real structure of time.

The philosophers of life (especially, Dilthey, Bergson, Simmel etc.) are of the opinion that time cannot be exhausted by the physical conception. The time and the temporality of man are irreplaceable basic determinations of the human being in the world. Scientific research on time could only lead to a satisfactory result if it takes into account the life-world conceptions of time. It should be recognized that man is familiar with time in his own way. We as humans would know about it in the sense that we can deal with it and that we organize our lives more or less in harmony with it as possible. We need the time to regulate our day-to-day relationships with nature and people. In this sense, the time experiences formed a self-image for us.

In this context, this work sets itself the task of how and why time cannot be treated exhaustively through the physical conception. How does “lived time” differ from “physical time”? Is it really possible to represent the essence of time through this separation? This work looks for possible answers to these questions through W. Dilthey's theory of time and his criticism of Kant’s theory of time.

Dilthey sharply criticizes Kant's theory of time and accuses him of not having understood the essence of time. We have chosen Kant's theory of time as the starting point for Dilthey's conception of time in order to better understand his time analysis. Therefore, the more precise intention of the present work is to present the theory of time by W. Dilthey with special consideration of I. Kant's analysis of time. Since the core of the work is the presentation of Dilthey's theory of time, Kant's analysis of time is not directly compared with Dilthey's theory of time. Rather, Dilthey's criticism of Kant is included.

The first chapter deals with Dilthey's analysis of time. Unfortunately, it can be stated that he neither wrote an independent paper on the theory of time nor wrote much else about time. There is also no independent work that has been written about his theory of time. That is why we have to be content with less text material compared to Bergson. Nevertheless we try to compile the essential thoughts about time from his writings. This chapter begins with the analysis of the moments of time, the differences between which are discussed in detail. Since in Dilthey temporality is very closely related to life, under "temporality of life" this mutual relationship is first treated in relation to the course of life and then in relation to Bergson's distinction between concrete and phenomenal time. Dilthey understands time as a real life category, he even accepts it as the first determination of life. This is taken into account in the context of the 'immensity' of time.

In the second chapter the main features of the Kantian theory of time are mentioned. The analysis of the Kantian theory of time begins with his dissertation “De Mundi sensibilis atque intelligibilis forma et principiis”, because it was there that he developed his basic idea over time for the first time. Kant says there, among other things, that time is not an empirical concept, but the form of the inner sense and thus an a priori form of our sensuality. Without a doubt, Kant worked out his independent and detailed theory of time in the “transcendental aesthetics” of the “Critique of Pure Reason”. He calls time and space pure perceptions of our sensuality without relating them to categorical thinking. In the “transcendental analytics” Kant deals with the constitutive meaning of time for human knowledge.

The third chapter of the work refers to Dilthey's criticism of Kant's theory of time. First, the importance of the Kantian philosophy for Dilthey is emphasized. Subsequently, his own positioning towards Kant's transcendental philosophy is shown, as he already carried out from 1880 in his "Berlin Logic Lectures". He continued his criticism in “Elaborations and Drafts for the Second Volume of the Introduction to the Humanities (approx. 1870-1895)” (GS. Volume XIX). He judges the Kantian theory of time as the most important attack on the reality of inner perception and time. Dilthey is convinced that one definitely needs a criticism of Kant in order to justify the reality of the spiritual world. Without this criticism, the theory of time remains unfounded. He also deals with the change and duration in connection with the Kantian theory of time and accuses it that Kant allows time to arise from the untimely,

CHAPTER I: Dilthey's theory of time

1. The meaning of the concept of time in Dilthey's philosophy

Although Dilthey did not devote much space in his work to the analysis of the concept of time,[2] The problem of time as the constitution of human being cannot be imagined without it in his work.

The analysis of the terms life and experience make up the essence of Dilthey's philosophy. Dilthey's differentiation between human life and general life is important. Human life is understood as the context of interactions between people; it is that which “creates his own world of his own for each individual” (VI, 314) Life, in general, is always understood by Dilthey as a process of mutual influencing and correlation.[3] For him, however, human life is a “human - social - historical reality.[4]

In the following, when life is spoken of, human life is always understood, unless general life is explicitly referred to.[5]

Life is timed. For Dilthey, temporality is the first determining category of life and fundamental for all other determinations that contain temporality. This can already be seen in the expression "course of life", which means the extension of life over time. Time accompanies people until they die and is always there for them. It forms the summarizing unit of our consciousness. The course of life is determined by the mutual interactions between man and nature (cf. VI, 313f.). However, life is not only given externally, but also from within as a temporally extending unity, to which time, however, is assigned in a different way than natural occurrences. Dilthey insisted on differentiating the time of life as 'real time' from the time of natural occurrences as an external form. For him, time in the humanities, in which inner perception plays a greater role, is treated differently than in the natural sciences. Dilthey is now trying to justify reality through inner perception, i.e. to base it on a spiritual science. While the external perception seems to apply to nature and has been connected to the space, the internal perception has the external within itself. Man is in himself and in the society in which he lives, not as something constant, but as something temporal, ephemeral, changeable. This fact of experience forms the basis on which the theory of the humanities 'reality of time' comes to stand. In contrast, the natural sciences make use of time as a measurable one.[6] Despite the differentiation between the subjective and objective character of time in man and nature, Dilthey does not deny the claim to existence of objective natural time and its influence on man. As part of nature, humans also stand within the temporal structure of nature. Rather, he says that the temporality of life is not exhausted with the equivalent formal time.

From the point of view of inner perception, one understands one's life as finite. In contrast to physical time, this finitude constitutes the essence of life. Dilthey coined the term "corruption" for this. It means the frailty and fragility of human existence and means two things. First: Human life in its entirety is subject to breakage, i.e. man could die at any moment; and secondly: Everything "that we own, love or also hate and fear" (VIII, 79) is subject to temporality, i.e. man cannot hold onto a single state of his life. But Dilthey does not put the corruptibility of life on the same level as the transience of things. The impermanence prevailing in external nature, in which the essence of things is determined independently of temporality, only applies to natural things that are only "in" time in an external sense. In contrast to impermanence, corruptibility has to do with “selfhood”. Time is internalized here. Everyone feels their finitude and mortality.[7] Man's desire to escape this constitution of existence leads him, among other things, into a mystical flight from the world. According to Dilthey, “immersion in the eternal” (XIX, 215) cannot offer people the possibility of avoiding this corruptibility.

Using the terms corruptibility and the course of life, we have seen how time constitutes the life parameters of Dilthey's philosophy. A preoccupation with the concept of experience will show to what extent the experience is also determined by time.

The course of life consists of experiences which are “the smallest unit” of life, “the primordial cell of the historical world” (VII, 161). Although the experience is the smallest unit of life, that does not mean that it is something simple, but rather shows a pure internal structure. Human life is generally structured by temporally extended experiences. The experiences that take place in the course of life are not unrelated to one another, but relate to a whole. The context of life, which consists of experiences, is not a sum of successive moments, but a unity constituted by relationships that connect all parts (cf. VII, 140). In this sense, the context of life is a holistic context. But as long as temporality does not enter into the concept of the totality of the life context, the structure of the life context remains incomplete. Since the meaning connects the parts of life into a whole, one could say that the context of life is a context of meaning. The category of meaning only gets its reality through the connection with the temporality of life[8] and arises "only by means of the memory in which we can survey the past course of life." (VII, 233) When we remember something, the category of meaning opens first. Dilthey establishes a firm connection between meaning and memory and through them with the past. He considers meaning to be a crucial category of understanding life (cf. VII, 234). In this way, the past takes precedence over the present and the future in terms of understanding life. The meaning can only be understood through the past. This constitutes the essence of the causal relationship seen by Dilthey.[9] The past, present and future are connected in a causal context. Dilthey describes the continuation of the past in the present and the securing of it in the future as "continuing to work". He describes the character of this process as “presence”. Dilthey defines presence as the inclusion of the past in our experience.[10]

If you want to name the basic principles of Dilthey's theory of time, then you could list the following points: Dilthey is strictly against all assumptions that characterize time simply as a restless function or as a flow. For him, time is not just a line consisting of equal parts, but has an immeasurable quality. It is therefore understandable that Dilthey rejects the natural sciences' view of time. Since he sees time as a real manifestation of life, he always associates time with his category of experience. For this reason he criticizes Kant's theory of time, because he viewed time as an a priori empty form.

Although Dilthey's entire philosophy can be directly related to the problem of time, his analysis of time remains in the context of his conception of a "Critique of Historical Reason“Unfortunately incomplete.[11] For this reason - since Dilthey's thoughts have remained fragments in his analysis of time, as is often the case - his analysis of time, more precisely, his understanding of the reality of time, cannot be analyzed more precisely.

Nevertheless, we want to try here to make his time analysis visible and understandable as far as we can. Dilthey accepts temporality as the first and fundamental category of life. Before we proceed with an analysis of the moments of time at Dilthey, we would like to try to clarify how and why Dilthey sees temporality as a fundamental category of life.

2. Time as a real life category

For Dilthey, temporality is the fundamental and comprehensive category with the help of which the categories he mentioned are brought into order and which thereby makes it possible to understand life as a whole.

It accentuates the universal, fundamental and constitutive validity of these categories, which are: meaning, sense, value, purpose, power, etc. Man can only be understood through these categories. He is not viable without meaning, purpose, value and meaning. Only through these categories does his life gain meaning (cf. XI, 379). The course of human life can only have a meaning, a meaning or a value if one develops an attitude, be it a religious, philosophical or scientific one, towards the world and the cosmos.

Dilthey lists life categories in different places in different numbers. In addition to the categories mentioned above, he also names context, whole and parts, structure, temporality, work and suffering, development, design, ideal and essence. These categories are not a subjective scheme that we imprint on things, but rather forms of human life itself. “They are not types of formation that add to it, but the structural forms of life itself in its temporal form Processes are expressed in them. "(VII, 203)

Dilthey, however, ascribes priority to meaning among the life categories, because the meaning is constitutive for every life context and in the experience every life context is constituted as a meaningful context. In order to understand life, one must have categories of life. The life categories constitute the process of understanding, they contain life-immanent premises of understanding, which enable the understanding one to understand life from life itself.[12] The categories of life are conditioned by the category of temporality. Despite this conditionality, these categories present themselves as autonomous and independent.[13]

In order to understand the mutual relationship between meaning, purpose and values, one has to consider the category of temporality. Each category has a different relationship to temporality; z. B. meaning is linked to memory and, with it, to the past. The purpose category only comes into question when the person is reaching out towards the future. Purpose and ideal as human endeavors need a future in which they can be realized. Although both the future and the category of purpose do not have a solid reason for existence because they are not there yet, they are needed to continue everyday life. Without hope, which enables the will to live, one cannot cope with everyday life. The values ​​mostly relate to the feeling of the individual, which for Dilthey is already a basis for a valuation, and can easily be assigned to the present. From here, Dilthey tries to penetrate into the inner context of the categories.[14]

Dilthey firmly believes that each of these categories is capable of grasping the whole of life from its point of view, because each makes the whole of life accessible to understanding from a different point of view. They are incomparable to each other. But there is a difference: the intrinsic values ​​of the experienced present stand side by side without any significance. From this point of view of value, life turns out to be an infinite abundance of existential values, negative, positive, and intrinsic values. "And the relationship between intrinsic values ​​and effective values ​​only sets causal relationships, the mechanical character of which does not reach the depths of life." (VII, 236)

The categories of life, of course, have to do with the moments of time. Depending on the different moments in time, these categories are assessed and understood differently, as we tried to briefly show above. This becomes more understandable if we take a closer look at what Dilthey understands by the moments of time (present, past and future).

3. Time dimensions at Dilthey

Dilthey assumes the three time dimensions present, past and future. The present is the fulfilled reality of life. The advancement of time leaves more and more of the past and advances into the future. In life alone, the present closes the conception of the past in memory and the conception of the future in fantasy and in the activity of setting ends in the mode of possibility. Thus the present is filled with the past and carries the future within it. These time relationships determine 'the realm of life'.[15]

According to Dilthey, time is not a constant flow, rather he emphasizes its immeasurable quality.[16] He says: “Time is not just a line consisting of equal parts, a system of relationships, of successions, simultaneity, duration.” (VII, 72) Apart from the fulfillment of time with reality, time is in its parts to be regarded as "equivalent" to each other. Dilthey states: “If we think time as absent from what it fulfills, the parts of it are equivalent to one another. In this continuity even the smallest part is linear, it is a process; an 'is' is nowhere in the smallest part. "(VII, 72)

We now come to the moments of time as Dilthey thought them to be in a little more detail.

3.1. presence

Dilthey defines the present as the "fulfillment of a moment of time with reality." (VII, 93) In experience, time is experienced as the 'restless advance of the present'. The present is to be understood here as a transition point “in which the present always becomes the past and the future becomes the present.” (Ibid.) Dilthey assigns reality to the present. In the present, in contrast to memory and imagination, one can feel one's existence and be hopeful or melancholy, etc. As the content of the experience changes, the fulfillment of reality continues with a moment in time. "This fulfillment with reality or the present is permanent, while what constitutes the content of the experience is constantly changing." (VII, 193)

As discussed above, Dilthey rejects the notion of interpreting time only as a passage. Instead, Dilthey suggests using the restlessness of time to expand the scope of the present, because only by looking at time as a forward movement is an experience of time possible. This forward movement defines the character of the present in contrast to the representation of what has been experienced (past) or what has been experienced (future).[17]

What does “the experience of the present” mean? According to Dilthey, the present cannot actually be experienced. If time is constructed as a process, then the present is not experienced, but lived. We can of course have an experience of the present, but then we do not get any experience of its content as present.[18] Since the future becomes the present very quickly and the present sinks into the past, we live the present as if there really was a present. It seems that the present is a fictional point that only separates past and future.[19] We live in the present with something that immediately becomes the past present. It only exists because I direct my gaze to the present, although it has already become the past again. This character of the present reminds us of Aristotle's theory of time. He does not use the word “present” anywhere, but instead, if one may say so, has replaced the term “present” with “now”. The “now”, like Dilthey's present, separates the past from the future.[20] Time and movement are mutually dependent. It is obvious that without movement and change, time cannot be thought. "It makes sense that time is not the same as movement, but on the other hand also not without movement."[21] The now belongs to the time, as the time belongs to the now, "If on the one hand there weren't any time, the now wouldn't exist either, if on the other hand the now didn't exist, then neither would the time."[22] Another parallelism between Dilthey's and Aristotle's theory of time is that time is the same everywhere (objective time for Dilthey). But if you look at the past and the future from the now (present), the time is no longer the same. “And it (time) is the same everywhere at the same point in time; However, viewed in its 'before' and 'after' it is not the same, because the change, as this present one, is more uniform, whereas the past and future (state) are different. "[23] With Aristotle, the now not only separates as a boundary between past and future, but also holds them together. The now has two functions: It enables the division of time into the past and future and draws a boundary between the two and thus grants their unity.[24] Time never stops; it is always at the beginning. The now as a transition bridge is an end to the past and a beginning to the future. Therefore, “earlier” and “later” must also be understood by the “now”, because we say “earlier” or “later” according to the distance from the now. "What the now belongs to, also includes the distance from the now."[25]

Dilthey characterizes the present as an approach in succession. This advancing character of the present, which also belongs to the fulfillment of the moment of time with reality, continues until then, whereby its continuity z. B. transformed in sleep or other states, is canceled. With the succession of experiences, the present forms a close connection with the future. The present chases the experiences of the future, so to speak, by moving forward. “This advancement of the present in time is the fact that cannot be explained by any system of order of an inner sense.” (XIX, 211) A process that has already happened “is lost, as it were, dripping off into the sea of ​​the past (.. .); forward becomes an expected, future present. ”(Ibid.) Future present means the dependence of the future on the present. There is a future only because there is someone who hopes for something in the present, feels one way or another, wants something, etc. That is why Dilthey defines the present as a state of life "which expresses itself in paying attention, feeling and wanting." ( Ibid.)

Since the time should always be thought of together with the experience, this relation to the experience can be justified with time by a system of conditions that would be based on our imagination. In connection with this, the advancement of the present, which appears in this fundamental relationship to life, cannot be thought of as a part of a system of order that opposes the imagination. The advancement of the present cannot be explained by an external system, because it has an internal fact.[26] Rather, it could be thought of as a symbol of our consciousness, which not only has a present, but also a past and future relationship. Through the present, time gains different relationships to the past and future, "which would exist between what is remembered, experienced and planned and would result in the advancement of the present in time." (XIX, 214) assigned to him the value of the present from the individual factual situation in me. The assessment of the facts as negative or positive belongs to the essence of the present. "The present is an immediate experience." (Ibid.)

The present and the past cannot be separated from each other. The past experiences are not completely gone and therefore they are not thought of as lost. The past reaches into the present through memory. "In addition, the connection of what is remembered with the present, the continuation of the qualitatively determined reality, the continued working of the past, as a force in the present, communicates its own character of presence to the remembered." (VII, 73)

Presence is the inclusion of the past in our experience.[27] In this context Dilthey suggests that the living present as present is more and different than the idea of ​​a mere point in time. One has a whole present at once, to which the past and future also belong. Dilthey explains this relationship as follows: “In life the present encloses the conception of the past in memory and that of the future in the imagination, which pursues its possibilities and in the activity which sets purposes under these possibilities. So the present is filled with the past and carries the future within itself. ”(VII, 232) This presence character of a part of the past must not be regarded as a formal being of time, because the being of time as a form is not detached from its special contents can be. What is present in the presence is always conditioned by the content of the experience itself, which always has a uniform meaning. What is simultaneously present in the presence is divided into a unity with the meaning: the experience. The experience contains in itself as part of the whole fullness of the course of life itself and must not be diminished by false constructions (cf. VI, 314).

Thus the concrete (real) time gains its essential difference compared to the formal time determinations. In the concrete time there is no structurally even sequence, but it contains an inner structure (experiences).

This brings us to the past, the second moment in time to which Dilthey assigned priority over the others.

3.2. past

Time flows into the present. This is a flow of time "in which the present always becomes the past and the future becomes the present." (VII, 193) The restless advance of the present is, so to speak, a restless advance into the past, because the present continually becomes the past. The past actually consists of the present; if there was no restless advance of the present, there would be no past either. It depends on the present because it is already experienced. "The ideas in which we have past and future are only there for those who live in the present." (VII, 193)

In contrast to the experience in the present, Dilthey ascribes the “memory” to the past. Only through memory can one experience the past. The past belongs to the area that has already "been"; viewed from the present, it can no longer be changed. “When we look back on the past, we are passive; it is the unchangeable; in vain does the person determined by them shake it in dreams. ”(VII, 193) The behavior of people towards the past is not only passive, but also repentant. You always hear that you feel remorse about your past because of your actions. I should have done this or that instead of doing that. The immutability of the past teaches man his existential weakness.

With regard to the past, the states of consciousness of experiences are different than with regard to the present and future. If I z. B. grieving because of the death of a friend, the present experience (grief) is experienced differently than after a month in the memory of this death (as past grief), which is again something different from the idea of ​​the future death of an acquaintance. All three experiences are fundamentally experienced differently by the ego and therefore the ego has different states of consciousness from one and the same event (death). For example, the grief decreases more and more with the passage of time and the experiences are forgotten. Hence, the parts of time filled with reality “are not only qualitatively different from one another, but when we look backwards from the present to the past and forwards to the future, each part of the flow has time, regardless of what occurs in it , a different character. ”(VII, 193) The images called up by memory are graded according to their own interests, self-given meaning or the passage of time, which extend from the present to the first memory image. Future possibilities presented from the fulfilled present, which are infinite and indefinite, have a different character than past and present.[28] The more temporal something is, the less important it becomes. In other words, something loses its meaning as time passes.

When it comes to understanding life at Dilthey, the past wins an excellent place over the present and the future. The meaning of one's own life is only built up through memory. You don't remember everything you've experienced so far, only things that are meaningful to you. "The meaning is only accessible to us in the memory through which we collect the stretches of life that have passed."[29] Dilthey assumes the priority of meaning as a category of life, because a grasp of life as an overall context is only possible through meaning (cf. VII, 233). The primacy of meaning is to be understood as the primacy of the past because the meaning is the category of memory. The meaning of a life can only be read in retrospect. To see priority over the other time dimensions in the past is reminiscent of Hegel's theory of time. Hegel attaches great importance to memory in connection with the past[30] and, like Dilthey, emphasizes the importance of the past in the context of history.[31] In this sense, one should refer to the role of the past at Bergson (cf. Chapter IV, 6.1. Past).

When you remember something, the meaning comes first. Although meaning is the broad category under which life can be conceived, it can only be understood in terms of the past. Such a temporal interpretation of the categories of understanding shows that the individual will never be able to understand his own life as well as that of others, because he is always "in the middle" of his own life. Because of this, he can only understand his past because his present and future are still unclear and undecided. As long as one lives, the past is never closed, one would have to “wait for the end of one's life course and only at the hour of death could one overlook the whole from which the relationship between its parts could be ascertained” (VII, 233). It is controversial whether one can assess one's past differently than before in the hour of death, whether one could really still have a rational ability to think in the hour of death. Instead of waiting for the hour of death, as Dilthey suggests, in order to be able to understand the course of one's own life, one should try to understand one's own course of life with common sense before the hour of death.[32]


[1] Cf. Prigogine, I .: From being to becoming. Time and Complexity in the Natural Sciences, Munich 19794, p. 13f.

[2] Dilthey deals with his analysis of time in Volume VII, pp. 72-75, 192-196, and Volume XIX, pp. 210-222. It is noteworthy that in his philosophy he paid so little attention to the analysis of time.

[3] Life is determined and structured by time, space and interaction relationships. “This life is always and everywhere determined locally and temporally - localized, as it were, in the spatiotemporal order of the processes of life units. But if one emphasizes that which takes place everywhere and always in the sphere of the human world and as such makes the locally and temporally determined occurrences possible, not through an abstraction from the latter, but in a perception that of this whole in its always and everywhere the same properties lead to the spatially temporally differentiated - then the concept of life arises, which contains the basis for all individual forms and systems that appear on it, for our experience, understanding, expression and comparative viewing. "(V, 229)

[4] T. Bodammer draws attention to common misunderstandings in the interpretations of Dilthey's philosophy of life. “Dilthey's way of speaking about life is particularly misleading; it is also suspected of mythic, biological or vitalistic irrationalism (cf. Lukács 1962). But wrongly! Dilthey expressly restricts the meaning of the word to the historical-social "human world": "Life" - that is "the connection between people under the conditions of the external world" (Dilthey, VII, 228). In the same, 'interpersonal' sense, 'life' can also be described by Dilthey as a 'context encompassing human gender' (VII, 131). 'Life' is obviously meant here as the social and historical functional and structural context in which people always find and understand themselves acting and integrating. "From: Philosophy of the humanities, Freiburg / Munich 1987, pp. 48-49.

[5] Dilthey is based on life. The everyday understanding, on the other hand, tries to understand life from the perspective of the world. Karl Albert also takes this view: According to Dilthey, the path leads “from the interpretation of life to the world” (VII, 291). Life shows itself in the experience of the subject. Life appears in experience that goes beyond the individual. Albert refers here to the following text by Dilthey: “Life is a part of life in general” (VII, 359). However, it must be made clear that Dilthey “uses the word 'life' in a twofold sense. It can mean the life of the individual person, but also life in general. The justification for this use of language arises from the fact that we not only experience our own life in ourselves, but at the same time what life is par excellence. In the sentence: 'Life is a part of life in general', the first 'life' is to be understood as the individual life, the second 'life' as the universal life. (...) when [Dilthey] speaks of 'life', he means above all the world of the spiritual, the world of culture in its various areas: philosophy, art, religion, society, law, politics, science, etc., in short 'the human world'. "Albert, K ​​.: Philosophy of Life, p. 78.

[6] Since Dilthey himself is convinced that the humanities are based on experience, they arise from the interpretation of the self-experience of life and - related to this - from the "fact of life", which are the temporal processes. Dilthey elaborates the thesis on the reality of time from both a substance philosophy and a philosophy of self-consciousness. But he avoids a mere relativism and one of the traditional teachings of time that makes time the image of eternity (Plato) or neglects the reality of time by claiming the phenomenality of time. In this context, Dilthey criticized the Kantian theory of time for the first time in his logic lectures in the eighties. In order to be able to justify the reality of the spiritual world, one needs, according to Dilthey, “above all a critique of Kant's teaching, which makes time a mere appearance and thus life itself” (V, 5).

[7] Finiteness is a concept of time. One day we will no longer be there as finite beings. With this inevitable fate we encounter a future present. But it is true that this existential truth of man is not even perceived by man. People push their finitude (Corruptibility) to the others, what Heidegger meant by the “man” sphere, although inside they know very well that they will no longer exist in a future present. The individual will be past in a present. See Bollnow, O-F .: Dilthey, p. 93 f.

[8] Dilthey describes this connection as follows: “We grasp the meaning of a moment in the past. It is significant insofar as a bond for the future took place in it through the deed or an external event. Or if the plan for future life has been recorded. Or if such a plan was brought towards its realization. Or it is significant for life as a whole, insofar as the intervention of the individual took place in this, in which his own essence intervened in the formation of humanity. In all these and other cases, the individual moment has meaning through its connection between past and future, individual existence and humanity. "(VII, 233)

[9] Dilthey means the interrelationship, which is a link between meaning and effect. One only recognizes the meaning from the effect. The meaning is only ascribed to the experience when it has had an effect in further life. An experience is significant insofar as it determines later life. Here there is a determination of the context of meaning developed in the individual life in connection with the other determination as an interrelationship.

[10] "In addition, the connection between what is remembered and what is present, the continuation of the qualitatively determined reality, the continued working of the past as a force in the present convey a character of its own to what is remembered." (VII, 73)

[11] H-U. Lessing emphasizes the shortcomings of Dilthey's analysis of time in relation to inner experience. He states, however, that despite these shortcomings, Dilthey's endeavors to establish the epistemological-logical-methodological foundation of the humanities are very influential for the philosophy of the 20th century. “Although (...) important parts of the 'Critique of Historical Reason', such as For example, the analyzes of inner experience and time belonging to the epistemological foundation have not been worked out or, as in the case of logic and methodology are only partly worked out, Dilthey's attempt at an epistemological-logical-methodological foundation of the humanities has turned out to be a program of great virulence and scope proved. ”Dilthey, W .: Texts for the Critique of Historical Reason, ed. v. H-U. Lessing, in the introduction, p. 23.

[12] Cf. Jatzkowski, T .: The theory of cultural-historical understanding in W. Dilthey and G. Simmel, Herdecke 1998, p. 217.

[13] “A new feature of life is now visible, which is conditioned by time, but which goes beyond it as something new. Life in its own essence is understood through categories which are alien to the knowledge of nature. Here, too, the decisive factor lies in the fact that these categories are not applied a priori to life as something alien to it, but that they lie in the essence of life itself. ”(VII, 232.)

[14] “We understand life only in a constant approximation; and it is in the nature of understanding and in the nature of life that it shows us quite different sides from the various standpoints in which its course of time is apprehended. In memory (when we remember) the category of meaning opens up first. Every present is filled with reality. But we ascribe a positive or negative value to this. And as we reach out towards the future, the categories of the purpose, the ideal, the shaping of life arise. "(VII, 236)

[15] Human existence and time are inextricably linked, but the question remains whether time was there before humans and is therefore independent of humans, whether it was first created by an 'external' force, like humans, or whether it was in the first place emerged with and through people as a respective perspective on the world. Despite the many unresolved questions, it is certain that we are temporal beings, that we cannot free ourselves from time. Temporality is a basic existential determination of human beings.

Augustine deals with this question in “Vom Gottesstaat”, 12th book, and represents there the non-equality of eternity with God (cf. Vol. II, pp. 89-90).

[16] R. A. Makreel: shows some similarity between Bergson's view of time and Dilthey due to the immensity of time. Both are against the practicing scientist's view of time. At the same time, however, it shows that the two philosophers are different: “Bergson had violently attacked the practicing scientist who traces the mobility of time by means of points through which an object moves. But precisely because this is so obviously inappropriate, Dilthey does not seem to share Bergson's concern. Such a geometrization of time is not a philosophical problem for Dilthey. It is only a hypothetical makeshift. ”From: Dilthey. Philosopher of the humanities, Frankfurt a / M. 1991, pp. 436-437.

[17] "This constant sinking of the present backwards into a past and becoming-present - of what we just expected, wanted, feared, which was also only in the region of what was presented - that is the character of real time." (VII , 72)

[18] See Makreel, R. A .: Dilthey, p. 438.

[19] K. Albert states this as follows: "The insight that although the present can be determined abstractly mathematically from the outside, as it were separated as a point of the past and the future, the present is never experienced in this way." From: Lebensphilosophie, p. 83.

[20] Aristotle deals with time in Physics, Book IV, Chapter 10. He says: “As concerns the 'now', which apparently separates the past and the future, it is not easy to see whether it is always throughout the whole time one and the same remains, or whether it keeps getting different. ”From: Physik IV 11, 218a 3-10.

[21] Ibid., 218b 25-30.

[22] Ibid., 220a 1-5.

[23] Ibid. IV 12, 220b 5-10.

[24] Aristotle states: “The now forms the connection between time (...); it holds past and future times together. And it is also the limit of time, it represents the beginning of the one, the end of the other, only this is not as visible as with the point that remains. It divides the possibility; and insofar as it shows this property, the now is always different, insofar as it is linked, on the other hand, it is always the same - as in the case of mathematical lines: the point ever assumed is not the same for thinking; for whoever divides the line it is always a different point; but insofar as it is a single point, it is the same everywhere. “From: Physik IV 12, 222a 10-15.

[25] Ibid., 223a 1-5.

[26] Dilthey does not accept time as a system of order. In Volume XIX he says: "If we assume that time is a system of order that is based on the conditions of something non-temporal, the impossibility of carrying out such a view immediately becomes apparent." (XIX, 214)

[27] "Among other moments, the continued working of the past as a force in the present communicates its meaning for you, the remembered with its own character of presence, through which it is drawn into the present." (VII, 194)

[28] Dilthey explains this with an example: “Backwards, the series of memory images graded according to the level of consciousness and emotional share: similar to how a series of houses or trees disappears into the distance, shrinks, the degree of memory freshness is graded in this memory line until at Losing the horizon of the images in the dark and the more links between the fulfilled present and a moment of the future lie, states of mind, external processes, means, purposes

[29] Carr, D .: Future Past, in: Dilthey and the Philosophy of the Present, Freiburg 1985, p. 425.

[30] Hegel clarifies the importance of memory with the following sentences: “But they memory has kept it and is the inner and, in fact, the higher form of substance. ”From: Phenomenology of Spirit, Theory-Werkausgabe, Bd. 3, Frankfurt 1969, p. 591.

[31] Hegel says about this in lectures on the Philosophy of Religion II: “So, secondly, divine history is as appearance, is as past; it is, has being, but a being that is reduced to appearances. As an appearance, it is immediate existence, which is also negated at the same time; this is the past. The divine history is as past, as the (actual story). "From: Theory-Werkausgabe vol. 17, p. 215.

[32] This statement by Dilthey is reminiscent of Aristotle's doctrine of happiness. He discusses it in the Nicomachean Ethics in Book 1. It is about the question of how one can be happy. Since bliss can only be attributed to a lifetime, there is no telling whether you are happy before you die. “Should we not call anyone else happy as long as they are alive, but should we also wait for the end after the salon has said it? And if this is to apply, then perhaps the person would also be called blissful and Salon does not mean it that way, but only that only then can one call a person happy with certainty because he is then relieved of all evil and adversity also the concern (...). Should one really have to wait for the end and only then be allowed to praise a person happy, not as if he were then, but because he was it before, how would it not be absurd that at the time of his happiness this real thing was not stated with truth about him because one does not like to praise the living happy because of the vicissitudes of fate, and because happiness applies to something permanent and very difficult to change, while the fortunes of the same people often move in circles? "Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1 , ed. by G. Bien, Hamburg 1972, pp. 18-19.

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