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The discipline of history has had to struggle from the outset with the philosophical challenge to its status as a “science.” Hermeneutic historicism has been the most plausible basis for a consistent response to this challenge. In this chapter I trace the disciplinary constitution of history via hermeneutic historicism in the works of Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gustav Droysen, and Wilhelm Dilthey. One of my objectives is to displace a conception of the rise of the discipline identified too closely with Leopold von Ranke, and instead to situate Droysen as the key theoretical progenitor of modern historical self-understanding and practice.
This chapter describes freedom as the end that is necessary in itself, and illustrates the development of Immanuel Kant's thought about the inclination to freedom and its cultivation and education in his anthropological and pedagogical lectures. The idea of freedom as the necessary end on which morality is based is also present in the introduction to Kant's lectures on natural right as recorded by Gottfried Feyerabend. In the lectures on anthropology, Kant always presents the inclination to freedom as one of two general or formal inclinations that one has, alongside the inclination to resources or means. Proper upbringing and education can develop a proper enthusiasm for the freedom of all that can prevent the original inclination toward own freedom from turning into a violent passion aimed exclusively at that, a passion that can lead to the desire for vengeance instead of justice that is excitable through mere self-love.