This chapter details a survey of the Wilhelm von Humboldt renaissance in the
period around the year 1900 and the reform proposals of the subsequent
decades. Sylvia Paletschek has analysed the place of Humboldt in the early
twentieth-century academic debate. She has spoken of 'the discovery of
Humboldt' around the year 1900. The debates from the Weimar era on the
principles of the German university were framed by extensive demands for
academic reform. Karl Jaspers was typical of the Weimar Republic in that he
formulated a holistic ideal for the university. From the perspective of
university history Martin Heidegger's speech was a part of an extended
German debate on the basic academic issues. Heidegger cherished a dream of a
different kind of institution, a vision that entailed a break with all ideas
on the university as an autonomous institution.
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