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Wilhelm von Humboldt

1767 - 1835

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Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt (, also US: , UK: ; German: [ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈhʊmbɔlt]; 22 June 1767 – 8 April 1835) was a Prussian philosopher, linguist, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin, which was named after him in 1949 (and also after his younger brother, Alexander von Humboldt, a naturalist). He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language, ethnolinguistics and to the theory and practice of education. He made a major contribution to the development of liberalism by envisioning education as a means of realizing individual possibility rather than a way of drilling traditional ideas into youth to suit them for an already established occupation or social role. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Wilhelm von Humboldt has received more than 722,718 page views. His biography is available in 65 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 64 in 2019). Wilhelm von Humboldt is the 104th most popular philosopher (down from 102nd in 2019), the 130th most popular biography from Germany (down from 128th in 2019) and the 14th most popular German Philosopher.

Wilhelm von Humboldt is most famous for his work in linguistics, philosophy, and education. He was a professor of philology at the University of Berlin and one of the first proponents of the idea that language is an organic part of culture.

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Among philosophers, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 104 out of 1,081Before him are Zhuang Zhou, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Isidore of Seville, Roland Barthes, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Theophrastus. After him are Henri de Saint-Simon, Jacques Derrida, Aristippus, Joseph Priestley, Friedrich Fröbel, and Philo.

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Among people born in 1767, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 2Before him is Joachim Murat. After him are Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, Andrew Jackson, Jean-Baptiste Say, John Quincy Adams, John VI of Portugal, Benjamin Constant, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, August Wilhelm Schlegel, Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg, and Nicolas Oudinot. Among people deceased in 1835, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 3Before him are Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Vincenzo Bellini. After him are Antoine-Jean Gros, Édouard Mortier, Duke of Trévise, Auguste, Duke of Leuchtenberg, Thérésa Tallien, Catharina of Württemberg, Guillaume Dupuytren, François Étienne de Kellermann, John Nash, and Izabela Czartoryska.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 130 out of 6,142Before him are Heinrich Böll (1917), Augustus II the Strong (1670), Michael Schumacher (1969), Rudolf Höss (1901), Queen Silvia of Sweden (1943), and Leopold I of Belgium (1790). After him are Novalis (1772), Bruce Willis (1955), Agrippina the Younger (15), Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472), Leni Riefenstahl (1902), and Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742).


Among philosophers born in Germany, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 14Before him are Karl Jaspers (1883), Jürgen Habermas (1929), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775), Nicholas of Cusa (1401), Carl von Clausewitz (1780), and Walter Benjamin (1892). After him are Friedrich Fröbel (1782), Meister Eckhart (1260), Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776), Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900), Oswald Spengler (1880), and Rudolf Christoph Eucken (1846).