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 591,547 page views. His biography is available in 64 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 61 in 2019). Wilhelm von Humboldt is the 102nd most popular philosopher (up from 104th in 2019), the 128th most popular biography from Germany (up from 129th in 2019) and the 15th 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 102 out of 1,089Before him are Al-Kindi, Zhuang Zhou, Gregory of Nazianzus, Roland Barthes, Philo, and Theophrastus. After him are Meister Eckhart, Gilles Deleuze, Ibn Taymiyyah, Nagarjuna, Bonaventure, and Tommaso Campanella.

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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, Benjamin Constant, John VI of Portugal, August Wilhelm Schlegel, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Nicolas Oudinot, and Manuel Godoy. 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, Thérésa Tallien, Auguste, Duke of Leuchtenberg, Catharina of Württemberg, John Nash, Guillaume Dupuytren, François Étienne de Kellermann, and Izabela Czartoryska.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 128 out of 5,289Before him are Henry the Fowler (876), Bruce Willis (1955), Alfred Jodl (1890), Charles the Fat (839), Frederick III, German Emperor (1831), and Gerd von Rundstedt (1875). After him are Thomas Müntzer (1489), Pope Joan (null), Franz von Papen (1879), Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742), Meister Eckhart (1260), and George I of Great Britain (1660).


Among philosophers born in Germany, Wilhelm von Humboldt ranks 15Before him are Jürgen Habermas (1929), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775), Nicholas of Cusa (1401), Walter Benjamin (1892), Carl von Clausewitz (1780), and Friedrich Fröbel (1782). After him are Meister Eckhart (1260), Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900), Oswald Spengler (1880), Herbert Marcuse (1898), Edith Stein (1891), and Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776).