Wilhelm Dilthey was a German philosopher who lived from 1833-1911. He is best known for the way he distinguished between the natural and human sciences. Whereas the primary task of the natural sciences is to arrive at law-based explanations, the core task of the human sciences is the understanding of human and historical life. Dilthey's aim was to expand Kant's primarily cognitive Critique of Pure Reason into a Critique of Historical Reason that can do justice to the full scope of lived experience. Understanding the meaning of history requires both an inner articulation of the temporal structures of our own experience and the interpretation of the external objectifications of others. Dilthey's reflections on history and hermeneutics influenced thinkers in the twentieth century, especially Ortega, Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur. . . .
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