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Geschichte und Systematik eines philosophischen Ausdrucks

Langbehn, Claus

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 55 (2014), Iss. 0: S. 182–223

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Langbehn, Claus


The German word ›Selbstverständnis‹ was coined by the end of the 18th century, probably by Novalis. Within German Idealism it was the late Fichte who usedit almost systematically from 1805. It then took root in philosophy, rather surprisingly, not so much through the 19th century humanities as through MartinHeidegger. Some years ago it was argued that ›Selbstverständnis‹ as used in the common language of the second half of the 20th century was a buzzword. This istrue also for contemporary German philosophy, although there are tendencies which show that the word might be on its way to become a philosophical conceptor term. In the present article, I investigate the development of the philosophical expression ,Selbstverständnis’ from its beginnings up to this day, an attempt notmade so far.


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Claus Langbehn: Selbstverständnis. Geschichte und Systematik eines philosophischen Ausdrucks 181