von Humboldt (22 June 1767 – 8 April 1835) was a German
philosopher, government functionary, diplomat
, and founder of Humboldt Universität. He is especially remembered as a linguist
who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the Prussian education system
which was used as a model for education systems in countries such as the United States
Humboldt was born in Potsdam
, Margraviate of Brandenburg
, and died in Tegel
, Province of Brandenburg
Diejenige Regierung ist die beste, die sich überflüssing macht.
True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.
Governmental regulations all carry coercion to some degree, and even where they don't, they habituate man to expect teaching, guidance and help outside himself, instead of formulating his own.
How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is.
Freedom is but the possibility of a various and indefinite activity; while government, or the exercise of dominion, is a single, but yet real activity. The ardent desire for freedom, therefore, is at first only too frequently suggested by the deep-felt consciousness of its absence.
The inquiry into the proper aims and limits of State agency must be of the highest importance—nay, that it is perhaps more vitally momentous than any other political question.
The true end of Man, or that which is prescribed by the eternal and immutable dictates of reason, and not suggested by vague and transient desires, is the highest and most harmonious development of his powers to a complete and consistent whole.
Reason cannot desire for man any condition other than that in which not only every individual enjoys the most absolute, unbounded freedom to develop himself out of himself, in true individuality, but in which physical nature, as well, need receive no other shaping by human hands than that which is given to her voluntarily by each individual, according to the measure of his wants and his inclinations, restricted only by the limits of his energy and his rights.
Wherever the citizen becomes indifferent to his fellows, so will the husband be to his wife, and the father of a family toward the members of his household.