Jonathan Blower                                                               Independent Scholar


Volume 5, October 2023

This contribution introduces, reproduces and translates Edgar Wind’s Grundbegriffe der Geschichts- und
Kulturphilosophie (Basic Concepts in the Philosophy of History and Culture), the last lecture course Wind
was able to deliver at the University of Hamburg before his permission to teach was revoked by the
National Socialists in 1933. The lecture notes themselves are sketchy, terse and often ambiguous.
They cover a wide intellectual terrain, establishing links between the humanities and the natural
sciences, rejecting the certainties of classical causality and the ‘linear conception of time’ in favour
of chance, uncertainty and the ‘configural conception of time’ – modern ideas first fully elaborated
in Wind’s 1929 Habilitation thesis, a critique of Kant that was later published as Das Experiment und
die Metaphysik (Experiment and Metaphysics). The introductory note to the translation sets the lectures
in their historical context and identifies Aby Warburg as a decisive influence on the young Wind’s
thinking. It also discusses certain issues of interpretation arising from the text of the lecture course,
which is preserved in two different versions, neither of which was produced by Wind himself.

Edgar Wind; Grundbegriffe; Hamburg; lectures; translation


Edgar Wind’s Grundbegriffe

The Edgar Wind Journal 5: 71-104, 2023
DOI: 10.53245/EWJ-000027
Copyright: © 2023 J. Blower. This is an open access, peer-reviewed article published by Bernardino Branca