Definitions

Friedrich Wilhelm

Friedrich Wilhelm

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900, German philosopher, b. Röcken, Prussia. The son of a clergyman, Nietzsche studied Greek and Latin at Bonn and Leipzig and was appointed to the chair of classical philology at Basel in 1869. In his early years he was friendly with the composer Richard Wagner, although later he was to turn against him. Nervous disturbances and eye trouble forced Nietzsche to leave Basel in 1879; he moved from place to place in a vain effort to improve his health until 1889, when he became hopelessly insane. Nietzsche was not a systematic philosopher but rather a moralist who passionately rejected Western bourgeois civilization. He regarded Christian civilization as decadent, and in place of its "slave morality" he looked to the superman, the creator of a new heroic morality that would consciously affirm life and the life values. That superman would represent the highest passion and creativity and would live at a level of experience beyond the conventional standards of good and evil. His creative "will to power" would set him off from "the herd" of inferior humanity. Nietzsche's thought had widespread influence but was of particular importance in Germany. Apologists for Nazism seized on much of his writing as a philosophical justification for their doctrines, but most scholars regard this as a perversion of Nietzsche's thought. Among his most famous works are The Birth of Tragedy (1872, tr. 1910); Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-91, tr. 1909, 1930), and Beyond Good and Evil (1886, tr. 1907).

See his selected letters ed. by C. Middleton (1969); biographies by C. K. Brinton (1941, repr. 1965), H. A. Reyburn (1948, repr. 1973), I. Frenzel (1967), R. Hayman (1980, repr. 1999), L. Chamberlain (1996), and C. Cate (2005); studies by H. L. Mencken (1913, repr. 1993), R. Pfefler (1972), R. C. Solomon, ed. (1973), W. A. Kaufmann (4th ed. 1974), J. T. Wilcox (1974), J. P. A. Stern (1979), R. Schacht (1983), G. Clive (1984), R. J. Hollingdale (1985), J. Köhler (tr. 1998), and R. C. Solomon and K. M. Higgins (2000).

Raiffeisen, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1818-88, German leader in the cooperative movement. Between 1845 and 1865 he was mayor of several German towns. After the agricultural crisis of 1846-47 Raiffeisen came to the conclusion that the chief need of the people was for credit. He used his own limited fortune to start a system of rural credit cooperatives and banks; in 1872 he founded a regional cooperative bank and in 1876 a national one; in 1877 he unified the entire system. It was an early form of credit union. The Raiffeisen banks continue to be successful in Germany and the Netherlands.
Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1784-1846, German astronomer and mathematician. He became (1810) director of the new observatory at Königsberg and professor of astronomy at the Univ. of Königsberg. Among his many achievements the most noted is his discovery of the parallax of the fixed star 61 Cygni. Announced in 1838, it was officially recognized in 1841 as the first fully authenticated measurement of the distance of a star. His observations had, by 1833, increased the number of accurately cataloged stars to 50,000. This work was continued and extended by his pupil Argelander. Through observing the variations of the proper motions of Sirius and Procyon, he concluded that they possessed dimmer companions, which was verified a century later by astronomers. Bessel's works on astronomy include Fundamenta Astronomiae (1818) and Astronomische Untersuchungen (1841-42). Bessel also introduced a class of mathematical functions, named for him, which he established as a result of work on perturbation of the planets and which are widely used in applied mathematics, physics, and engineering.
Bülow, Friedrich Wilhelm, Freiherr von, 1755-1816, Prussian general in the Napoleonic Wars. After his victories (1813) over the French at Gross Beeren and at Dennewitz he was created count of Dennewitz. In 1815 he played a conspicuous part in the Waterloo campaign.
Seydlitz, Friedrich Wilhelm, Freiherr von, 1721-73, Prussian general under Frederick II. He helped restore the effectiveness of the Prussian cavalry and fought in the most important battles of the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, notably at Hohenfriedberg (1745), Kolin (1757), Rossbach (1757), Zorndorf (1758), and Freiberg (1762).
Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm, Baron von, 1730-94, Prussian army officer, general in the American Revolution, b. Magdeburg. He served in the Seven Years War and was a general staff officer. In 1762 he became an aide to Frederick the Great. Later, he was court chamberlain for the prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. After leaving the prince's service he met (1777) Benjamin Franklin in Paris and was given letters of introduction to George Washington. Arriving in America, Steuben served with Washington at Valley Forge in the winter of 1778. He undertook the training of the Continental army, molding it into a powerful striking force. Congress made him army inspector general in May, 1778. The effect of Steuben's training was seen at the battle of Monmouth (June, 1778), when American forces who had begun the retreat under orders from Charles Lee rallied against the British on Washington's arrival. Steuben commanded in the trenches at Yorktown. He was later granted a pension by Congress and large tracts of land by various states.

See biographies by J. B. Doyle (1913, repr. 1970) and J. M. Palmer (1937, repr. 1966).

(born Jan. 27, 1775, Leonberg, Württemberg—died Aug. 20, 1854, Bad Ragaz, Switz.) German philosopher and educator. Inspired by Immanuel Kant, in his System of Transcendental Idealism (1800) he attempted to unite his concept of nature with the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He held that art mediates between the natural and physical spheres when the natural (or unconscious) and spiritual (or conscious) productions are united in artistic creation. His view that the Absolute expresses itself in all beings as the unity of the subjective and the objective was criticized by G.W.F. Hegel. In Of Human Freedom (1809), he declared that mankind's freedom is real only if it is freedom for both good and evil, a position that forms the basis of his later philosophy. A major figure of post-Kantian idealism, Schelling had an important influence on Romanticism. Seealso Immanuel Kant; Kantianism.

Learn more about Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Sept. 2, 1853, Riga, Latvia—died April 4, 1932, near Leipzig, Ger.) Russian-German physical chemist. He moved to Germany in 1887. He wrote the influential Textbook of General Chemistry, 2 vol. (1885–87). With Jacobus H. van't Hoff in 1887 he founded the Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie, which became for many years the most important journal in the field. His work at the University of Leipzig (1887–1906) established it as a great school of physical chemistry. In 1888 he discovered Ostwald's law of dilution of an electrolyte. He gave the first modern definition of a catalyst in 1894 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1909 for his work on catalysis. His process for the conversion of ammonia to nitric acid proved of great industrial importance. He is regarded as one of the founders of the field of physical chemistry.

Learn more about Ostwald, (Friedrich) Wilhelm with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 27, 1775, Leonberg, Württemberg—died Aug. 20, 1854, Bad Ragaz, Switz.) German philosopher and educator. Inspired by Immanuel Kant, in his System of Transcendental Idealism (1800) he attempted to unite his concept of nature with the philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He held that art mediates between the natural and physical spheres when the natural (or unconscious) and spiritual (or conscious) productions are united in artistic creation. His view that the Absolute expresses itself in all beings as the unity of the subjective and the objective was criticized by G.W.F. Hegel. In Of Human Freedom (1809), he declared that mankind's freedom is real only if it is freedom for both good and evil, a position that forms the basis of his later philosophy. A major figure of post-Kantian idealism, Schelling had an important influence on Romanticism. Seealso Immanuel Kant; Kantianism.

Learn more about Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Bessel, engraving by E. Mandel after a painting by Franz Wolf

(born July 22, 1784, Minden, Brandenburg—died March 17, 1846, Königsberg, Prussia) German astronomer. He was the first to measure (by means of parallax) the distance to a star other than the Sun. One of his major discoveries was that the bright stars Sirius and Procyon make tiny motions explainable only by the existence of invisible companions disturbing their motions. His observation of tiny irregularities in the orbit of Uranus, which he concluded were caused by an unknown planet beyond, led to the discovery of Neptune. His mathematical functions for studying planetary motions became widely used in solving a wide range of differential equations.

Learn more about Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Bessel, engraving by E. Mandel after a painting by Franz Wolf

(born July 22, 1784, Minden, Brandenburg—died March 17, 1846, Königsberg, Prussia) German astronomer. He was the first to measure (by means of parallax) the distance to a star other than the Sun. One of his major discoveries was that the bright stars Sirius and Procyon make tiny motions explainable only by the existence of invisible companions disturbing their motions. His observation of tiny irregularities in the orbit of Uranus, which he concluded were caused by an unknown planet beyond, led to the discovery of Neptune. His mathematical functions for studying planetary motions became widely used in solving a wide range of differential equations.

Learn more about Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Baeyer, 1905

(born Oct. 31, 1835, Berlin, Prussia—died Aug. 20, 1917, Starnberg, near Munich, Ger.) German research chemist. He synthesized indigo and formulated its structure, discovered the phthalein dyes, and investigated such chemical families as the polyacetylenes, oxonium salts, and uric-acid derivatives (discovering barbituric acid, parent compound of the barbiturates). He also made contributions to theoretical chemistry. He received the Nobel Prize in 1905.

Learn more about Baeyer, (Johann Friedrich Wilhelm) Adolf von with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz is an Berlin U-Bahn station located on the .

|}

Search another word or see Friedrich Wilhelmon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature