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).

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

|}

Search another word or see Friedrich Wilhelmon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature