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Wilhelm von Humboldt's Treatise "On the Internal and External Organization of the Higher Scientific Institutions in Berlin" (1810)

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It must thus always remain conscious that it is not really bringing this about, nor is it able to do so, indeed, that it is always an impediment as soon as it interferes, that the matter itself would proceed infinitely better without it, and that the following is the true state of affairs:

that there must needs exist in the positive society external forms and means for any activity on a broader scale, and that it therefore has the obligation to procure these also for the treatment of science;

that is not merely the manner in which it procures these forms and means that can become deleterious to the nature of the thing, but that the very circumstance that such external forms and means even exist for something totally foreign always has a detrimental effect and drags the spiritual and lofty down into the material and lower reality;

and that it must therefore have a clear sense of the inner nature for the sole reason that it can make up for what it itself has corrupted or impeded, even if without any fault of its own.

Even if this is nothing other than a different view of the same process, its advantage must also express itself in the result, since the state, if it examines the matter from this perspective, will interfere ever more humbly, just as no theoretically incorrect view, whatever one may say, ever goes unpunished in the practical activity of the state, since no activity in the state is merely mechanical.

This having been said, one can readily see that when it comes to the internal organization of the higher scientific institutions, everything depends on preserving the principle of seeing science as something that has not been and can never be entirely found, and to constantly pursue it as such.

As soon as one ceases to seek true science, or imagines that it does not need to be created out of the depth of the spirit, but could be externally strung together by collecting things, everything is irretrievably and eternally lost; lost to science, which, if this is continued for a long time, takes flight and leaves behind the language like an empty shell, and lost to the state. For only the science that comes from the inside and can be implanted into the inside also reshapes the character, and the state, just as humanity is not concerned with knowledge and talk, but with character and action.

Now, to forever forestall this wrong path, one need only keep alive and vigorous a three-fold striving of the mind:

for one, to derive everything from an original principle (through which the explanations of nature are elevated, for example, into dynamic, organic, and finally psychic ones in the broadest meaning);

second, to shape everything toward an ideal;

lastly, to combine that principle and this ideal into a single idea.

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