[History of thought tendencies in biography - a cultural historical synopsis].
Biography, presumably, the oldest form of historiography, is rudimentally already found in the Attic comedy. Reference is made to Xenophon and his representation of leading personalities and predominance problems as well as to Aristotle through whose school the empiric exploration of the individual personality in philosophy was firmly established. To Theophrast's pictures of human weakness are added new psychological aspects under Aristoxenos. In the biographical work of Nepos the picture of the habits of famous men was shown on a subhistorical level. While Plutarch's character descriptions are fully rationalistic there can be no doubt that a moral value judgement is passed. The Concepts "experience" and "inner development" were therefore unknown in the antique biography. Herder, as the onset of the writing of scientific biographies, is considered the promotor of an objectivating biographical and autobiographical method. Reference is made to Dilthey's theory of knowledge and his theory of cognition, particularly to his cultural-historical approach, whereby a close relationship to Gruhle ("understanding psychology"), Jaspers ("The art of sympathising understanding") as well as Birnbaum ("pathographic methodology") becomes evident.