A dilettante (from Italian dilettante , present participle from dilettarsi , like Italian dilettare , “to inspire / delight someone; to love”, from Latin delectari “to enjoy”) is a lover of an art or science who does not feel like a school Education and not professionally involved. As an amateur or layman, he practices something for its own sake, i.e. out of interest , pleasure or passion, and thus differs from a professional . In doing so, he may have acquired perfect knowledge and skills; as long as he does not pursue the activity (as a "hobby") professionally or for his livelihood or has passed a recognized relevant examination, he is considered a dilettante.
Colloquially, the terms “dilettante” and “dilettante” are used disparagingly. An activity carried out “amateurishly” is then equated with “unprofessional”, “improperly”, “faulty”, “ bumbling ” or “superficially carried out”.
In modern times, a synthesis of both conceptual interpretations has emerged. Dilettantism is the inability to grasp lower problems and to deal with them appropriately. For this reason, the actions of a dilettante often appear amusing, which is closer to the original word origin than z. B. the synonym "bungling".
The term originally applied to the untrained artist or art lover. He's with the verb dabble since the 18th century in the German occupied and was especially found in the name of musical works "for connoisseurs and lovers" were written. The word was in no way intended to be derogatory, but rather served to distinguish the activities of the nobles from those of those who had to carry out their livelihood.
In the 1980s, musicians who alluded to all the traditions of pop music described themselves as “ Geniale Dilletanten ”, who (deliberately) diletted in their spelling. Among them were bands like Die Tödliche Doris and Einstürzende Neubauten .
- Manfred von Ardenne ; inventor in several fields without studies
- Beaumarchais , watchmaker, wrote the successful piece The Great Day or Figaro's Wedding
- The surgeons Theodor Billroth and Johann von Mikulicz made music with Johannes Brahms
- James Bradley , theologian, discovered the aberration of light
- Albert Einstein (physicist) was a violinist of Youra Guller accompanied
- Léon Foucault , self-taught, demonstrated the rotation of the earth with the Foucault pendulum , invented the typewriter and measured the speed of light
- Benjamin Franklin , printer, invented the lightning rod .
- Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller (1895–1983) was an American architect, constructor, visionary, designer, philosopher, and writer.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , lawyer and poet, discovered the metamorphosis and the intermaxillary bone of humans (at least he claimed the latter for himself), considered the theory of colors to be his most important work. He was also a "panamateur" in the fields of painting, music, botany and medicine.
- Otto von Guericke , lawyer and mayor of Magdeburg, founded vacuum technology
- Friedrich von Hahn , natural philosopher, set up the Remplin observatory, the first observatory in Mecklenburg
- Wilhelm Herschel , musician, became the greatest astronomer of his time.
- Carl Humann , engineer, excavated the ruins of the Pergamon Altar .
- Sebastian Kneipp , priest, rediscovered hydrotherapy in the 19th century and is the namesake of Kneipp medicine .
- Antoni van Leeuwenhoek , cloth merchant, built microscopes of unprecedented quality and thus discovered a.o. a. Bacilli and Spermatozoa .
- David H. Levy , science journalist, discovered numerous comets (e.g. Shoemaker-Levy 9 ); many of them with Eugene Shoemaker and his wife Carolyn Shoemaker .
- Gregor Mendel , the Augustinian canon, discovered the inheritance rules in peas , which are still known today as Mendel's rules .
- The Montgolfier brothers , paper manufacturers, invented the hot air balloon
- Nikolaus Otto was - without engineering education - a co-inventor of the four-stroke principle and designer, now internal combustion engines are spark-ignition in his honor gasoline engine called.
- Joseph Priestley , minister, discovered oxygen , ammonia , carbon dioxide, and hydrogen chloride .
- Count Rumford , politician, made a significant contribution to the theory of heat and cooked the first Rumford soup .
- Heinrich Schliemann , a merchant, dug up Troy .
- Robert Stirling , pastor, developed the Stirling engine
- Carl Friedrich Zelter , master bricklayer and building contractor, was also a musician, music teacher, conductor and composer. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was one of his students .
- Felix Wankel , developer - without engineering training - of the rotary piston engine and many of the resulting applications.
Dilettantes as a motive in literature
Examples of the dilettante as a motif in literature are the two title characters in Bouvard and Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert or the dilettante theater in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream , which Goethe later used in the first part of Faust .
- Wolfgang Müller (Ed.): Geniale Dilletanten. Merve Verlag Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-88396-021-7 .
- Safia Azzouni, Uwe Wirth: Dilettantism as a profession. Kadmos, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-86599-080-8 .
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: About the so-called dilettantism or the practical hobby in the arts. In: Goethe's works. Complete edition last hand. Volume 44: Goethe's posthumous works. Cotta, Stuttgart / Tübingen 1833, pp. 256-285. Digitized . - see also about amateurism .
- Word, factual and social history of the term ( Memento from January 8, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) by Georg Stanitzek
- Dilettantism as a method. Mark Dion's research on the phenomenology of the natural sciences, Univ.-Diss. by Christine Heidemann, with a chapter on the conceptual history of amateurism
- Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th ed., Ed. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 133.
- Christoph Weißer: On the quality of medical history articles in recent clinical journals. Critical remarks using the example of the history of trauma surgery. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 23, 2004, pp. 436–445, here: p. 436.