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Erich Auerbach held an expansive notion of what philology is and does. Taking literature as his starting point (often under the rubric of a concrete Ansatzpunkt, be this a phrase, an isolated feature of style, or a self-contained logical sequence), Auerbach restlessly sought to establish nothing less than an intellectual—or better yet, spiritual (he often calls it “inner”)—history of the Western European mind as it lunged into contemporary modernity. Literary forms were for Auerbach a gateway to forms of thought, feeling, and expression. Philology was the method best suited to grasping these. The result was a philology of the world (Weltphilologie)—a politically, ideologically, and ethically engaged counter-philology that is as relevant today as it was in his own lifetime.