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Jaspers, Karl

(806 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Feb 23, 1883, Oldenburg – Feb 26, 1969, Basel). Following his medical studies, Jaspers worked in the University of Heidelberg's psychiatric clinic. He completed his Habilitation in 1913, also in Heidelberg, at the philosophical faculty in the discipline of psychology; he became associate professor of psychology in 1916 and professor of philosophy in 1921. In 1937, he was forced into retirement and forbidden to publish after 1938. In 1945, he resumed his teaching responsibilities …

Natorp, Paul

(756 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Jan 24, 1854, Düsseldorf – Aug 17, 1924, Marburg). Natorp grew up in a Protestant parsonage. After receiving his doctorate, he was drawn to Marburg to hear H. Cohen’s interpretation of I. Kant. At Marburg he completed his Habilitation in 1881 with a study of R. Descartes; he was appointed professor in 1885. He and Cohen founded the so-called Marburg school, and he became one of the major exponents of Neo-Kantianism. For Natorp philosophy was in the first instance epistemology. He followed Cohen in resolving the Kantian dualism of reason and intuitio…


(612 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] In pre-Socratic times (Pre-Socratics) the notion of moderation was relevant among, for example, the Pythagoreans, for whom the harmony of the cosmos resulted from numbers as the elements of all things (DK 58 B 4). A significant departure from such conceptions of order (Order: I), which were generally predominant in Greek culture (e.g. in Solon's legislation), was that of the Sophistic school, which placed moderation in an individual perspective and thereby elevated unrestrained heightening to an ideal, as for instance in the context of desire (Plato Gorg. 492d–e). …


(457 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] The notion of a view from different “perspectives” (standpoints, points of view) that can affect cognition (Epistemology) was already being used systematically in antiquity. Plato justifies the primacy of reason over pleasure on the grounds that a sense of wellbeing is only a reduction of pain to a neutral state and not true pleasure. Reason, on the contrary, or the pleasure that follows it, precludes any deceptive outward appearance. Through comparison with the proportions of per…

Ritter, Joachim

(161 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Apr 3, 1903, Geesthacht – Aug 3, 1974, Münster), gained his doctorate in Hamburg under E. Cassirer in 1925; from 1946 he was professor of philosophy in Münster. Ritter’s starting-point was the experience of the modern, which for him was characterized by the liberation of subjectivity. This required re-attachment to an earlier, historically given institutional framework, in order to assure its moral claims. With this insight Ritter became a renewer of practical philosophy, which draws on Aristotle in reflecting on the preconditions of effective action, for ¶ example…

Sartre, Jean-Paul

(651 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Jun 21, 1905, Paris – Apr 15, 1980, Paris), studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and taught at lycées in Le Havre, Laon, and Paris. He was a prisoner of war in Germany in 1940/1941, then joined the French resistance. After 1945 he edited the journal Les temps modernes. After World War II, Sartre became one of the most influential intellectuals of his age. He actively opposed the wars in Algeria (1958–1962) and Vietnam (1968) and supported the student movement. From 1952 until the Hungarian uprising in 1956, …


(1,580 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] I. History The term Neo-Kantianism refers to a philosophical orientation that attained its standard form in the years 1870 to 1920 and held a prominent position within German academic philosophy during this time. It was divided into two groups, the so-called Marburg school and the Southwest German school. This standard or classic Neo-Kantianism had been preceded by a widespread reorientation to I. Kant from the mid-19th century onward. It received its programmatic formulation in Otto Liebmann’s publication Kant und die Epigonen (1865). This was accompanied by…

Ortega y Gasset, José

(261 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (May 9, 1883, Madrid – Oct 18, 1955, Madrid), studied in Madrid, where he was appointed professor of metaphysics in 1910. Study trips brought him to Germany from 1904 to 1907, including Marburg, where he came under the influence of Neo-Kantianism. To escape the civil war, he left Spain in 1936 and did not return permanently until 1948. His wide-ranging work was devoted to topics of philosophy, art, and politics; he always dealt with culture in its totality. He combined the insight…


(279 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] Among the numerous meteorological phenomena (Weather), the wind occupies a prominent place. In many religions, its insubstantiality as well as its lack of association with any particular place together with its varying intensity and unpredictability have made the wind take on a personal quality. Besides the important function of the wind in moving the rain clouds necessary for vegetation, it plays a critical role among seafaring peoples, as it propels or capsizes ships, making the sea navigable or dangerous. According to the Iliad and Odyssey, the Greeks had seve…

Foucault, Michel

(195 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (Oct 15, 1926, Paris – Jun 25, 1984, Paris). Foucault studied philosophy and psychology, earning his doctorate in 1961. From 1969 he was a professor at the Collège de France. Foucault developed reconstructive methods for analyzing the connection between knowledge and power, in part drawing from F. Nietzsche's understanding of genealogy. Proceeding in a structuralist and historical fashion, he demonstrated how modern sciences and institutions are constituted through systematic excl…


(1,157 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] In philosophical discussion of nothingness (Ger. das Nichts), one may distinguish logical and metaphysical approaches. On the level of logic various meanings of speaking about nothingness are traditionally discussed. Thus, for example, I. Kant distinguishes four possible meanings. First, nothingness as ens rationis, i.e. as a mere “thought thing” in the sense of a con-¶ cept free from contradiction; second, nothingness as ens imaginarium, i.e. a mere play of ideas; third, nothingness as nihil privativum, i.e. as a negation or lack; fourth, nothingness as nihil ne…


(148 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] Ritter, Joachim (3.4.1903 Geesthacht – 3.8.1974 Münster). 1925 Promotion in Hamburg bei E. Cassirer, ab 1946 Prof. für Philos. in Münster. R. ging von der Erfahrung der Moderne aus, die sich für ihn durch das Freiwerden der Subjektivität charakterisiert. Diese bedarf zur Sicherung ihrer moralischen Ansprüche der Rückbindung an einen gesch. vorgegebenen institutionellen Rahmen. Durch diese Einsicht wurde R. zu einem Erneuerer der praktischen Philos., die in Anlehnung an Aristoteles…

Lotze, Rudolf Hermann

(389 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[German Version] (May 21, 1817, Bautzen – Jul 1, 1881, Berlin). After receiving degrees in medicine and philosophy, Lotze was appointed professor in Göttingen in 1844. His significance in the history of philosophy is twofold. He released philosophy from speculative Idealism by contrasting the realism of the natural sciences. He was also the author of an epistemology that was not naturalistically reducible, such as would be developed by Neo-Kantianism in the person of Lotze's student W. Windelband …


(194 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] Windelband, Wilhelm (11.5.1848 Potsdam – 22.10.1915 Heidelberg). 1876 Prof. für Philos. in Zürich, 1877 in Freiburg, 1882 in Straßburg, ab 1903 in Heidelberg. W. wurde zum Begründer der Südwestdt. oder Badischen Schule des Neukantianismus. Unter dem Leitbegriff der Kultur formulierte er einen syst. Ansatz, der Geschichtlichkeit und apriorische Geltung zu vereinigen suchte. Zum Ausgangspunkt wurde dabei I. Kants praktische Philos. Den überzeitlichen Gehalt der Erkenntnis schafft de…


(551 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] Sartre, Jean-Paul (21.6.1905 Paris – 15.4.1980 ebd.). 1924–1929 Studium der Philos. an der Ecole normale supérieure in Paris, 1931–1944 Gymnasiallehrer in Le Havre, Laon und Paris, 1940–1941 Kriegsgefangenschaft in Deutschland, danach Beteiligung an der Résistance und ab 1945 Hg. der Zeitschrift »Les temps modernes«. S. wurde nach dem 2. Weltkrieg zu einem der einflußreichsten Intellektuellen seiner Zeit. Er engagierte sich unter anderem gegen die Kriege in Algerien (1958–1962) und Vietnam (1968) und unterstützte die Stu…


(435 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] . Das Bild von den »Perspektiven«, d.h. den »Standpunkten« oder »Blickwinkeln«, die die Erkenntnis (Erkenntnistheorie) beeinflussen können, wird schon in der Antike zu syst. Bestimmungen genutzt. So begründet Plato den Primat der Vernunft über die Lust damit, daß das sinnliche Wohlgefühl nur ein Abklingen von Schmerz hin zu einem neutralen Zustand und keine wahrhaftige Lust bedeute. Ihm gegenüber schließt die Vernunft bzw. die ihr folgende Lust jeden trügerischen Anschein aus. Du…

Ortega y Gasset

(234 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] Ortega y Gasset, Jose´ (9.5.1883 Madrid – 18.10.1955 ebd.). O. studierte in Madrid, wo er ab 1910 eine Professur für Metaphysik innehatte. Studienreisen führten ihn von 1904 bis 1907 nach Deutschland, u.a. nach Marburg in das Umfeld des Neukantianismus. Aufgrund des Bürgerkriegs verließ er 1936 Spanien und kehrte erst 1948 endgültig zurück. O.s vielfältiges Werk widmet sich Themen der Philos., der Kunst und der Politik; es hat stets das Ganze der Kultur im Blick. So vermittelte er d…


(684 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] Natorp, Paul (24.1.1854 Düsseldorf – 17.8.1924 Marburg). N. entstammte einem prot. Pfarrhaus. Nach der Promotion lockte ihn H. Cohens Interpretation I. Kants nach Marburg, wo er sich 1881 mit einer Arbeit über R. Descartes habilitierte und ab 1885 Prof. war. Mit Cohen begründete er die sog. Marburger Schule und wurde zu einem der Hauptvertreter des Neukantianismus. Philos. ist für N. zunächst Erkenntnistheorie. Er folgt Cohen darin, den Kantischen Dualismus von Verstand und Anschauung aufzuheben und in eine Theorie reiner Denkgeset…


(1,341 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] I. Geschichte Der Begriff des N. bez. eine philos. Richtung, deren klassische Gestalt sich in den Jahren von 1870 bis 1920 entwickelte und während dieser Zeit eine herausragende Stellung innerhalb der dt. Universitätsphilos. besaß. Sie unterteilt sich in zwei Gruppierungen, die sog. Marburger und die Südwestdt. Schule. Dem klassischen N. war ab der Mitte des 19.Jh. eine weitverbreitete Tendenz der Rückbesinnung auf I. Kant vorangegangen. Sie fand ihren programmatischen Ausdruck in Otto Liebmanns Schrift »Kant und die Epigone…

Nichts, das

(1,067 words)

Author(s): Steinmann, Michael
[English Version] . Bei der philos. Beschäftigung mit dem N. lassen sich logische und metaphysische Zugangsweisen unterscheiden. Auf der Ebene der Logik werden traditionell die verschiedenen Bedeutungen der Rede vom N. diskutiert. So unterscheidet z.B. I. Kant vier mögliche Bedeutungen: Erstens das N. als ens rationis, d.h. als bloßes »Gedankending« im Sinn eines widerspruchsfreien Begriffs; zweitens das N. als ens imaginarium, d.h. als bloßes Spiel der Anschauung; drittens das N. als nihil privat…
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