The answer is complicated: it starts with an academic exchange programme between Germany and the USA which brought the young post-doc Eduard Baumgarten in the mid ties to America and put him in contact with John Dewey and some of his pupils. After his return in he hoped to write and teach about pragmatism. This project came to an abrupt end, when Martin Heidegger denied him a promised position at the university of Freiburg. In the meantime new literature appeared on the theme, especially Vogt and Hausmann Whereas Hausmann tackled the task from the viewpoint of American Studies in Germany, though adding a number of new sources, Vogts writes as a historian of philosophy without considering any archival files concerning the Baumgarten case.
I thank Prof. Robert P. Ericksen Gig Harbour, Wa. Each of these periods covers 15 years more or less, and so may be compared. I will not try to create the illusion that one could measure exactly a complex entity such as intensity of reception in general and cross-border in particular. That is not possible, because number and kind of international contacts between scientists, reviews and translations of foreign books, the amount of secondary literature and dealings in lectures and seminars are each difficult to grasp, let alone to be combined into a weighted summary criterion.
Also the positive or negative evaluations contained in or implied by those activities and their results need to be considered. These may serve at the same time as a short overview of the reception of pragmatism in Germany, before I then concentrate on my main theme in this article: pragmatism in the Third Reich. According to his theory the truth of a belief consists in one formulation in its verification, in another one in the usefulness for the bearer of that belief. Many published a critical review afterwards including Moritz Schlick, 3 the founder of the Vienna Circle. As far as I know, no full-fledged monograph on pragmatism came forward in Germany at the time.
There Scheler conceded a role for a pragmatistic interpretation of some of the sciences, namely the natural sciences, but refused to extend such an interpretation to the humanities and theology. Part two was called, Der Pragmatismus: R. Emerson, W. James, John Dewey.
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These publications are better informed about pragmatism than their forerunners in the two previous periods with the possible exception of Scheler and evaluate it throughout more positively. It came about by the first organized exchange of young scientists and philosophers between Germany and the USA, which led to first-hand-knowledge of pragmatism.
Baeumler had built a career in philosophy at the university of Dresden prior to It was he who already in depicted Nietzsche as a propagandist of the authoritarian state in his book, Nietzsche als Philosoph und Politiker. I describe and discuss this divergence in section four. A sketch of this episode I give in section five. He His father, Fritz Baumgarten, had been director of a Gymnasium and later on university professor in Freiburg. Baumgarten immediately after his final exams at school volunteered as a soldier in the First World War.
During that time he came into contact with Heidegger who at the time served as an agent in the office of postal censorship in Freiburg. Material sociological investigations for the interpretation of the present cultural movement. After receiving his doctorate he — together with 12 other postgraduates — took a scholarship for the USA from an organization founded by Alfred Weber, 13 which shortly later became the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst.
I feel most grateful to have you as an interpreter of my ideas in German thought. His future wife, Grete also a former guest-student from Germany, whom he met at Harvard , had attained there an assistant professorship in ancient history earlier.
In Madison Baumgarten offered mostly courses on German contemporary philosophy. He also showed a lively interest in the culture and philosophy of his host country, especially for pragmatism.
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In he decided to quit his position in the USA and go permanently back to Germany. Heidegger, who was called to the prestigious philosophy chair in Freiburg in as succesor of Husserl, had offered Baumgarten a position as assistent professor. Already in the first Heidegger seminar, however, focused on Kant, it came to a clash between the two on proper interpretation of the categorical imperative.
This meant that any hope for the assistant professorship died immediately as well. Heidegger gave him at least a letter of recommendation for an exile in England. He was determined to pursue his career in Germany even later on in the Third Reich and he got very prominent backing.
It was the former Prussian minister of Culture Carl Heinrich Becker, who organized a small campaign in favor of Baumgarten. The failure of his habilitation project in Freiburg — considering the circumstances — only documents his honour; it is testimony to the strength of his individuality, which does not let him deviate, neither by fashionable suggestions let alone personal favours , from what he gained as his own insight and conscientious work. Seen in this way, it shows the split in the German phenomenological movement already before , that is, between its founding father Husserl and his most prominent follower, Heidegger.
Rickert writes that he had known Baumgarten even as a child. When he met him again later on, Baumgarten made an unfavorable, immature impression, giving Rickert no inclination to discuss philosophical issues with him. Rickert found his information on American universities and American youth interesting, and now this more mature Baumgarten made a very good impression on him.
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Plans to found an entire institute for American studies before the First World War did not materialize. But at least the subject was covered from onwards by an honorary professor, the US-American Thomas Cuming Hall, until he reached emeritus status in Plessow, in the discussions of the philosophical faculty. The themes he proposed were centered on the philosophy of Peirce, James and Dewey, American psychology James and Watson and pedagogy Dewey.
What he then actually taught after is a bit different: Peirce is no longer mentioned, nor Watson. Already in May Baumgarten should have started his courses, but it seems that the time between obtaining the lectureship and the publication of the personal- and lecture-program was too short to announce his course for the summer-semester But it is important for the following to know at least approximately what the main trends are in it.
I think that one of the members of the habilitations commission described the content remarkably well. I need to quote the letter from the 16th of December in full:. Baumgarten attended from to my lecture courses and seminars with the intention to habilitate in Freiburg in philosophy. During that time it became clear that he neither scientifically nor morally charakterlich was suitable.
I made that clear to him in and ended personal contacts with him. Baumgarten stems in his relationships as well as his intellectual attitude from the liberal-democratic Heidelberg-based circle of intellectuals around Max Weber. During his stay here he was everything other than a National Socialist […]. Baumgarten is very clever rhetorically. In philosophy I regard him as a deceiver without a thorough and sound knowledge. This judgment is based on my acquaintance two years ago. Because of his stay in America, during which he was americanized considerably in outlook and ways of thinking, he has doubtless achieved good knowledge of the country and its people.
But I have considerable reasons to doubt his political instinctive reliabil i ty and capability of judgment. Basically there is always the possibilty that Baumgarten changes thoroughly and strengthens. But it needs a proper trial period? There are three parts to the book. Part 1 contains twelve chapters each of which contains a particular theme which is of relevance to the philosophy of global warming. Part 3 contains a plethora of articles each of which illuminates certain aspects of my philosophy.
The reason for this three-pronged approach is that what I am trying to get you to see is complex and it involves interconnections between many different phenomena. You are also likely to come across things which violently clash with your existing beliefs.
My hope is that the three-pronged approach will both help you to understand particular points, and also to comprehend the bigger picture. You might find a particular chapter irrelevant at the time of reading it, but if you are open to the possibility that every chapter, every paragraph, is but a small jigsaw piece, then by the end of Part 3 you should be able to see the complete interconnected cosmic puzzle. There might be a complete transformation in the way that you see the world around you.
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In order to get the most out of the book I would definitely recommend starting at the beginning and moving through page by page, rather than jumping ahead to various sections that seem particularly interesting. I have attempted to slowly build up an overall philosophical worldview as the book progresses; that which appears in the latter stages of the book assumes an understanding of that which comes before.
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