Alexius Meinong

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Alexius Meinong
Coat of arms of the Meinong von Handschuchsheim family, awarded in 1851.

Alexius Meinong Ritter von Handschuchsheim (born July 17, 1853 in Lemberg ; † November 27, 1920 in Graz ) was an Austrian philosopher and psychologist , best known for his object theory , which is shaped by the ideas of his teacher Franz Brentano .


Alexius Meinong came from a large family. His parents were the Austrian officer Anton von Meinong (1799–1870) and his wife Wilhelmine, b. Sófalvi. Anton von Meinong was raised to the hereditary Austrian knighthood on October 17, 1851 with the predicate "von Handschuchsheim", was appointed major general on June 27, 1858 and retired on August 30, 1859.

Alexius Meinong grew up in Vienna, where he attended the Academic Gymnasium from 1868 to 1870 . He then studied history at the University of Vienna and received his doctorate in 1874. Subsequently, however, after he had registered as a regular student in the law faculty in the fall of 1874, he turned to Franz Brentano's philosophy at the end of the winter semester 1874/75 . In 1878 he completed his habilitation with Brentano and taught philosophy as a private lecturer at the University of Vienna. In 1882 he was appointed to an associate professor for philosophy at the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, where he was appointed full professor in 1889. Until his death in 1920 he worked in Graz, where he founded the so-called Graz School . In 1886/87 he began to hold experimental psychological exercises and in 1894 set up the first experimental psychological laboratory in Austria ("Psychological Laboratory of the University of Graz").

He is buried in the St. Leonhard Cemetery in Graz . His estate is in the Graz University Library .

The core idea of ​​the object theory is that every act of perception and in general every experience is "intentional" in the sense that its content is "directed towards something", refers to an "object".


  • About philosophical science and its propaedeutics. Vienna 1885.
  • Psychological-ethical investigations on the theory of Werth. Festschrift of the KK Karl-Franzens-University for the annual celebration on November 15, 1894. Graz 1894.
  • About the position of object theory in the system of sciences. Leipzig 1907.
  • About assumptions. Leipzig 1910.
  • About emotional presentation. Vienna 1917.
  • To prove the general law of causation. Vienna 1918.
  • Philosophers' Letters - From Scientific Correspondence. (Ed. With note by R. Kindinger). Graz 1965.
  • Alexius Meinong, Guido Adler: Alexius Meinong and Guido Adler: a friendship in letters. Amsterdam 1995, ISBN 90-5183-867-0 .
  • About the experience bases of our knowledge . 2006, ISBN 3-86550-938-X .

Work edition

  • Alexius Meinong: Complete Edition. Ed. U. a. by Rudolf Haller and Roderick Chisholm . 7 volumes. Academic Printing and Publishing House, Graz 1968–1978.
  • Alexius Meinong: College notebooks and fragments. Writings from the estate. Supplementary volume to the complete edition. Edited by Rudolf Haller. Academic Printing and Publishing House, Graz 1978.


  • Dietrich Heinrich Kerler: About assumptions. A pamphlet against A. v. Meinong's work of the same name plus contributions to the theory of meaning and object theory. Ulm 1910.
  • Rudolf Haller (Ed.): Beyond being and not being. Contributions to Meinong research. Academic Printing and Publishing Company, Graz 1972.
  • David F. Lindenfeld: The transformation of positivism: Alexius Meinong and European thought, 1880-1920. University of California Press, Berkeley 1980, ISBN 0-520-03994-7 .
  • Duen Jau Marti-Huang: The object theory of Alexius Meinong as an approach to an ontologically neutral logic. Haupt, Bern 1984, ISBN 3-258-03323-4 .
  • G. Benetka: On the history of the institutionalization of psychology in Austria. The establishment of the Vienna Psychological Institute. Geyer Edition, Vienna 1990.
  • G. Benetka: Psychology in Vienna. Social and theoretical history of the Vienna Psychological Institute 1922–1938. WUV, Vienna 1995.
  • Evelyn Dölling: “Seeking truth and confessing truth”. Alexius Meinong. Sketch of his life. Amsterdam 1999, ISBN 90-420-0774-5 .
  • Maria Reicher: Alexius Meinong. In: Karl Acham (ed.): Art and humanities from Graz. Böhlau, Vienna 2009, pp. 645–664.
  • Marie-Luise Schubert Kalsi: Alexius Meinong's Elements of Ethics. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht et al. 1996, ISBN 0-7923-3803-0 .
  • Ingrid Vendrell-Ferran: Meinong's philosophy of feelings and its influence on the Graz school. (= Meinong Studies. III ). Graz 2009.
  • Alois Kernbauer, Walter Höflechner (Ed.): Guido Adler to Alexius Meinong. Letters 1877–1920. In: Walter Höflechner (Hrsg.): Contributions and materials on the history of science in Austria. (= Publications from the archive of the University of Graz. 11). Graz 1981, pp. 413-478.

Web links

Commons : Alexius Meinong  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence