Eduard von Hartmann

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eduard von Hartmann

Karl Robert Eduard Hartmann , von Hartmann since 1862 (born February 23, 1842 in Berlin ; † June 5, 1906 ibid) was a German philosopher .

He is also known as "the philosopher of the unconscious". In his work Philosophy of the Unconscious, von Hartmann tried to bring together two different ways of thinking ( rationalism and irrationalism ) by emphasizing the central role of the unconscious .

His work influenced depth psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung .


Eduard was born as the son of the Prussian Major General Robert von Hartmann , who was raised to the hereditary Prussian nobility in 1862 . In 1858 he joined the Guard Artillery Regiment of the Prussian Army and attended the United Artillery and Engineering School . Due to a chronic knee pain, he took his leave as Prime Lieutenant in 1865 . He received his doctorate in Rostock in 1867 , but did not pursue an academic career. After the great success of his first work Philosophy of the Unconscious (1869), he turned down professorships from the universities of Leipzig, Göttingen and Berlin. Instead, he lived and worked as an independent private scholar in Berlin .

Hartmann married Agnes Taubert (1844–1877) on July 3, 1872 in Charlottenburg. After her death, he married Alma Lorenz (* 1854) in Bremen on November 4, 1878. Six children resulted from the marriages.

Hartmann died on June 5, 1906 in his hometown. He is buried in an honorary grave of the city of Berlin in the Columbiadamm cemetery.


After he had recognized “thought as his job” at the age of 22 , he began to write down a work “without a plan” towards the end of 1864 , which is now considered to be Hartmann's main philosophical work. In this philosophy of the unconscious (Berlin 1869; 12 editions until 1923), which quickly attracted attention , he attempted a synthesis of aspects of the philosophies of Arthur Schopenhauer , Leibniz , Schelling, and Hegel .

Hartmann describes his point of view as the extremes of the logical idea (in Hegel) and the blind will (Schopenhauer) in the unity of the unconscious - which is will and imagination - overriding monism . The unconscious is about the same for his system, what Spinoza the substance , for spruce the absolute I , the idea is for Hegel.

Hegel's greatest error was to understand the illogical , the equal opposition of the logical, as an inner component of the logical; that of Schopenhauer, on the other hand, to regard the idea as a mere “brain product” and the will, the essence of the world, as being stripped of any idea. The unconscious is both will and imagination, real and ideal, illogical and logical, at the same time. The “world process” is the result of the ideal opposition of these two attributes, which would end with the conquest of the illogical (the will) by the logical (the imagination). This suspension of the will through the idea takes place universally, not (as with Schopenhauer) individually; not as the redemption of the individual (for example through suicide), but of the whole world of phenomena from the agony of existence.

The pessimistic view of the “unhappiness” (the excess of displeasure over pleasure ) in the world therefore does not have quietism , the “cowardly personal renunciation and withdrawal” , the “denial of the world” (as with Schopenhauer), but rather rather "full dedication of the personality to the world process to its target, the general world salvation's sake" , ie the positive "affirmation of the will to live" , instead of "divisiveness" the "reconciliation" with the life result. This emphatic rejection of contemplative inaction is a clear distinction from Schopenhauer. In the rejection of his pessimism Hartmann found an advocate in his first wife when she published Der Pessimismus und seine opponents under her maiden name Agnes Taubert in 1873 .

Hartmann referred to Schelling's positive philosophy in a special script. He understood it as a synthesis of the teachings of Hegel and Schopenhauer. As in this, his first major work, his metaphysics , so Hartmann presented his moral philosophy in his second, the Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness (Berlin 1878, 2nd edition 1886) , and his religious philosophy in a third , namely in a first, historical-critical one Part: The religious consciousness of mankind in the gradual course of its development (Berlin 1882), in a second, systematic part: The religion of the spirit (Berlin 1882), ie religious consciousness at the level of concrete monism and its doctrine of immanence .

Hartmann's funeral, 1906

A fourth important work deals with aesthetics , namely in the first part The German Aesthetics since Kant (Berlin 1886), in the second part The Philosophy of the Beautiful (Berlin 1887).

Confrontation with Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche attacked Hartmann's philosophy of the unconscious sharply in his work On The Use and Disadvantage of History for Life (1874) . In other writings, too, Nietzsche explicitly or implicitly dealt with Hartmann's views, which he found mostly naive. Hartmann as a successful author (for Nietzsche a "fashion philosopher") did not respond to the criticism of the still little known Nietzsche. It was only after Nietzsche had fallen into mental derangement and a little later came to fame surprisingly quickly that Hartmann spoke up. Nietzsche's “New Moral” was essentially a plagiarism of Max Stirner's ideas and was also presented much more clearly by him. Nietzsche, who does not mention Stirner in any of his writings, must have known him, since in his Second Untimely Consideration of 1874 he criticized precisely those passages of his (Hartmann's) book that explicitly refer to "Stirner's point of view and its meaning in the philosophy of the unconscious " received. While Hartmann saw his own philosophy as overcoming Stirner's “exclusive egoism” (“to which one must have listened to once in order to feel the greatness of progress”), he did not see this in Nietzsche - Nietzsche had reverted to “Stirner's point of view” . Following Hartmann, others also suspected that Stirner had a direct influence on Nietzsche. The question remains controversial and unresolved to this day.


  • About the dialectical method. Berlin 1868.
  • Philosophy of the unconscious . Berlin 1869, 11th edition 1904, 12th edition 1923 posthumously.
  • The thing in itself and its nature. Berlin 1871, 2nd edition 1875 under the title: Critical foundation of transcendental realism. 3rd edition 1885
  • Explanations on the metaphysics of the unconscious. Berlin 1874, 2nd edition 1878 under the title: Neo-Kantianism , Schopenhauerianism and Hegelianism .
  • The self-decomposition of Christianity and the religion of the future. 2nd edition, Berlin 1874
  • Truth and Error in Darwinism . Berlin 1875.
  • Kirchmann's epistemological realism. Berlin 1875.
  • To reform the higher school system. Berlin 1875.
  • Collected studies and essays. Berlin 1876, including an autobiography a. a .:
    • Schelling's positive philosophy as the unity of Hegel and Schopenhauer. 1869.
    • Aphorisms about the drama. 1870.
    • Collected philosophical essays on the philosophy of the unconscious. 1872.
    • About Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. 1874.
  • Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness. Berlin 1878, 2nd edition 1886
  • The Crisis of Christianity in Modern Theology. Berlin 1880.
  • On the history and justification of pessimism. Berlin 1880.
  • The political tasks and conditions of the German Reich. Berlin 1881.
  • The religious consciousness of humanity in the gradual course of its development. Berlin 1882.
  • The religion of the mind. Berlin 1882.
  • Judaism in the present and future. Leipzig 1885.
  • Philosophical questions of the present. Leipzig 1885.
  • The spiritualism . Leipzig 1885.
  • Modern problems. Leipzig 1885.
  • Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness. Berlin 1878, 2nd edition 1886.
  • Aesthetics .
    • Volume 1: German Aesthetics since Kant. Berlin 1886.
    • Volume 2: The Philosophy of Beauty . Berlin 1887.
  • Critical walks through contemporary philosophy. Friedrich, Leipzig 1890. ( digitized version )
  • The problem of life. Biological studies. Hermann Haacke, Bad Sachsa 1906 digitized [1]

Under the name Karl Robert Hartmann he published:


Honorary grave in the Berlin cemetery Columbiadamm . On the tombstone: Philosophy is the greatest power among the powers of the mind.
  • Raphael von Koeber : The philosophical system E. v. Hartmanns. Wroclaw 1884.
  • Hans Vaihinger : Hartmann, Dühring and Lange. On the history of German philosophy in the XIX. Century. A critical essay. J. Baedeker, Iserlohn 1876. ULB Münster
  • Eduard Oscar Schmidt : The scientific foundations of the philosophy of the unconscious. Leipzig 1876
    • A reply to the latter is contained in Hartmann's work The Unconscious from the standpoint of physiology and the theory of descent (2nd edition Berlin 1877).
  • Olga Plümacher offers an overview of the extensive Hartmann literature in The Struggle for the Unconscious (Berlin 1880) and The Pessimism in Past and Present (Heidelberg 1884).
  • Wolfert von Rahden : Eduard von Hartmann "and" Nietzsche. On the strategy of Hartmann's delayed counter-criticism of Nietzsche. In: Nietzsche Studies. 13, 1984, pp. 481-502.
  • Philosophical correspondence 1888–1906. Arthur Drews - Eduard von Hartmann. Edited by R. Mutter and E. Pilick. Rohrbach 1995. With an introduction to Hartmann's philosophy.
  • Richard Reschika: Eduard von Hartmann - the philosopher of the unconscious. In: Philosophical Adventurers. Eleven profiles from the Renaissance to the present. Mohr and Siebeck, UTB, Tübingen 2001, pp. 105-123, ISBN 3-8252-2269-1 .
  • Jean-Claude Wolf : Eduard von Hartmann. A philosopher of the early days. Würzburg 2006, ISBN 3-8260-3227-6 .
  • Jean-Claude Wolf (ed.): Eduard von Hartmann. Contemporary and opponent of Nietzsche. Würzburg 2006, ISBN 3-8260-3228-4 .
  • Wilfried Hartmann:  Hartmann, Karl Robert Eduard von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, ISBN 3-428-00188-5 , pp. 738-740 ( digitized version ).
  • W. Caldwell : The Epistemology of Ed v. Hartmann. Mind 2 (1893), 188–207, doi : 10.1093 / mind / II.6.188

Web links

Commons : Eduard von Hartmann  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Eduard von Hartmann  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Entry by Eduard von Hartmann in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  2. Von Hartmann's influence on Freud is u. a. Subject of the following article: The category of the unconscious in Eduard von Hartmann's philosophy and its relationship to the unconscious in Freud von Ute Bunk's German magazine for philosophy , Volume 39, Issue 5, May 1991. ( Online , preview page accessed on June 4 2016)
  3. Jung mentions E. von Hartmann at the beginning of his book The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, alongside CG Carus, as being responsible for the “philosophical idea of ​​the unconscious” , chap. I On the archetypes of the collective unconscious , p. 13. ISBN 3-530-40797-6 (first half volume).
  4. Von Hartmann's influence on Jung was mentioned in his (auto) biography Memories, Dreams, Thoughts (1962) in the academic years chapter : “I also read E. von Hartmann zealously.” ISBN
  5. ^ Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Briefadeligen houses. 1907. Justus Perthes , Gotha 1906, pp. 270-271.
  6. Eduard von Hartmann: Nietzsche's "New Moral" . In: Preussische Jahrbücher, 67th vol., Heft 5, 1891, pp. 504-521; exp. Revised version: Ethical Studies , Leipzig: Haacke 1898, pp. 34–69
  7. An outline of the history of the discussion and a new proposal for a solution based on a biographical find is provided by Bernd A. Laska : Nietzsches initiale Kris . In: Germanic Notes and Reviews. Vol. 33, No. 2, 2002, pp. 109-133