Ferdinand Weinhandl

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ferdinand Weinhandl (born January 21, 1896 in Judenburg , † August 14, 1973 in Graz ) was an Austrian professor of philosophy .


Weinhandl studied at the University of Graz with Alexius Meinong , Christian von Ehrenfels and Vittorio Benussi . After graduating from high school, he registered as a war volunteer, retired in 1916 as unfit for war, studied and received his doctorate in 1919 with Alexius Meinong in Graz in the field of philosophy on "Experimental investigations to analyze the experience of understanding". In the same year he married Margarete Weinhandl, who was fifteen years his senior . He gets a job at the Munich Psychological Institute, publishes a study “On the Evident Experience of Persuasion” and studies Meister Eckhart with Karlfried Dürckheim-Montmartin . Weinhandl translates the exercises of Ignatius of Loyola . His habilitation “On the correctness of judgment and the truth of judgment” took place in 1922 at the University of Kiel with Heinrich Scholz and probably Moritz Schlick . There he received the post of associate professor in 1927 and of full professor in 1935.

Weinhandl campaigned actively for the nationalist movement as early as the 1920s . In 1929 he became the department head of the " Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur " and a speaker for its Schleswig-Holstein regional department. Weinhandl became a member of the NSDAP , the National Socialist Teachers' Association (NSLB) and the SA in 1933 . On May 10 of the same year he was one of the main speakers at the rally on the book burning on Wilhelmplatz in Kiel.

In the period that followed, Weinhandl performed various functions in the Nazi organization in the field of science and also emerged with publications in support of National Socialism and the justification of war (e.g. Philosophy - Tools and Weapons , 1940). From 1937 to 1942 he was head of the Scientific Academy of the National Socialist German Lecturer Association in Kiel. During the war he headed the philosophy division in the war effort of the humanities. In 1942 he moved to the University of Frankfurt on a recommendation from Martin Heidegger . From there he went to the University of Graz in 1944. According to his former assistant Brigitte A. Rollett , Weinhandl got into differences about his denominational ties (to Catholicism) and about his "interest in a spiritual renewal in the sense of German mysticism ". Despite the corresponding pressure, he did not join the party after his return to Austria and as a result was initially regarded as a “minor offender” after the end of the war.

At the University of Graz, Brentano student Alexius Meinong succeeded in setting up the first experimental psychology laboratory at an Austrian university in 1894. This tradition was continued by Meinong's successors Stephan Witasek between 1914 and 1915 and Ernst Mally , who held Meinong's chair from 1925 to 1942, but ended in 1944 when Otto Tumlirz took over the newly established “Psychological Institute” ; he was chairman of the educational seminar and a committed representative of the racial ideology of the Nazi regime. After 1945 there is a five-year interregnum.

In his lectures at the University of Graz, Weinhandl now distanced himself from National Socialism. Nevertheless, he was released with effect from June 6, 1945 without entitlement to a pension. Although students in 1946 and 1948 campaigned for his return to the university with signature lists, it was not until 1950 that he was able to resume teaching with five hours of lectures and two hours of internship. In June 1952 he became a substitute for the chairs in psychology and education . He was reappointed full professor at the University of Graz in 1958. He retired in 1965 due to a serious illness.

During the Nazi era, Weinhandl criticized the “rationalistic dissection” of the cognitive process in traditional philosophy and advocated an epistemology based on the primacy of living perception. As part of his research after the war, Weinhandl developed a gestalt-analytical method as an instrument for philosophical examination of reality and, based on the work of Christian von Ehrenfels, the Gestaltlegetest (GLT), with which gestalt analysis found its way into psychology in the field of diagnosis. In addition to his work at the university, Weinhandl worked as a psychotherapist with gestalt analytical and logotherapeutic approaches.

In the Soviet occupation zone , Weinhandl's writings Philosophy - Tools and Weapons ( Wachholtz , Neumünster 1940) and Geistesströmungen im Ostraum ( Eher , Munich 1942) were placed on the list of literature to be sorted out after the end of the war .

The Austrian music researcher, philosopher and critic Harald Kaufmann (1927–1970), who studied with Weinhandl in Graz, applied his gestalt analytical methods to musical analysis.

Weinhandel received the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art 1st Class in 1963 and was elected a corresponding member of the philosophical-historical class of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna in June 1965 . Weinhandl's estate has been administered by the Graz University Library since 1987 .


  • Jendris Alwast: Academic philosophy in the "Third Reich" and its contribution to the "normalization of inhumanity" . In: Prahl, Hans-Werner u. a. (Ed.): Uni-Formierung des Geistes. University of Kiel and National Socialism , Vol. 2. Kiel 2007, pp. 8–59.
  • Wolfgang Brezinka : Education in Austria. The history of the subject at the universities from the 18th to the end of the 20th century. Volume 2: Pedagogy at the Universities of Prague, Graz and Innsbruck , Vienna 2003, 226 - 247.
  • Michael Grüttner : Biographical lexicon on National Socialist science policy . Synchron - Wissenschaftsverlag der Authors, Heidelberg 2004, p. 182 ISBN 3-935025-68-8 .
  • Frank-Rutger Hausmann : "German Spiritual Science" in World War II: the "Ritterbusch Action" (1940-1945) . Studies in the history of science and universities 12, Syncron, 3rd exp. Edition Heidelberg 2007, 419 - 463, ISBN 978-3-935025-98-0
  • Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Who was what before and after 1945 . 2nd Edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 .
  • Ilse Korotin: German philosophers from the point of view of the security service of the Reichsführer SS. Dossier Ferdinand Weinhandl . In: Yearbook for the History of Sociology 1999, Opladen 2001
  • Robert Mühlher , Johann Fischl ( ed .): Shape and Reality . Festgabe for Ferdinand Weinhandl (on his 70th birthday). Berlin: Duncker & Humblot 1967.
  • Brigitte Rollett: Ferdinand Weinhandl: Leben und Werk , in: Thomas Binder, Reinhard Fabian, Ulf Höfer, Jutta Valent (eds.): Building blocks for a history of philosophy at the University of Graz, Rodopi, Amsterdam 2001, 411-436, ISBN 978 -9-042011519 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Christian Tilitzki : The German university philosophy in the Weimar Republic and in the Third Reich . Part 1, Akademie, Berlin 2002, p. 174.
  2. Brigitte Rollett: Ferdinand Weinhandl: Life and Work , in: Thomas Binder, Reinhard Fabian, Ulf Höfer, Jutta Valent (eds.): Building blocks for a history of philosophy at the University of Graz. Rodopi, Amsterdam 2001, pp. 411-436, here 413.
  3. cf. in addition: A. Lang: The Gestaltlegetest by Ferdinand Weinhandl , as well as I. Panagiotopoulos: The Gestaltlegetest (GLT) as a psychodiagnostic for alcoholics , both in: Mühlher & Fischl (Ed.): Gestalt und Reality. Festival for Ferdinand Weinhandl . Berlin: Duncker & Humblot 1967. Eldrid Abel-Müller: The Gestaltlegetest (GLT) as a therapeutic instrument. In: Gestalt Theory , 21 (1/1999), pp. 25–34.
  4. http://www.polunbi.de/bibliothek/1946-nslit-w.html
  5. http://www.polunbi.de/bibliothek/1948-nslit-w.html
  6. According to the study book ( Harald Kaufmann archive in the archive of the Academy of Arts, Berlin , Sig. 84), from the summer semester 1945 to the summer semester 1948 at the University of Graz, he majored in philosophy and a minor in musicology. Attendance of lectures, seminars and exercises at Weinhandl is only registered in the summer semester of 1946. Kaufmann's dissertation was supervised by the philosopher and sociologist Konstantin Radaković . After returning from voluntary emigration, Radaković succeeded Weinhandl in 1946. Nevertheless, Kaufmann emphasizes his close ties to Weinhandl and his idea of ​​a "physiognomic aesthetic" in several publications, for example in Neue Musik in Steiermark (p. 73) or in several commendations in the daily newspaper Neue Zeit (29.1.1956 and 29.1.1966 ). He left out Weinhandl's problematic political past.
  7. ^ Gottfried Krieger: A pioneer of music journalism in Austria. On the life and work of Harald Kaufmann (1927-1970) . In: Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 7-8, 2010, pp. 4–12 as well as: Gottfried Krieger: Volksbildner and philosopher, critic and critical spirit. On the life and work of the Austrian music researcher Harald Kaufmann (1927-1970). Revised version of the lecture at the Harald Kaufmann Symposium on October 20, 2010 in Graz, pp. 1–2. Archived copy ( Memento from January 31, 2016 in the Internet Archive )