Malte Hossenfelder

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Malte Hossenfelder (born April 27, 1935 in Bad Segeberg ; † August 9, 2011 ) was a German philosopher , Latinist and Graecist and translator .


Malte Hossenfelder studied philosophy and classical philology in Tübingen , Hamburg and Gießen . In 1964 he received his doctorate in Giessen under Hans Blumenberg . He was first in Giessen, then in Bochum and from 1970 in Münster assistant to Blumenberg. In 1973 he completed his habilitation in philosophy at the Westphalian Wilhelms University . From 1976 to 1991 he was C3 professor for philosophy there. His students included the director general of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek , Klaus Ceynowa, and the writer Achim Engstler , whose dissertations on Hans Vaihinger and Salomon Maimon he supervised. In 1991, Hossenfelder was appointed to the University of Graz as the successor to Ernst Topitsch , where he taught for 12 years and was retired on October 1, 2003. Even after his retirement he was still involved in teaching. Hossenfelder was an avowed gourmet and liked to illustrate his seminar events as well as his philosophical work with gastronomic examples.


Hossenfelder was one of the first German philosopher in the tradition of analytical philosophy standing Kant interpretations Peter Strawson and Jonathan Bennett resumed productive. He presented "Kant's teachings as untenable, his arguments as incomplete or circular, his goals as unachievable".

His translation of the Sextus Empiricus revived the discussion of ancient and modern skepticism by characterizing philosophical epochs as periods of time with a certain philosophical "problem awareness". If one assumes - according to Hossenfelder - that certain problems are dealt with at certain times, then one could also assume that the philosophers involved shared "certain basic convictions". It is therefore the philosophical-historical task to present them. In his history of Hellenistic philosophy, which has been reissued several times, he traced the three Hellenistic schools of Stoa , Epicureanism and Skepticism back to a common conviction or to the desirable systematic basic principle: namely to achieve the "inner state" of peace of mind.

Fonts (in selection)

  • The will to be right and the pursuit of happiness. Foundation of an ethics of will and justification of human rights. Beck, Munich 2000; ISBN 3406459234 .
  • Ancient teachings of happiness. Sources in German translation (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 424). Kröner, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-520-42401-0 .
  • Epicurus (= Beck series 520: Thinker). Beck, Munich 1991 (1998 2 , 2006 3 ).
  • Stoa, Epicureanism and Skepticism (= History of Philosophy, Vol. 3: The Philosophy of Antiquity, Vol. 3). Beck, Munich 1985 (1995 2 ); ISBN 3-406-30841-4 .
  • Kant's Constitutional Theory and the Transcendental Deduction . de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1978.
  • Sextus Empiricus, Outline of the Pyrrhonic Skepticism. Introduction and translation. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt / M. 1968 (1985 2 , 1993 3 ).
  • Uncertainty and peace of mind. The function of skepticism in pyrrhonism. Giessen 1964 (= phil. Dissertation).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Vita Dr. Klaus Ceynowa
  2. ^ Karl-Franzens-University Graz, history of the institute for philosophy
  3. See Peter Rohs: Review by Malte Hossenfelder, Kant's Constitutional Theory and the Transcendent Deduction , Berlin 1978. In: Journal for philosophical research, Volume 32, 1978, pp. 628–632 quoted: 628.
  4. See Malte Hossenfelder: The Philosophy of Antiquity: Stoa, Epicureanism and Skepticism . Munich 1995, p. 11 ff.
  5. Ibid. P. 33.