Michael Benedikt (philosopher)

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Michael Benedikt (born November 17, 1928 in Vienna ; † August 13, 2012 in Lehsdorf in Lower Austria ) was an Austrian university professor of philosophy at the University of Vienna .


Benedikt is the second child of the language teacher Edith, a born gardener, and the Salzburg writer, classical philologist and high school teacher Eugen Benedikt. He attended a Realgymnasium ( secondary school ), refused the officer's course in 1944/45 and went into hiding after receiving the last draft for the Wehrmacht . In 1946 he passed the Matura in Vienna- Döbling and first studied soil culture ; then English studies , Romance studies , philosophy (with Alois Dempf , Friedrich Kainz , Victor Kraft , N. Bolterauer); then sociology , ethnology and psychology in Vienna, Munich , Freiburg and with a Fulbright scholarship in Minneapolis-St. Paul . He did his doctorate in 1952 at the University of Vienna, left the academic world and worked successively as a bookseller , gardener , cook and librarian . After completing a high school diploma course for teaching at elementary schools , he taught as an elementary school teacher (also at a one-class elementary school), secondary school teacher and trial teacher at the Werkschulheim Felbertal high school . He led the boarding of the college of Neulandschule in Vienna- favorites , taught as religion and Latin teacher and was a postulant at a Olivetans - monastery in Siena . When he was offered a position as state school inspector for special schools in southern Lower Austria , the authorities turned him down again because he refused to join the Austrian People's Party . He was entrusted with the management of the international student house of the Vienna Caritas on the corner of Seilerstätte / Annagasse , later headed the Institute of European Studies in Freiburg i. Br., Where he also studied as a Humboldt fellow in 1962/63 .

At the end of the 1970s he first became a lecturer and later professor at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, where he taught philosophy for more than two decades until 1991.

In 1969 and 1971 Benedikt was a teacher at an educational academy , twice full professor in Pennsylvania , USA; In 1972 he completed his habilitation in philosophy at the University of Vienna and in 1976 became a full professor for philosophy at the Institute for Philosophy at the University of Vienna. He retired on October 1, 1997. Benedikt organized numerous interdisciplinary events, symposia and congresses, a lecture series on the anthropology of developing life , gave lectures at the Urania (Vienna) and in 18 countries in Europe and overseas. Benedikt was president of the Society for Phenomenology and Critical Anthropology from 1986-2003 and since 2007 its honorary chairman. He was a member of 15 societies, including the Collège International de Philosophie and Institute for History of European Ideas , Fulbright and Humboldt alumni and holder of the gold medal of the federal capital Vienna.

With Wanda, née Seilern, and Aspang, Benedikt has six children together and in 1985 founded a neighborhood association for expectant mothers , of which Michael Benedikt was a board member; Wanda Benedikt heads the association and from 1986 to 2002 was also the head of a mother and child home in Vienna- Brigittenau made possible by the then President of Austrian Caritas Leopold Ungar .

Main area of ​​work

"Transformation of the conventional ontologia generalis and its specifications into an anthropologia transcendentalis as an instance of the foundation of the natural, social and human sciences."


  • Mircea Eliade: Myths, Dreams and Mysteries. Together with Matthias Vereno. Otto Müller, Salzburg 1955.


  • Knowledge and belief. Herder, Vienna 1975, ISBN 3-210-24473-1 .
  • Philosophical empiricism. Herder, Vienna-Freiburg-Basel 1977, ISBN 3-210-24533-9 .
  • Determining and reflective judgment. Publishing house of the Association of Scientific Societies in Austria, Vienna 1981, ISBN 3-85369-472-1 .
  • Heidegger's half-world. Turia and Kant, Vienna-Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-85132-017-4 .
  • Philosophical Politics? Turia and Kant, Vienna-Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-85132-035-2 .
  • Art and dignity. Turia and Kant, Vienna-Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-85132-074-3 .
  • Anthropodicy. Turia and Kant, Vienna-Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-85132-098-0 .
  • No end to the future. Turia and Kant, Vienna-Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-85132-137-5 .
  • Free knowledge and philosophy of freedom. Turia and Kant, Vienna-Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-85132-137-5 .
  • Foci - Splinters and Bars I: The Metaphysics of Others. Turia and Kant, Vienna 1998,
  • Focal points - splinters and beams II: On your own metaphysics. Turia and Kant, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-85132-248-7 .
  • Philosophical empiricism I. Theory. Turia and Kant, Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-85132-181-2 .
  • Philosophical empiricism II. Practice. Turia and Kant, Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-85132-182-0 .
  • Philosophical empiricism III. Speculation, Part 1. A passage between cyberspace and anthropo-narcissism. Turia and Kant, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-85132-292-4 .
  • Philosophical empiricism III. Speculation, part 2: The truth that can be reasonably expected of us: back and forth in the unthinkable. Turia and Kant, 2001, ISBN 3-85132-309-2 .
  • Philosophical Empiricism IV. Language and Society, Part 1. Anthropological Foundation of Expression and Representation. Turia and Kant, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-85132-374-2 .
  • Numerous essays (also in English, French, Italian), reviews, study scripts.


  • Adalbert Stifter, Collected Works, 6 volumes. Together with H. Hornstein. Bertelsmann, Gütersloh 1956.
  • Mircea Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries. Translated from French into German by Michael Benedikt and Matthias Vereno. - Otto Müller, Salzburg 1961.
  • Franz Fischer: Proflexion - Logic of Humanity. Together with W. Priglinger. Löcker, Vienna 1985.
  • Critical Method and Future of Anthropology. Together with Rudolf Burger. Braumüller, Vienna 1985. ISBN 3-7003-0-632-6 .
  • The Crisis of Phenomenology and the Pragmatics of Scientific Advances. Together with Rudolf Burger. Edition S, Vienna 1986. ISBN 3-7046-0043-1 .
  • Zygote, fetus, human. On the anthropology of developing life. Humanities Studies 15. Together with R. Potz. Jugend & Volk, Vienna 1986. ISBN 3-224-17715-2 .
  • Consciousness, Language and Art. Metamorphoses of truth. Together with Rudolf Burger. Edition S, Vienna 1988. ISBN 3-7046-0102-6 .
  • Alois Dempf: The concept of value in Aristotelian ethics and politics. Together with W. Priglinger. Publishing house of the Association of Austrian Scientific Societies, Vienna 1989.
  • Dialogue thinking - social ethics: Against the ubiquitous violence of social appropriation. Together with Angelica Bäumer. Passagen Verlag , Vienna 1991, ISBN 978-3-90076-776-1
  • Scholarly republic - lifeworld. Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schütz in the crisis of the phenomenological movement . Together with Angelica Bäumer. Passagen Verlag , Vienna 1992, ISBN 978-3-90076-777-8
  • Fin de Siècle ambivalence: Vienna - Zagreb. Together with D. Barbaric. Böhlau, Vienna 1998.
  • Franz Fischer yearbooks for philosophy and education / On the educational sense of the sciences and on the ethics of the other . Anne Fischer Leipziger Uni-Verlag, Leipzig 2000. ISBN 978-3-926049-27-8 .
  • Repressed humanism - delayed enlightenment. Austrian philosophy from 1400 to the present. Ludwigsburg, Klausen-Klausenburg, Vienna.
  • Volume 1, Part 1: Philosophy in Austria (1400-1650): from the Council of Constance to the appearance of Luther, from the beginning of the Reformation to the Peace of Westphalia. WUV, Vienna 1996. ISBN 3-9500439-2-6 .
  • Volume 1, Part 2: Philosophy in Austria between the Reformation and the Enlightenment (1650-1750): the strength of the baroque. WUV, Vienna 1997. ISBN 3-9500439-3-4 .
  • Volume 2: Austrian Philosophy at the Time of the Revolution and Restoration. (1750-1820) Turia and Kant, Vienna 1992. ISBN 3-85132-020-4 .
  • Volume 3: Education and imagination, from the misguided bourgeoisie to liberalism: Philosophy in Austria (1820-1880). WUV, Vienna 1995. ISBN 3-9500439-1-8 .
  • Volume 4: Claim and echo, secession and new beginnings in the crown lands to the fin de siècle: Philosophy in Austria (1880-1920). WUV, Vienna 1998. ISBN 3-9500439-5-0 .
  • Volume 5: In the shadow of totalitarianisms: from philosophical empiricism to critical anthropology; Philosophy in Austria 1920-1951. WUV, Vienna 2005. ISBN 3-85114-916-5 .
  • Volume 6: In search of authentic philosophizing. Philosophy in Austria 1951-2000. Facultas, Vienna 2010. ISBN 978-3-7089-0446-7 .


  • Josef Rupitz, Elisabeth Schönberger, Cornelius Zehetner (eds.): Beware of anthropology. Interdisciplinary studies on philosophical empiricism and transcendental anthropology. Michael Benedikt on his 70th birthday. Turia and Kant, Vienna 1998. ISBN 3-85132-184-7 .
  • Wolfgang Pircher (ed.): Against the state of emergency. On the criticism of Carl Schmitt. Political Philosophy and Economics. Dedication for Michael Benedikt. Springer, Vienna-New York 1999. ISBN 3-211-83078-2 . ISSN  1437-6881 . SPIN 10662359.
  • Cornelius Zehetner, Hermann Rauchenschwandtner, Birgit Zehetmayer (eds.): Transformations of critical anthropology. [Contributions from the symposium on the 80th birthday of Michael Benedikt] Löcker, Vienna 2009. ISBN 978-3-85409-539-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dr. Eugen Benedikt was sentenced to death in 1917 for anti-war propaganda , but was pardoned informally by Emperor Karl through Katharina Schratt . In the 1920s he was co-initiator of the International Union of Reconciliation , of which he temporarily headed the Austrian section; 1927 co-founder of the Religious Socialists with little Otto Bauer ; 1934 joined the illegal Revolutionary Socialists party ; 1939 emigrated to New Zealand . After his death in Zurich on October 5, 1939 , his family was expelled and pushed back to the Liechtenstein - Germany border .
  2. Own representation in the Festschrift (see literature: Rupitz etc.), page 433.