Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch

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Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch
Signature Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch.PNG

Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch (born August 16, 1802 in Leipzig ; † September 30, 1896 there ) was a German mathematician , logician and philosopher .


He first learned at the Leipzig Nikolaischule and at the Princely School in Grimma, and then studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Leipzig from 1820 to 1824 . At the Philosophical Faculty he received his doctorate and habilitation in 1824. His main interest was Johann Friedrich Herbart ; special merits are attributed to him in the field of empirical psychology and logic. In this regard, his attempt at a popular scientific presentation of logic in the work of the same name should be emphasized. This also shows that Drobisch was much closer to the non-formal, classical representation of logic than to the formalized interpretations that emerged in the second half of the 19th century, which were to a significant extent by George Boole , Ernst Schröder , Gottlob Frege or Charles S. Peirce . His work is of particular value today because extensive references are made to contemporary authors and it contains a not insignificant contribution on the history of the development of the set diagrams .

With his hexameter studies, Drobisch is one of the pioneers in quantitative linguistics . For the data that Drobisch presented on the use of hexameter types, it can be shown that they partly follow the negative hypergeometric distribution and partly the Pólya distribution .

He was a full professor of mathematics (1826–1868) and philosophy (since 1842) at the University of Leipzig. In 1840/1841 he was rector of the University of Leipzig, and several times he was dean of the philosophy faculty.

From 1833 he took over together with Gustav Theodor Fechner , Justus Wilhelm Martin Radius , Georg Benedict Winter and Wilhelm Wachsmuth . the editors of the Leipziger literary newspaper . Drobisch was since 1834 a member of the Princely Jablonowskische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig and in 1846 a co-founder and since then a member of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences in Leipzig . In 1868 he renounced the full professorship for mathematics in order to be able to devote himself exclusively to philosophy.

In 1876 Drobisch was made an honorary citizen of Leipzig. From the mid-1880s, he was no longer able to continue his scientific work due to an eye disease. Drobisch died on September 30, 1896 at the age of 94 in Leipzig. The academic funeral speech was held by Wilhelm Wundt .

In 1971, the Saxon Academy of Sciences donated the Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch Medal in recognition of his services to its establishment .


  • Contributions to orientation about Herbart's system of philosophy. Voss, Leipzig 1834.
  • New representation of logic according to its simplest proportions. In addition to a logical-mathematical appendix. 1836 (the 2nd to 5th editions represent a kind of new version).
  • Quaestionum methematico-psychologicarum spec. IV. Leipzig 1840.
  • Basic teachings of the philosophy of religion. Voss, Leipzig 1840.
  • Empirical psychology using a scientific method. Voss, Leipzig 1842, 2nd edition. 1898.
  • About the mathematical determination of the musical intervals. 1846.
  • First foundation of mathematical psychology. Voss, Leipzig 1850.
  • New representation of logic according to its simplest proportions. With regard to mathematics and natural sciences. Verlag Leopold Voss Hamburg and Leipzig, 2nd edition. 1851, 3rd edition. 1863, (Reprint: Olms, Hildesheim 1968), 4th edition. 1875, 5th edition. 1887.
  • Moral statistics and human free will . Voss, Leipzig 1867.
  • About Herbart's further education in philosophy. Leipzig 1876.
  • Kant's things in themselves and his concept of experience. Publishing house Leopold Voss Hamburg and Leipzig 1885.
  • Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by Otto Flügel , Beyer, Langensalza 1908.

See also


  • Karl-Heinz Best : Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch (1802-1896) . In: Glottometrics 17, 2008, pp. 109–114 (PDF full text ). (Reprinted in: Karl-Heinz Best (Hrsg.): Studies on the History of Quantitative Linguistics. Volume 1. RAM-Verlag, Lüdenscheid 2015, page 38. ISBN 978-3-942303-30-9 .)
  • Wilhelm Haan : Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch . In: Saxon Writer's Lexicon . Robert Schaefer's Verlag, Leipzig 1875, pp. 56–57.
  • Max Heinze:  Drobisch, Moritz . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 48, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1904, pp. 80-82.
  • Albert Menne:  Drobisch, Moritz Wilhelm. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, ISBN 3-428-00185-0 , p. 127 ( digitized version ).
  • Walther Neubert-Drobisch: Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch: a learned life. Dieterich, Leipzig 1902.
  • Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch on the occasion of his 200th birthday . With a foreword by Uwe-Frithjof Haustein and contributions by Gerald Wiemers and Lothar Kreiser. Publishing house of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig; In commission: Stuttgart / Leipzig: Hirzel 2003. (Small commemorative publication which describes the “part of Drobisch in the founding of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences in 1846” as well as “his contributions to the development of logic, the level of which he determined over decades, not least through his textbook "(Foreword v. Haustein, p. 5). Contributions apart from the foreword: Gerald Wiemers: Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch and the foundation of the Royal Saxon Society of Sciences in Leipzig, 1846. P. 7-16; Lothar Kreiser: What do we think When we think? Wilhelm Drobisch's contribution to the development of logic. pp. 17-25.) ISBN 3-7776-1283-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Albert Menne:  Drobisch, Moritz Wilhelm. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, ISBN 3-428-00185-0 , p. 127 ( digitized version ).
  2. ^ First: Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch: A statistical experiment on the forms of the Latin hexameter. In: Royal Saxon Society, Philological-Historical Class, reports on the negotiations 18, 1866, 75-139 and a number of other studies.
  3. ^ Karl-Heinz Best: For the diversification of Latin and Greek hexameters. In: Glottometrics 17, 2008, pp. 43–50 (PDF full text ).
    Karl-Heinz Best: On the diversification of German hexameters. In: Naukovyj Visnyk Černivec'koho Universytetu: Hermans'ka filolohija . Vypusk 431, 2009, pp. 172-180.
  4. ^ Drobisch: Logic. 5th edition. 1887: In the preface to this edition, Drobisch explains that he had to rely on the help of Gustav Hartenstein to bring out this last edition.