Rudolf Eisler (philosopher)

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Rudolf Eisler (born January 7, 1873 in Vienna , Austria-Hungary , † December 13, 1926 in Vienna) was an Austrian philosopher . He is the father of the composer Hanns Eisler and the two politicians Gerhart Eisler and Ruth Fischer .


Urn grave

Rudolf Eisler was the son of Ferdinand Eisler, a successful Jewish cloth merchant. The family spent part of the year in a magnificent apartment on Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris and Eisler's first name was originally Rudolphe. His eldest brother Gaston took over his father's business and another brother, Armand, became a successful lawyer.

Thanks to the family fortune, Rudolf was able to devote himself to studying philosophy in Leipzig , Prague and Vienna . Eisler was born in 1894 with a dissertation on the subject of continuing the Kantian apriority theory up to the present. A PhD contribution to the history of epistemology . In his philosophical work he was influenced by Immanuel Kant and Wilhelm Wundt . In what is known as ideal realism , he tried a synthesis of realism and idealism . He supported Wundt's psychophysical parallelism .

In Leipzig he met Ida Maria Fischer (1876–1929), whom he married in 1896. Ida Maria Fischer was the daughter of a Leipzig butcher's journeyman, wrote short novels for various newspapers and was allowed to attend lectures at the University of Leipzig. Their first child, Elfriede Ruth Fischer, was born in 1895 . The sons Gerhart and Johannes were born in Leipzig in 1897 and 1898. From 1901 he lived with his wife and children in Vienna in the second district of Vienna.

In Vienna at the turn of the century, Rudolf Eisler had no opportunity to get a professorship at the university because he was of Jewish origin and also lived a demonstrative atheism; thus Rudolf Eisler was destined to have a difficult life as a private scholar. As the family business ran into difficulties, Eisler was reliant on his brother Armand's support all his life. In 1907 he founded the Sociological Society in Vienna with Rosa Mayreder , Max Adler , Rudolf Goldscheid , Ludo Hartmann , Karl Renner , Wilhelm Jerusalem , Josef Redlich and Michael Hainisch . In addition, he published the philosophical-sociological yearbooks and worked as an editor of the scientific public library .

His main work as a single achievement embodies the dictionary of philosophical terms and expressions (first in 1899, 4th edition 1927–1930), which appeared in three volumes and was supplemented and continued by Karl Roretz . On the basis of the dictionary and its conceptual historical approaches, Joachim Ritter designed a completely revised 12-volume version of the dictionary. Its volumes appeared from 1971 to 2005 under the title Historical Dictionary of Philosophy . Furthermore, Eisler published a philosopher's lexicon in 1912 as a supplement to his main work and a concise dictionary of philosophy in 1913. In 1930 his estate became the Kant lexicon. Reference work to all of Kant's writings, letters and handwritten papers published.

Rudolf Eisler received an honorary grave (Department 3, Ring 3, Group 12, Number 6) in the urn grove of the Simmering fire hall .


  • The psychophysical parallelism. A philosophical sketch. Leipzig 1893. 32 pp. ( Online )
  • Psychology in outline. A representation of the basic laws of soul life. Scientific public library. Vol. 29/30. Leipzig 1894. IV, 104 pp.
  • The further development of the Kantian a priori theory up to the present. A contribution to the history of epistemology. Leipzig 1894. VI, 88 pp. [Diss. Univ. Leipzig 1894] (digitized edition under: urn : nbn: de: s2w-6018 )
  • Critical investigation of the concept of world harmony and its application by Leibniz . Treatise crowned with the Leipziger Krug Prize. Berlin 1895. 54 pp.
  • History of philosophy in plan. Berlin 1895. VIII, 328 pp.
  • Introduction to philosophy. An overview of the basic problems of philosophy and their most important solution attempts. Scientific public library. Vol. 53/54/55. Leipzig 1897. 160 pp.
  • The elements of logic. Scientific public library. Vol. 63/64. Leipzig 1898. 102 pp.
  • The way to peace. Leipzig 1898. 108 pp.
  • as publisher: dictionary of philosophical concepts and expressions. Source edited by Rudolf Eisler. 6 volumes. Berlin 1899 ( full text at ); 2nd edition, entitled Historical Dictionary of Philosophy. Edited by Joachim Ritter, Volume 1 ff., Basel 1971 ff.
  • Basics of epistemology. Scientific public library. Vol. 79-82. Leipzig 1900. VIII, 174 pp.
  • The awareness of the outside world. Foundation for an epistemology. Leipzig 1901. 106 pp.
  • Wilhelm Wundt's philosophy and psychology. Shown in their basic teachings . v. Dr. Rudolf Eisler. Leipzig 1902. VI, 210 pp.
  • Nietzsche's Epistemology and Metaphysics. Presentation and criticism. Leipzig 1902. IV, 118 pp.
  • Sociology. The doctrine of the origin and development of human society. Weber's illustrated catechisms. Vol. 31. Leipzig 1903. VIII, 306 pp.
  • Dictionary of Philosophical Terms. 2 vols. Historically-source-wise edit. v. Rudolf Eisler. 2., completely reworked. Ed. 1904. Berlin 1904. Vol. 1: A – N. VIII, 746 pp. Vol. 2: O-Z. 942 pp.
  • Critical introduction to philosophy. Berlin 1905. VIII, 470 pp.
  • German cultural history. Weber's illustrated catechisms. Vol. 253. Leipzig 1905. VIII, 224 pp.
  • General cultural history. Edited by Johann Jakob Honegger. Leipzig 1905. VIII, 260 pp.
  • History of science. Weber's illustrated manuals. Vol. 256. Leipzig 1906. VIII, 440 pp.
  • Body and soul. Presentation and criticism of the more recent theories of the relationship between physical and psychological existence. Library of philosophy of nature and culture. Vol. 4. Leipzig 1906. VI, 218 pp.
  • Introduction to the theory of knowledge. Presentation and criticism of the epistemological directions. Leipzig 1907. XII, 292 pp.
  • Basics of the philosophy of spiritual life. Philosophical-sociological library. Vol. 6. Leipzig 1908. IV, 306 pp.
  • The work of the soul. Ideas for an Organic Psychology. Leipzig 1909. 76 pp.
  • Dictionary of Philosophical Terms. 3 vols. Historically-source-wise edit. v. Rudolf Eisler. 3., completely reworked. Edition 1910. Berlin 1910. Vol. 1: A – K. VIII, 686 pp. - Vol. 2: L-Sch. 576 pp. - Vol. 3: Schi – Z. 810 pp.
  • History of monism. Leipzig 1910. VIII, 204 pp.
  • Elements of logic. 2., improve. 1910 edition. Scientific public library. Vol. 2. Esslingen 1910. 84 pp.
  • Spirit and body. Paths to Philosophy. Vol. 5. Göttingen 1911. 68 pp.
  • Philosophers' Lexicon. Lives, works and teachings of the thinkers. Berlin 1912. VI, 890 pp. ( Full text at , digitized at )
  • Concise dictionary of philosophy. Berlin 1913. IV, 802 pp.
  • The purpose. Its importance for nature and spirit. Berlin 1914. IV, 286 pp.
  • with Richard Müller-Freienfels: Eisler's concise dictionary of philosophy. New ed. v. Richard Müller-Freienfels. Berlin 1922. VIII, 786 pp.
  • Psychology in outline. 4th, improve. Edition 1922. Marktredwitz 1922. VI, 162 pp.
  • Franz Müller-Lyer as a sociologist and cultural philosopher. Munich 1923. 188 pp.
  • Introduction to the theory of knowledge. 2., completely reworked. Ed. 1925. Leipzig 1925. VI, 298 pp.
  • with Karl Roretz: Dictionary of Philosophical Terms. 3 vols. Historically-source-wise edit. v. Rudolf Eisler. Continued from vol. u. completed v. Karl Roretz. 4., completely reworked. Edition 1927–1930. Berlin 1927–1930. Vol. 1: A-K. 1927. VIII, 894 pp. - Vol. 2: L-Sch. 1928-1929. VIII, 780 pp. - Vol. 3: Schi-Z. 1929-1930. VIII, 906 pp.
  • Kant Lexicon. Reference work on all of Kant's writings, letters and handwritten legacy. Edit v. Rudolf Eisler. Ed. Under d. Mitw. D. Kant Society v. Helmut Kuhn. Berlin 1930. VIII, 642 pp. ( Full text at )


Web links

Commons : Rudolf Eisler  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Rudolf Eisler  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Hanns Eisler, Musik und Politik, Schriften 1948–1962 (HEW III 2), p. 113
  2. ^ Wilhelm Zobl: Hanns Eisler's relationship to tradition , dissertation, Berlin 1978