Hartmann, Nicolai (1882–1950)
Hartmann, Nicolai (1882–1950)
Nicolai Hartmann, the German realist philosopher, was born in Riga, Latvia, and educated at St. Petersburg, Dorpat, and Marburg. He was a professor at Marburg from 1920 to 1925, at Cologne from 1925 to 1931, at Berlin from 1931 to 1945, and at Göttingen from 1945 until his death.
The Work and the Man
The typical German philosopher since the mid-1850s gives generous assistance to anyone wishing to become acquainted with his main ideas. He will have published at least one work on a philosopher of the past, who, with the regrettable exception of a few Greeks, turns out to be either German himself or mediocre and, with no exception at all, proves to be someone who could have been the professor's disciple or apostate. By simply observing what the author lauds and damns, stresses and omits, one may gather in concentrated form the materials for a portrait, not of the sitter, to be sure, but of the artist himself. This is true of even so eminently fair a German philosopher as Nicolai Hartmann. In his essays on the history of philosophy, "Zur Methode der Philosophie-geschichte" (1910) and "Der philosophische Gedanke und seine Geschichte" (1936), Hartmann advocated an approach to the history of philosophy in line with that to the history of science (these essays, as well as all others referred to, are reprinted in Kleinere Schriften ). The history of philosophy is to be presented not as the coming to be and passing away of personal systems but as the progressive accumulation of impersonal insights. Yet many of Hartmann's numerous studies in the history of philosophy show that what he valued as impersonal, objective clarifications and solutions of the past more often than not anticipated views of his own.
In writing his first historical work, Platos Logik des Seins (Plato's logic of being; Giessen, 1909), which was his earliest publication as well, Hartmann was so immersed in the neo-Kantianism of Hermann Cohen and Paul Natorp that he viewed Plato's ideas as absolute hypotheses in the neo-Kantian sense of foundational positions taken by thought in its work of constituting reality. His two-volume work on German idealism, on the other hand, particularly the volume on G. W. F. Hegel (1929), bears witness to his accomplished liberation from idealism and the emergence of his main anti–neo-Kantian positions. What he valued in Hegel's philosophy was not its systematic character but its aporetics; not its speculative idealist position but its being, as aporetics, prior to any position; not the Absolute and its self-realization—not even its dialectic, though Hartmann was fascinated and irritated by it, like a skilled craftsman in the presence of genius—but a sort of theory of emergence, describing and exploring, rather than constructing and deducing, basic strata and modes of Being and their interrelations; not the theological and teleological monism of the Spirit, with a capital S, but the discovery—or, rather, rediscovery, since Giambattista Vico had been forgotten—of the objective spirit, with a small s, that is, superindividual powers such as languages, moral customs, legal systems, into which individual consciousnesses are born and within which they carve their little niches.
Thus, in the end the Hartmannian Hegel is, in method, an aporetician who prefers careful analyses of problems to traditional solutions and, in subject matter, an ontologist engaged in describing a multitude of modes and strata of Being. In brief, what is alive in Hegel is Hartmann, for aporetics, particularly an aporetic epistemology "this side of realism and idealism," an ontological pluralism, and the categorial exploration of the real world, including the spirit as its highest stratum, describe all but one of the major commitments of Hartmann. The exception is his axiology, an exploration of the realm of values, a program that Max Scheler had designed in open battle against the Kantian formalism in ethics but whose execution had to wait for Hartmann's Ethics, the only major work of his translated into English.
In his Grundzüge einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis (Outlines of a metaphysic of knowledge; Berlin, 1921), Hartmann presented in book form, for the first time, his aporetic and ontological epistemology. The book, published six years before Martin Heidegger's Sein und Zeit, caused quite a stir precisely because it heralded the Continental renaissance of ontology by asserting that epistemology is based on ontology and not the other way around. Almost all of Hartmann's subsequent books are in ontology, with his trilogy Zur Grundlegung der Ontologie (Foundations of ontology; Berlin, 1935), Möglichkeit und Wirklichkeit (Possibility and reality; Berlin, 1938), and Der Aufbau der realen Welt (The structure of the real world; Berlin, 1940) forming his ontological opus maximum. To these might be added his Philosophie der Natur, Abriss der speziellen Kategorienlehre (Philosophy of nature, outlines of the special doctrine of categories), which he began in 1927 but did not publish until 1950 (Berlin). In fact, his own philosophical work follows the plan he wished the history of philosophy to follow; there is much steady progress and expansion. The germs of his central ideas—many of them images rather than concepts—can be seen even in his early neo-Kantian writings. For example, so typical an image as that of "the strata" and their hierarchy, basic to his later ontology, is already germinally active in his early Zur Methode der Philosophiegeschichte of 1909.
There was only one revolution in Hartmann's thinking. This was the revolution against the neo-Kantian idealism of his philosophical youth. It must have been a matter of profound travail for him, even though he was undoubtedly helped by certain select aspects of Edmund Husserl's phenomenology, in particular its Platonizing intuition of essences and its program for a merely descriptive reappropriation of experience. Whatever one may think of Hartmann's ontology philosophically, one cannot help being awed by his self-liberation from the grand German tradition of transcendental idealism, a liberation much more strenuous to a German than to Anglo-Saxons such as Bertrand Russell and George Edward Moore or Americans such as John Dewey, all of whom, to be sure, had somewhat similar conversions. These other conversions, however, were returns to the main current of their national philosophical traditions, whereas Hartmann's went counter to the main current of his. Indeed, even the severest critic of Hartmann's philosophy will respect the man himself. His philosophy reveals him to have been a careful, disciplined, honest, and sober conservative, kept by his common sense from philosophical extravaganza, but kept also from asking or appreciating radically revolutionary questions of either the existentialist or the new empiricist kind. Though as a person he was unmistakably German, his way of doing and writing philosophy was not at all typical of recent German philosophers. He cherished discussions and admitted to having learned from his students. He wrote not in the attitude of "the reader be damned" but with true courtesy toward his public, not to awe with profundity of learning but to guide with lucidity and thoroughness.
In presenting Hartmann's major positions it is advisable to begin with his conception of aporetics as philosophical method, not only because Hartmann himself put it at the beginning of his "Systematische Selbstdarstellung" (in Deutsche systematische Philosophie nach ihren Gestaltern, edited by Hermann Schwarz, Vol. I, Berlin, 1933; reprinted in Kleinere Schriften, Vol. I), but also because it is that part of Hartmann's philosophy that philosophers of the English tradition should find the most congenial.
aporetics and epistemology
Aporetics is the unraveling of problems (aporia) into their strands; their presentation as clear-cut issues, preferably in the form of antinomies; and the weighing of the pros and cons of apparent solutions. There are some philosophical problems—the metaphysical problems—that will turn out to be in principle insoluble. Yet their unraveling is still useful, for as some part of the issues may turn out to be soluble, their discussion will contribute to the location and diagnosis of the unmanageable remainder. Aporetics is the central business of philosophy, all too often abandoned in favor of system building. Hartmann did not tire of pointing out that aporetics is what the Platonic dialogues and the best pages of Aristotle exemplify. However, this will hardly suffice in the age of science, when the nature of philosophy and philosophical problems is itself an aporia. Rather, one would wish to know what, if anything, distinguishes philosophical from logical or scientific problems. One would wish to know, besides, what it is that makes some philosophical issues insoluble and what the criteria are in terms of which some answers are solutions and some are not. Hartmann saw philosophical problems as arising from what he took to be the facts and from the contradictions they appear to harbor. His philosophical method, then, consisted really of two parts, a phenomenological presentation of the facts and an aporetic discussion of their implicit contradictions.
A typical example of Hartmann's descriptive-phenomenological and aporetic method may be found in his Grundzüge einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis. No merely descriptive account of experience can plausibly deny that the objects known by a consciousness are experienced as existing independently of their being known. This fact, however, harbors in itself riddles in the form of flagrant contradictions: Consciousness, in knowing an object, transcends itself, yet anything known to consciousness is thereby a content of consciousness—that is, is immanent—and consciousness never transcends itself. The same riddle, but formulated from the side of the object, concerns the influence of the object on the subject. On the one hand, the object must break into a consciousness and produce an image of itself; on the other, the object must remain outside the subject, for it is, as object, something transcendent and indifferent to its being known by a subject.
Hartmann neither questioned the nature of the facts he supposed himself to be describing nor entertained any suspicion that the antinomies he found in those facts might be due to the sort of language he used in describing them. Instead, he proceeded from knowing to being. The epistemic aporias are essentially ontic aporias, for both the object and the subject are beings (Ansichseiendes ). The object is not exhausted in its being an object of a subject. Like a nocturnal thief caught in a sudden glare of light, it emerges out of an unredeemably transobjective and metarational background, a background that is in part beyond any human cognition, even beyond any possible sort of cognition. In knowing an object the subject knows "a thing that is," a being. In turn, the consciousness that knows the object is itself something not exhausted by its being a subject. It emerges out of a transsubjective and metarational medium; it is itself "a thing that is, a mode of Being." Hence, the epistemic relation between knower and known is really an ontic relation holding between one being and another, and the problems in epistemology are, or issue in, problems in ontology. As beings, both subject and object are ontologically homogeneous and are members of a context of Being (Seinszusammenhang ). Within this context their relationship, so puzzling when taken in epistemological abstraction, becomes conceptually manageable, though an insoluble, and hence metaphysical, problem remains. This problem, however, concerns not the fact that, but rather how, subject and object stand in relation to each other.
In short, by seeing both subject and object as Ansichseiendes, Hartmann believed himself to have discovered that they are ultimately members of one matrix and context of Being. This is supposed to explain that they are related, though the how of their relation remains mysterious. Thus, the Hartmannian turn from epistemology to ontology looks suspiciously like a piece of verbal magic, as if a biologist, puzzled by the relation between males and females, proposed to solve the puzzle by calling both males and females "sexuals" and hence members of the sex context, thus "explaining" that they have sexual relations, though still wondering how they have them. Hartmann's reduction of epistemology to ontology is a piece of philosophical verbal magic if "subject" and "object" have empirical meaning, as "male" and "female" do. But if "subject" and "object" have no empirical meaning, what sort of meaning do they have? This basic question is unasked, and one cannot help wondering if the main use of the terms is not to engender the antinomies without which epistemologists would be out of work. In sum, Hartmann's phenomenological emphasis on descriptive facts seems to bring philosophical problems closer to empirical ones, whereas his aporetic emphasis on antinomies seems to bring them closer to logical ones. It is this basic ambivalence in his conception of philosophical method that cannot but be reflected in his conception of ontology.
If there was anything twentieth- and twenty-first-century ontologists have had in common it is their unquestioning belief that the term Being is the name of something or other. What is debated is rather what Being is a name of: a quality or feature shared by all beings (and if so, whether this class, as summum genus, is distinguished from other classes merely by its higher degree of universality); some relation that any x, in order "to be a being," must have to be a subject, or man, or God; or an individual being who is the ground of all beings. Since they have not questioned that "Being" is a name, these ontologists, like their predecessors, have a problem concerning the unity of Being. Protons and principles, nations and numbers, salads and sentences are all said to have some sort of Being, and yet, because they are so differently, the ontologist is compelled to admit different kinds of Being. But this would make Being itself the genus of these kinds, just another class concept, albeit more abstract or universal, depriving ontology, in the process, of its metaphysical weight and attraction. In this predicament ontologists have chosen a linguistic escape. Instead of talking of kinds of Being, they prefer to talk of modes of Being. They thus believe themselves to be preserving the unity of Being in the variety of beings without prostituting Being to a mere class name—and a name, of course, it must be.
To a degree, Hartmann shared with the most outspoken ontologists of the mid-twentieth century, the existentialists, both the referential use of "Being" and the preservation of the unity of Being via modes. However, he was at once simpler and more confused than they. Heidegger, for example, made the most of the distinction between Being and beings, between das Sein and das Seiende, and, correspondingly, between ontological and ontic investigations. But Hartmann, at least in his pre-Heideggerian writings (such as Grundzüge einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis ), seems to have been rather uncertain about this difference and to have used the term ontological for any investigation concerned with beings. This makes the concept of ontology simpler, as it keeps the white whale of Being from perturbing the Ahab of beings, but it also makes the concept more confused, as one is now at a loss to distinguish between ontology and science, both of which have to do with beings. In his pre-Heideggerian Grundzüge, Hartmann was similarly apt to be very cavalier about the problem of the unity of Being, and he spoke of modes and strata of Being as if they were merely basic kinds of beings. Even though in his later works all this appears to have changed, presumably under the influence of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit, and Hartmann no longer slid terminologically from "beings" to "Being" as he had in the Grundzüge (p. 182), conceptually the distinction between Being and beings and the problem of the unity of Being remain rather vague and were for him hardly the matter of primary philosophical concern they were for Heidegger.
Hartmann distinguished between two basic modes of Being (Seinsweisen ), very much as the American new realists distinguished between existence and subsistence twenty years before him. One mode of Being consists of particulars, localizable in time and space, the other of universals—for example, essences, values, numbers. The former are real, the latter ideal; both are equally objective and independent of the subject. The ideals are logically prior to the reals, for a real is what it is only by virtue of an essence present in it (or valuable only by virtue of a value present in it). This apriority of ideal entities, however, does not exclude their being possible objects of experience, ideals being given in intuition just as reals are in perception. (Here "perception" and, it would seem, "intuition" must be used generously enough to include the emotional, for, following Max Scheler, Hartmann asserted valuables, if not values themselves, to be experienced emotionally rather than cognitionally.) Nor does the apriority of ideal entities exclude the possibility that the intuitional acts in which they are experienced are, in ordo essendi, grounded on the perceptual acts in which reals are experienced. As in Husserl, then, the a priori is not opposed to, but is rather part of, the empirical.
Within each of the two basic modes of Being, Hartmann distinguished between several strata of Being (Seinsschichten ). The strata of reality correspond to the distinctions between inorganic nature, organic nature, consciousness, and superindividual culture (Geist )—all of them reals, but the last two also agents and carriers of ideals. Each stratum has basic, so-called categorial features, which it is the task of regional ontologies to lay bare. The strata form a hierarchy in which one stratum's dependence on the existence of another and partial freedom (autonomy) from the other's laws mark the higher from the lower. The working out of these regional ontologies through categorial analyses was one of Hartmann's central preoccupations, especially in Der Aufbau der realen Welt.
The distinctions between the two modes of Being and between the several strata within each mode were related by Hartmann to the traditional three modalities of possibility, reality, and necessity. Originally these are ontological modalities: It is beings that are possible, real, or necessary (Seinkönnen, Sein, Seinmüssen ). Only derivatively are they distinctions concerning validity or certainty of knowledge. The many-dimensional relations of the ontological modalities to the modes and strata of Being, on the one hand, and to judgment and knowledge, on the other, are explored in Möglichkeit und Wirklichkeit, the most complex and difficult of Hartmann's works.
The revolution of the Grundzüge einer Metaphysik der Erkenntnis, making epistemology ontological, revenges itself upon Hartmann's ontology, making it epistemological. A being is primarily understood as that which is an sich (in itself), and this an sich, the traditional substance of ontology, is defined epistemologically as that which is indifferent to its being known by a subject. Moreover, this an sich is either that of reals or that of ideals. Reality and ideality, the two basic modes of Being, become two basic classes of beings. The genus common to both is the an sich. Thus, Hartmann appears to have slipped back into class concepts and some sort of taxonomy, half epistemological, half empirical. As with the modes, so with the strata: It is not at all clear what distinguishes strata of Being from kinds of beings. The several strata of reality seem to be related to reality as so many classes are to a genus. Finally, it is not at all clear what distinguishes the concept of a stratum from that of a mode. The two modes of Being, reality and ideality, are themselves related to each other in a multidimensional hierarchical order, very much like the strata, and it would therefore seem that the main difference between mode of Being and stratum of Being is, as with class concepts, the degree of abstractness or universality. In fact, in his Ethics Hartmann dealt with ideality as if it were just another stratum and not a mode. If the modes and strata of Being were just kinds of beings, it would follow that ontology is empirical and that the categories are concepts, like any other class concept but more universal. Here lies, as was hinted before, a crucial difficulty of Hartmann's ontology, a difficulty that is shared, mutatis mutandis, by Samuel Alexander's and Alfred North Whitehead's conceptions of categories and that reflects some really basic indecision on their respective conceptions of philosophy. Categories, as Hartmann conceived them, are descriptive of the behavior of different kinds of beings, yet are supposed to be different in kind, not just in the degree of universality, from both the class concepts of ordinary experience—such as "tree" or "rodent"—and the functional concepts of science. At the same time, categories are supposed to be related—and it seems, in some sense, necessarily related—to both. But neither difference nor relation is clearly worked out, and Hartmann's ontology, like Alexander's and Whitehead's cosmologies, continues to hover between the empirical and the a priori as well as between science and ordinary experience.
Indecision of this and other sorts haunts Hartmann's Ethics. Moral philosophy must not be casuistry; it must not try to teach what one ought to do in a particular situation. Rather, it should give the general criteria for a universal ethic. This sounds Kantian enough. But whereas Immanuel Kant used it as a steppingstone to philosophically central investigations concerning the logical nature and the transcendental foundation, if any, of these principles, Hartmann veered off in a very different direction. Somewhat like a course in art appreciation, ethics is supposed to make men sensitive to the wealth of values present in the world. This, however, makes Hartmann uncomfortable; it is not academically respectable. The task of moral philosophy is, rather, to present clearly, force into consciousness, and "establish" values, raising to the plane of science what was a mere affair of feeling. How are the two conceptions of moral philosophy—that of making explicit universal principles of what ought to be done and that of raising value feelings to the plane of science—to be united? What one ought to do can be gauged only if one has an insight into what is valuable in life.
In fact, however, this synthesis of the Kantian apriority of moral principles with the manifoldness of values, "which [Friedrich] Nietzsche had discerned only to let it melt away in historical relativism," is only a secondary aim of Hartmann's Ethics. Its central task is an analysis of the content of values, an elaborate axiology exploring the multitude of values and their relations to each other, to the ought, and to the real. This is the main body and the core of Hartmann's work in moral philosophy. It fills the second volume of the Ethics ; the third is devoted to the problem of the freedom of the will. The first volume, besides developing his conception of moral philosophy, is a phenomenology of morality. Typical moral philosophies of the past are discussed with the aim of discovering in each of them a sound insight into some partial aspect of the moral phenomenon. Kant, for example, is said to have seen very clearly that ethical principles do not have the empirical sort of universality. They are a priori. Yet Kant's uncritical use of the Aristotelian form-matter dualism made him equate the a priori with the formal, and his epistemology made him equate the formal with the (transcendentally) subjective. Against this Kantian formalism and subjectivism Hartmann's axiology asserts an a priori of objective content—that is, of values as ideal entities that are intuitable.
It may, of course, be argued against this value objectivism that a judgment like "x is valuable" or "x is more valuable than y " will at some time and by some people be considered true and at some other time and by some other people false without there appearing to be any universal criteria of distinguishing, or any method of testing, the truth or falsity of these rival claims. But Hartmann answers this and other relativistic arguments by comparing the intuitional sense of values with a source of light. Light will penetrate darkness and illumine objects according to the strength of its source and will reveal the below and above of objects according to the position of its source, none of this preventing the objects and their spatial relations from being objective and knowable. This comparison assumes what was to be proved. It assumes that any particular sense of values is able to determine its own weaknesses with respect to all other possible senses of values, quite unlike a particular source of light, whose characteristics could not be objectively determined were it not for the sun and the light of day and the knowledge thus made possible. Hartmann's methodological reliance on an intuitional sense of values leaves his readers without a theoretical basis upon which to check and argue the truth or falsity of his observations in the realm of values. One cannot help being pleased with them as one might be with the descriptions of a foreign though somewhat familiar country, but since the recommended means of transportation is in no public domain, the country might as well be Cockaigne. There is no use arguing with the Baedeker of Cockaigne: Anyone may write his own. However, Hartmann's actual work in describing values is far superior to the account he gives of its method, and it is likely that this second volume of his Ethics will be found not only enjoyable but also useful.
Hartmann defined freedom of the will as independence from any determination that is constraint without this independence becoming indetermination. Indetermination is not only ontologically impossible; above all, it has once and for all been overcome in the Kantian conception of freedom as autonomy. Indeed, to Hartmann any determination that is not autonomy is constraint, and therefore autonomy fulfills the requirements of a definition of freedom of will. It is logically impossible for a will, insofar as it determines itself, to be either constrained or undetermined. If this is what freedom of will is, how can there be such a thing?
Hartmann's answer has two parts. The first is general, in terms of the hierarchy of ontological strata. Hartmann had asserted that the mark of a stratum's being higher than another is, in part, its autonomy—that is, the emergence of a new sort of determination or law. Autonomy is, then, a general ontological feature to be found, by definition, in any stratum but the lowest, and the autonomy called freedom of will is only a particular type of this general feature. Very much like theories of emergence, such as these of Alexander and Whitehead, which assume the miracle of emergence to be less miraculous if it is repeated, Hartmann's theory explains freedom of will as moral autonomy by making autonomy a universal ontological feature and then describing moral autonomy as a species of it.
The second part of his answer is concerned with this specific nature of moral autonomy. The will, in order to be free, must not be determined by the causal apparatus of nature, nor must it be determined finalistically by values and the corresponding oughts they confront us with. In either case the will would be determined by something outside it; that is, it would be constrained. However, if there were only these two kinds of determination, the causal determination of nature and the finalistic determination of values, then a will independent of nature would be one determined by the ought, and a will independent of the ought would be one determined by nature (indetermination being ontologically impossible); in either case the will would not be free. This is the most basic of Hartmann's aporias connected with the freedom of will. Hartmann proposed to solve it by positing a third kind of determination, whose nature he admitted to be completely inscrutable and metaphysical, a determination that belongs to the person itself, a self-determination through which an agent commits himself to the realization of value. Only such a third kind of determination, above both nature and value, explains the possibility of freedom of will.
Quite apart from the mistaken identification of determination and constraint, what seems particularly objectionable is Hartmann's suggestion of a kind of determination that is in principle inscrutable as a solution to the basic aporia of free will. Postulating an unknowable x as the solution to a problem is like shouting "victory" to undo defeat. In his escape from Kant's conception of autonomy as self-legislation of rational beings Hartmann fell under the spell of a supposed metaphysical ground in which a person and his decision making are taken to be rooted—a romanticism somewhat like Jean-Paul Sartre's "dreadful freedom," which on closer inspection turns out to be mere whim.
The absence of religious thought in Hartmann's philosophy is conspicuous. Value realism offers logical difficulties to theology, and it is, besides, more naturally connected with a life attitude whose religiosity—if this word can here be used—lies in value commitments and not in a personal relation to God. Thus, Hartmann's value realism, as well as his pro-scientific persuasions and his empirically colored ontology, makes his proximity to atheism quite understandable. Very much unlike his beloved German idealists, who expressed the main existential spring of their philosophical energy in the problem of the "relation of the infinite and the finite," Hartmann was energized by no such preoccupations. His were intellectual aporias, not existential quandaries.
Hartmann's influence on German philosophy, though for a while considerable, was unable to stem the tide of existentialism. With the mid-twentieth-century return of German philosophy to a more sober and rational style, a new esteem for Hartmann began to develop in Germany. In the English-speaking world in the same period his Ethics was greeted with respect and then allowed to disappear, leaving hardly a trace. His only notable influence in fields other than ethics seems to have been on W. M. Urban, but as Urban's books have been ignored, Hartmann's effect in English-speaking countries has been limited to such indirect sources as Mario Bunge's somewhat Hartmannian books. Perhaps the sobriety, carefulness, and common sense of his general philosophical style are too much in the English and American tradition to attract our interest, and his logical and analytic naïvetés too numerous to hold it. It will take some time before these naïvetés are overlooked for the sake of his insights in the realm of values.
See also Alexander, Samuel; A Priori and A Posteriori; Aristotle; Being; Cohen, Hermann; Dewey, John; Ethics, History of; Existentialism; Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich; Heidegger, Martin; History and Historiography of Philosophy; Husserl, Edmund; Idealism; Kant, Immanuel; Moore, George Edward; Natorp, Paul; New Realism; Nietzsche, Friedrich; Ontology, History of; Plato; Neo-Kantianism; Platonism and the Platonic Tradition; Realism; Russell, Bertrand Arthur William; Scheler, Max; Value and Valuation; Vico, Giambattista; Whitehead, Alfred North.
additional works by hartmann
Philosophische Grundfragen der Biologie. Göttingen: Vanderhoeck and Ruprecht, 1912.
Die Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus, 2 vols. Berlin, 1923–1929. Vol. I: Fichte, Schelling und die Romantik ; Vol. II: Hegel. Related are "Aristoteles und Hegel," in Beiträge zur Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus 3 (1923), and "Hegel und das Problem der Realdialektik," in Blatter fur deutsche Philosophie 9 (1935). Both are reprinted in Kleinere Schriften (see below).
Ethik. Berlin, 1926. Translated by Stanton Coit as Ethics, 3 vols. London, 1932.
Das Problem des geistigen Seins. Untersuchungen zur Grundlegung der Geschichtsphilosophie und Geschichtswissenschaften. Berlin, 1933.
"Neue Wege der Ontologie." In Systematische Philosophie. Stuttgart, 1943. Translated by R. C. Kuhn as New Ways of Ontology. Chicago, 1953. This summarizes Der Aufbau der realen Welt (Berlin, 1940).
Teleologisches Denken. Berlin, 1951.
Ästhetik. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1953.
Kleinere Schriften, 3 vols. Berlin De Gruyter, 1955–1958. Vol. I: Abhandlungen zur systematischen Philosophie ; Vol. II: Abhandlungen zur Philosophiegeschichte ; Vol. III: Vom Neukantianismus zur Ontologie. This collection reprints many articles originally published in journals.
works on hartmann
Baumgartner, H. M. Die Unbedingtheit des Sittlichen; Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Nikolai Hartmann. Berlin, 1962.
Cadwallader, E. Searchlight on Values: Nicolai Hartmann's Twentieth-Century Value Platonism. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1984.
Feyerabend, P. K. "Professor Hartmann's Philosophy of Nature." Ratio 5 (1) (June 1963).
Werkmeister, W. Nicolai Hartmann's New Ontology. Tallahassee: The Florida State University Press, 1990.
Werkmeister, W. Nicolai Hartmann's New Ontology. Tallahassee: The Florida State University Press, 1990.
Heimsoeth, Heinz, and Robert Heiss, eds. Nicolai Hartmann. Der Denker und sein Werk. Göttingen, 1952. Fifteen essays, with bibliography.
Kanthack, Katharina. Nikolai Hartmann und das Ende der Ontologie. Berlin, 1962. A critique of Hartmann's ontology from the viewpoint of what the author believes to be the new, Heideggerian era of philosophy.
Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. Essence et existence; Étude à propos de la philosophie de Roman Ingarden et Nicolai Hartmann. Paris: Aubier, 1957.
Harich, W. Nicolai Hartmann: Leben, Werk, Wirkung. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2000.
Wirth, Ingeborg. Realismus und Apriorismus in Nicolai Hartmanns Erkenntnistheorie. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1965.
Walter Cerf (1967)
Bibliography updated by Thomas Nenon (2005)