German philosopher of the Neo-Kantian school; b. Gross-Nossen, Silesia, Jan. 19, 1877: d. Jena. Feb. 27, 1942. He was formed in the school of W. Windelband and H. Rickert, which concerned itself primarily with problems of value and took its point of departure from Kant's Critique of Judgment. Bauch, in turn, devoted himself to the two main interests of this branch of the Neo-Kantian movement: the theory of value and of culture and the history of philosophy. In the latter field, his greatest achievement is his Immanuel Kant (Berlin 1917), which ranks among the best monographs on that philosopher, exhibiting complete mastery of his writings and interpreting them in the perspective of the Windelband school. Important also are his studies on the theory of knowledge in Greek thought and on the moral philosophy of Martin Luther. In the theoretical area, he expounded his own conception of philosophy as the interpretation of the cultural consciousness in a mature work: Die erzieherische Bedeutung der Kulturgüter (Leipzig 1930).
Bauch's intense interest in the theory of value and of culture engendered some tension in his adherence to Kant. He defended the ethics of Kant from the charges of formalism, but accused Kant of misprizing cultural values, confusing them with hedonic values and thus bringing them within range of moral censure. The values of culture are understood by Bauch as the content of the hypothetical imperative; consequently, the duties of individuals depend not exclusively on the universal law of the categorical imperative, but on the peculiar cultural circumstances of their action. In his most important theoretical work, Grundzüge der Ethik (Stuttgart 1935), he presented an extensive treatment of the general theory of value, relating value, on the one hand, to ethics, and on the other, to a general theory of reality. Reality is not value, but it is the matrix for the perception and realization of value. Baouch served for an extended period as editor of the journal Kantstudien.
See Also: kantianism; neo-kantianism; value, philosophy of.
Bibliography: Blätter für Deutsche Philosophie (1937) 351–440, studies in tribute to B. Bauch. p. r. fÄh, Begriff und Konkreszenz bei B. B. (Diss. Sarnen 1940).
[a. r. caponigri]