Cohn, Jonas

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COHN, JONAS (1869–1947), German philosopher and educator. Cohn was a distinguished teacher of aesthetics, who based his conclusions on actual aesthetic experience. Born in Goerlitz, he studied philosophy under Wundt, Fischer, Paulsen, Barth, and Kuelpe at the Universities of Leipzig, Heidelberg, and Berlin. In 1901 he was appointed professor of philosophy at Freiburg im Breisgau. In March 1939 Cohn fled to England, returning to Germany after World War ii. A noted neo-Kantian, Cohn developed a perceptive-critical idealism which went beyond Kant's synthesis of rationalism and empiricism and was centered between the Marburg (see Hermann *Cohen) and the South German neo-Kantian schools of thought. Cohn's most valuable contribution was in the study of aesthetics. Among his important works are his Wertwissenschaft (1932) and Wirklichkeit als Aufgabe (1955).


J. Cohn, in: R. Schmidt (ed.), Philosophie der Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellungen, 2 (1923), 61–81; Earl of Listowel, A Critical History of Modern Aesthetics (1933), passim; J. Cohn, Wirklichkeit als Aufgabe (1955), appendix by J. von Kempski. add. bibliography: J. Cohn, Jonas Cohn (Die Philosophie der Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellung, vol. 11 (1923)); I. Idalovichi, "Die Unendlichkeit als philosophisches und religiöses Problem im Denken des Neukantianismus unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung von Jonas Cohn," in: Theologische Zeitschrift 46:3 (1990), 245–65; M. Heitmann, Jonas Cohn – Das Problem der unedndlichen Aufgabe in Wissenschaft und Religion (1999).

[Shnayer Z. Leiman]