Hoenigswald, Richard

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HOENIGSWALD, RICHARD (1875–1947), German philosopher of Jewish origin. Hoenigswald received doctorates in medicine at Vienna (1902) and philosophy at Halle. In 1919 he was appointed professor of philosophy at Breslau and at Munich in 1930. After the Nazis came to power, he emigrated to the U.S. Hoenigswald belonged to the second generation of the neo-Kantian school. His philosophical development began in a controversy with Alois Riehl, who sought to introduce a realistic strain into Kantian philosophy by attributing existence to the "Ding an sich," in opposition to the Marburg school of Hermann *Cohen. His view is close to that of Cohen: "the given" is a condition of the object itself and, hence, it is impossible to speak about a "Ding an sich" outside of the "I." The "I" and the object exist only in mutual relationship. There is, at the outset, an affinity between the form and the content of thought. Hoenigswald's point of view acquired particular significance in the controversy with "psychologism," which attempted to subsume all philosophy under psychology and to abolish philosophy as an independent discipline. Hoenigswald endeavored to demonstrate the philosophical presuppositions upon which psychology itself rests by seeking to prove that all psychological experience is potentially rationalistic, since all experience is, basically speaking, thought. Hoenigswald made important contributions to the history of philosophy, which he regarded primarily as the history of philosophical problems. His book Erkenntnistheoretisches zur Schoepfungsgeschichte der Genesis (1932) attempts to show the specific aspects of the theory of cognition that distinguish the Genesis creation story from other narratives of this kind. His other important works are Prinzipienfragen der Denkpsychologie (1913), Die Skepsis in Philosophie und Wissenschaft (1914), Die Grundlagen der Denkpsychologie (1921; 19252), Die Philosophie von der Renaissance bis Kant (1923), Geschichte der Erkenntnistheorie (1933), and Philosophie und Sprache (1937).


A. Petzelt, in: Jahrbuch der Charakterologie, 4 (1927), 65–95; S. Marck, in: Archiv fuer Philosophie, 3 (1949), 144–64; G. Wolandt, in: Zeitschrift fuer philosophische Forschung, 12 (1958), 188–217.

[Samuel Hugo Bergman]