Liebmann, Otto

Liebmann, Otto


Born Feb. 25, 1840, in Löwenberg (Lwówek śląski), Silesia; died Jan. 14, 1912, in Jena. German early neo-Kantian philosopher.

Liebmann became a privatdocent at the University of Tübingen in 1865, a professor at Strasbourg in 1872, and a professor at Jena in 1882. Liebmann’s work Kant und die Epigonen (1865) called for a return to Kant. Rejecting the notion of the thing-in-itself, Liebmann built his philosophy on those aspects of Kant’s teaching that he considered permanently valid: apriority and phenomenalism.

According to Liebmann, the external world is only a phenomenon within the intellect that perceives it; therefore it is subordinate to the laws of the intellect. Liebmann held that any metaphysical system can claim only to offer a hypothetical explanation of the essence of the world. The notion of immanent laws of consciousness determining the entire world of human cognition was central to the idealistic system of Liebmann.


Zur Analysis der Wirklichkeit. Berlin, 1876.
Gedanken und Tatsachen, vols. 1–2. Strasbourg, 1882–1904.


“Zum 70. Geburtstag O. Liebmanns: Festschrift der ’Kant-Studien.’” Kant Studien, 1910, vol. 15.


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