Alois Riehl

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Riehl, Alois


Born Apr. 27, 1844, in Bolzano, Italy; died Nov. 21, 1924, in Neubabelsberg, near Berlin. German idealist philosopher and representative of the school of critical realism.

In 1878, Riehl became a professor at the University of Graz in Austria. He later taught at a number of German universities, becoming a professor at Freiburg in 1882, at Kiel in 1895, and at Halle in 1898. From 1905 to 1919 he was a professor at Berlin. As a neo-Kantian, Riehl considered the analysis and critique of cognition to be the object of philosophy. He believed that philosophy must reveal the real premises of scientific knowledge, the most important premise being the existence of the thing-in-itself, the reality on which cognition is based. One of the central concepts of Riehl’s philosophy is experience, which is treated as a psychophysical unit. According to Riehl, if one begins from the objective side of this unity, one transforms consciousness into a function of the brain, and the world becomes the aggregate of quantitatively measured elements; if one begins from the subjective side, the world is a product of consciousness. Riehl was an adherent of psychophysical parallelism. In his later works he advanced the idea that philosophy is not only the self-knowledge of science (the cognition of the existing) but also the comprehension of the values of human life (the cognition of that which must be).

In Materialism and Empiriocriticism, V. I. Lenin provided a critical analysis of Riehl’s philosophical views (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 18).


Über Begriff und Form der Philosophie. Berlin, 1872.
Der philosophische Kritizismus und seine Bedeutung für die positive Wissenschaft, vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1876–87.
In Russian translation:
Teoriia nauki i metafiziki s tochki zreniia filosofskogo krititsizma. Moscow, 1887.
V vedenie v sovremennuiu filosofiiu. St. Petersburg, 1904.
Filosofiia v sistematicheskom izlozhenii. St. Petersburg, 1909.


Bogomolov, A. S. Nemetskaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia posle 1865 goda. Moscow, 1969.
Siegel, K. A. Riehl. Graz, 1932.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The final chapter is devoted to Alois Riehl, a prominent exponent of the realist school of neo-Kantianism.
Agnes Fry (1868-1958) wrote a memoir of her father, Sir Edward Fry (1921), some poetry, and two books about scientific topics; she also translated Alois Riehl's Giordano Bruno: In Memoriam of the 17th February 1600 from the German.