Born Mar. 30, 1830, in Tondern; died Dec. 7, 1881, in Lauenburg. German idealist philosopher. One of the forerunners of “the philosophy of life.”
Taking from A. Schopenhauer the concept of voluntarism, Bahnsen supplemented it with Hegel’s dialectics and developed “real dialectics,” according to which the essence of the world is a tragic split of the world’s will, expressed in the dissociation of mutually contradictory individuals (henades), and in the division of the will of each. Bahnsen confirmed the alogism of the world and the resulting impossibility of understanding it or achieving social improvement. He was one of the founders of character study.
WORKSDer Widerspruch im Wissen und Wesen der Welt, vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1882.
Beitrage zur Charakterologie . . . ., vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1867.