Eduard Von Hartmann

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hartmann, Eduard Von


Born Feb. 23, 1842, in Berlin; died June 5, 1906, in Grosslichterfelde. German idealist philosopher.

The sources of Hartmann’s philosophy were Schopenhauer’s voluntarism and Schelling’s “philosophy of identity.” In The Philosophy of the Unconscious (1869; 12th ed., 1923), the materialism of the natural sciences is placed in opposition to mystic idealism and the ideas of social progress in opposition to a pessimistic historical outlook. Hartmann adhered to panpsychism and considered that plants and even atoms have sensations. He believed that an absolute, unconscious spiritual principle lies at the basis of all that exists. The universe, according to Hartmann, is the product of an irrational process in which consciousness is only an instrument of the unconscious world will, which is regarded as the source of life and the driving force of evolution.

On the basis of his belief in the irrationality of the world, Hartmann works out an ethics from the standpoint of pessimism (The Phenomenology of Moral Consciousness, 1879; 3rd ed., 1922). He urges that three illusions, which have successively ruled men’s minds, be dispelled: the illusion of earthly happiness, the illusion of happiness in the otherworld, and, finally, the illusion of attaining happiness as a result of social progress. His denial of the possibility of happiness arising from historical development brings Hartmann to the propagation of a nihilistic religion (The Philosophy of Religion, 1882); evolution leads the universe to destruction as the universe becomes conscious of its lack of reason and purposiveness. In the field of psychology, Hartmann opposed the materialist position, which holds that psychological processes depend upon the physiological.


Kategorienlehre. Berlin, 1896.
Die Weltanschauung der modernen Physik. Leipzig, 1902.
System der Philosophie im Grundriss. Vol. 1-8. [Leipzig] 1907-09.
In Russian translation:
Sushchnost’ mirovogo protsessa ili filosofiia bessoznatel’nogo, parts 1-2. Moscow, 1873-75.
Istina i zabluzhdeniia v darvinizme. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Sovremennaia psikhologiia. Moscow, 1902.
“K poniatiiu bessoznatel’nogo.” In the collection Novye idei v filosofii, collection 15. St. Petersburg, 1914.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. vol. 18, pp. 61, 302-04.
Debol’skii, N. G. “Transtsendental’nyi realizm Gartmana.” In the collection Novye idei v filosofii, collection 14. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Huber, M. Eduard von Hartmanns Metaphysik und Religions-philosophie. Winterthur, 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
She invokes a varied cast of Victorian thinkers and scientists, both in Chapter 1 and throughout the work, including Eduard von Hartmann, Henry Maudsley, George Romanes, and Robson Roose.
Eduard von Hartmann, being one of the most profound connoisseurs of the philosophical aspects of Darwinism, stated in 1875 that ironically, nothing has been more helpful for the rise of Darwinism than the opposition of the theology of all confessions.
Yet, for the philosophical discussion of Darwinism, another point turned out to be important: By playing off Lamarck against Darwin, many philosophers (like Nietzsche, Eduard von Hartmann, and Ludwig Klages) were trying to argue against a mechanistic analysis of evolution inspired by Darwin.
Or, as Eduard von Hartmann put it in his Philosophy of the unconscious: ("Philosophie des Unbewussten"): "The pure monistic world-view is on its own capable to build the metaphysical fundament of an ethic which is not subject to individual arbitrariness (see Schopenhauer)." (30)
Fornari first emphasises Nietzsche's familiarity with Eduard von Hartmann's and Anton Olzelt-Newin's criticisms of Mill's attempt to ground the performance of morally good actions in the agent's happiness, and William Lecky's criticisms of Mill's account of the sense of duty in terms of the association of ideas.
To ground his commentary, Reynolds critiques the conventional opposition of conscious to unconscious creativity, exploring the views of composers and men of letters as well as the "philosophy" on the topic that Eduard von Hartmann first expounded in 1868.
Throughout his life, de Hartmann had been preoccupied with the search for a higher level of spiritual understanding: "Without inner growth, there is no life for me."(12) This spirituality may have been engendered by his great uncle Eduard von Hartmann (1842-1906), who wrote Philosophy of the Unconscious in 1877,(13) but also found an avocation in music, composing songs and writing on the topic of musical aesthetics.
Eduard von Hartmann, Philosophy of the Unconscious (New York: Macmillan, 1884).