Friedrich Albert Lange

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lange, Friedrich Albert


Born Sept. 28, 1828, in Wald, near the city of Solingen; died Nov. 21, 1875, in Marburg. German philosopher and economist, representative of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism.

Lange was professor of philosophy at the universities of Zürich (1870) and Marburg (1872). With O. Liebmann, he initiated the slogan “Back to Kant.” His best known work was his historical and philosophical study entitled History of Materialism and Critique of Its Present Significance (vols. 1–2, 1866; 10th ed., 1921; Russian translation, 1881–83; 2nd Russian ed., 1899–1900). In this work, Lange considered materialism valid only within the bounds of research in the natural sciences. He rejected the universal philosophical significance of materialism: according to Lange, metaphysics is possible only as the poetry of ideas and not as a science. In his book The Worker Question (1865; 7th ed., 1910; Russian translation, 1892), Lange defended bourgeois liberalism; this work led to his political persecution. Lange’s views, particularly his application of biological concepts to the social sciences, were criticized by V. I. Lenin (see Poln. sobr. soch, 5th ed. vol. 1, p. 475, and vol. 18, pp. 348–49).


Logische Studien, 2nd ed. Iserlohn, 1894.


Ellissen, O. A. F. A. Lange. Leipzig, 1891.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Under the influence of Friedrich Lange's History of Materialism, the youthful Nietzsche embarked on a fundamental critique of The World as Will and Representation.
By examining his notebooks and the marginalia in his personal library, Brobjer reaches the striking conclusion that Nietzsche had no thorough first-hand knowledge of the work of any German philosopher except Schopenhauer and Friedrich Lange. Though he constantly refers to Kant, he cannot be shown to have read any work by Kant apart from the Kritik der Urteilskraft.
For instance, Nietzsche's psychological analyses of altruism also appear to owe much to his readings of neo-Kantians like Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Lange, to which Fornari refers only with regard to his criticism of metaphysics, and his developing treatment of "justice" seems also to reflect his interest in Eugen Duhring's theories and, indeed, in Ree's own later work, to which Fornari refers only in passing.
Rolph, Friedrich Lange, Francis Galton and many others is here presented fully and coherently; Paul Bourget, who helped inspire Nietzsche's concept of decadence, is shown to have contributed less than Charles Fere's Degenerescence et criminalite (1888); Herbert Spencer comes into focus as an antagonist on whom Nietzsche sharpened his own ideas.
First, Hill argues that Nietzsche gained much of his understanding of Kant, not from Schopenhauer, who tended to misrepresent Kant for his own purposes, but rather from Kuno Fischer's History of Modern Philosophy and Friedrich Lange's A History of Materialism.