Hartmann, Eduard von

Hartmann, Eduard von

(ā`do͞oärt fən härt`män), 1842–1906, German philosopher. His Philosophy of the Unconscious appeared in 1869 (tr., 3 vol., 1884; new ed. 1931). By the unconscious, Hartmann meant the inexplicable forces of nature which activate the world process, whether in atoms or in organisms. Influenced by SchopenhauerSchopenhauer, Arthur
, 1788–1860, German philosopher, b. Danzig (now Gdansk). The bias of his own temperament and experience was germinal to the development of his celebrated philosophy of pessimism, which he presented with such clarity and skill as to gain eventual
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 and HegelHegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
, 1770–1831, German philosopher, b. Stuttgart; son of a government clerk. Life and Works

Educated in theology at Tübingen, Hegel was a private tutor at Bern and Frankfurt.
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, he saw the world process as a struggle between blind impulse and reason. In ethics, he overcame an early pessimism founded on the irrational characteristics of life and later formulated a qualified optimism based on the evolutionary forces of reason.
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
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