Heinrich Rickert

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Rickert, Heinrich


Born May 25, 1863, in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland); died July 30, 1936, in Heidelberg. German philosopher. One of the founders of the Baden school of neo-Kantianism.

Rickert became a professor at the University of Freiburg in 1894 and at the University of Heidelberg in 1916. His philosophical position emerged after a complex evolution. At first, he analyzed epistemological problems (the subject matter of cognition and the classification of scientific and scholarly disciplines). Later, he constructed a system of philosophy as a theory of values. At the end of his life he endeavored to justify ontology and metaphysics.

Rejecting the “thing-in-itself” as an objective reality from the attitude of neo-Kantianism, Rickert reduced being to the consciousness of the subject, defined as generalized, impersonal consciousness. Based on this, Rickert solved a central problem of his theory of cognition: the problem of the transcendent, or the question of the existence of objective reality independent of consciousness. According to Rickert, the reality that is provided by cognition is immanent to consciousness. He maintained that there is an objective truth independent of the subject, a transcendent reality inaccessible to cognition. Rejecting the theory of reflection, Rickert viewed reality as a result of the activity of impersonal consciousness, which constructs nature (the natural sciences) and culture (the study of culture). The natural sciences are concerned with generalizations, which are laws. History focuses on unique, unrepeatable phenomena and events. Rickert’s fundamental methodological dualism developed in opposition to the generalizing viewpoint of the natural sciences, which are free of values, and in opposition to the individualizing viewpoint of history, which is value-laden. Rickert gives preference to history, because in his opinion it is much closer to reality than the natural sciences, which use concepts that simplify the heterogeneous complexity of being. Rickert’s interpretation of history as a science is directed against the principle of historicism, as well as the materialist understanding of history.

According to Rickert, philosophy is the study of values, which form “a completely independent kingdom lying beyond subject and object” (“On the Concept of Philosophy,” Logos, 1910, book 1, p. 33). Rickert attempted to construct a system of philosophy that would include the suprahistorical relationships of values. Viewing his system as an open one, he differentiated six spheres (logic, aesthetics, mysticism, ethics, eroticism, and religion) and six corresponding values (truth, beauty, suprapersonal holiness, morality, happiness, and personal holiness).

Rickert’s philosophical viewpoint became irrational in his last works, in which he asserted that the concepts of philosophy are not adequate for comprehending life. Criticizing the ontology of N. Hartmann and M. Heidegger, he defended the possibility of constructing ontology as a doctrine concerning aspects of the whole world, and he showed an interest in the problem of the justification and essence of metaphysics.


Das Eine, die Einheit und die Eins: Bemerkungen zur Logik des Zahlbegriffs, 2nd ed. Tubingen, 1924.
System der Philosophie, vol. 1, Tubingen, 1921.
Die Logik des Prädikates und das Problem der Ontologie. Heidelberg, 1930.
Grundprobleme der Philosophie. Tubingen, 1934.
In Russian translation:
V vedenie v transtsendental’nuiu filosofiiu: Predmet poznaniia, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1904.
Granitsy estestvennonauchnogo obrazovaniia poniatii. St. Petersburg, 1903.
Filosofiia istorii. St. Petersburg, 1908.
Nauki o prirode i nauki o kul’ture. St. Petersburg, 1911.
“O sisteme tsennostei.” Logos, 1914, vol. 1, issue 1.
Filosofiia zhizni. Petrograd, 1922.


Sofronov, F. “G. Rikkert i ego kniga Granitsy estestvennonauchnogo obrazovaniia poniatii.” Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii, 1905, book 78 [issue 6].
Iakovenko, B. “Uchenie Rikkerta o sushchnosti filosofii.” Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii, 1913, book 119.
Bakradze, K. S. Ocherki po istorii noveishei i sovremennoi burzhuaznoi filosofii. Tbilisi, 1960. Chapter 5.
Bogomolov, A. S. Nemetskaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia posle 1865 goda. Moscow, 1969.
Sovremennaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia. Moscow, 1972. Chapter 1.
Faust, A. H. Rickert und seine Stellung innerhalb der deutschen Philosophie der Gegenwart. Tubingen, 1927.
Miller-Rostowska, A. Das Individuelle als Gegenstand der Erkenntnis: Eine Studie zur Geschichtsmethodologie H. Rickerts. Winterthur, 1955.


References in periodicals archive ?
Throughout, he engages with ideas of Leopold von Ranke, Wilhelm Dilthey, Heinrich Rickert, Martin Heidegger, Mircea Eliade, Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt.
Kristeller's reluctance to countenance the humanists as philosophers is often portrayed as a feature of his personality, but Rubini attributes it instead to his lingering neoKantianism, an influence absorbed through his admired teacher Heinrich Rickert.
simply mentions "Southwest neo-Kantianism" (35) without explaining that its major figures, Wilhelm Windelband and Heinrich Rickert, sought to place the "human sciences" on an equal footing with the natural sciences by showing that the concepts employed were individual rather than abstract, and were valid for historical occurrences but not universally applicable.
In contrast, German historian Heinrich Rickert 1962) argued for what he called "nomothetic understanding.
Seguindo a proposta de analise da Introducao de Allan Megill, podemos perceber que nos textos de autoria de Wilhelm Dilthey, Karl Lamprecht, Wilhelm Windelband, Heinrich Rickert, Max Weber e Friedrich Meinecke a questao sobre o metodo e a concepcao da antinomia entre as ciencias naturais e as ciencias humanas ocupam o centro das preocupacoes.
In between, he introduces us to Emil Lask, whose promising career met an early end on the eastern front during the First World War, resurrects the shining star of Heinrich Rickert, reclaims Georg Simmel and Max Weber from the sociologists, and qualifies the importance of someone like Leopold von Ranke by suggesting that "all claims to historical paternity are artificial and suspect, especially in the case of historicism, whose roots lie so deep in the eighteenth century" (253).
Dedico su opus magnum, Wahrheit, Wert, und Wirklichkeit (1923) a Heinrich Rickert.
This organization assembled numerous more or less renowned Protestant intellectuals, politicians (like Heinrich Rickert and Friedrich Naumann), and clergymen bur also Catholics and German Jews (pp.
En su ultimo libro, Subjetividad radical y comprension afectiva, Xolocotzi nos invita a explorar lo que podriamos denominar el Umwelt, el mundo entorno desde el cual se gesto el temprano proyecto de una ontologia fundamental como analitica de la estructura existenciaria del Dasein, en un intenso dialogo critico con los movimientos filosoficos mas representativos a la sazon: historicismo, neokantismo y fenomenologia, a los que asocia las emblematicas y seneras figuras de Wihelm Dilthey, Heinrich Rickert y Edmund Husserl.
Mises placed himself in the tradition of the Southwest German School of Wilhelm Dilthey, Wilhelm Windelband, Heinrich Rickert, and Max Weber.
Hare, Immanuel Kant and Max Weber, Paolo Rossi and Heinrich Rickert, and Ernst Tugendhat and Hans Jonas.
The Neo-Kantian movement encompassed two major schools, the Marburg school, founded by Herman Cohen, leading members of which included Paul Natorp and Ernst Cassirer, and the Southwest school, founded by Wilhelm Windelband, leading members of which included Heinrich Rickert and Emil Lask.