Petzoldt, Josef

Petzoldt, Josef


Born Nov. 4, 1862, in Altenburg; died Aug. 1, 1929, in Spandau, Berlin. German idealist philosopher. Representative of empiriocriticism. One of the founders of the Society for Positivist Philosophy (1912).

In 1922, Petzoldt became a professor at the Higher Technical School in Charlottenburg, Berlin. Following R. Avenarius, he reduced epistemology to cognitive psychology. He criticized the concepts of substantiality and causality from a subjective idealist standpoint, asserting that they should be replaced by an a priori conception of functional dependence. In this regard, he was close to the position adopted by E. Mach and E. Cassirer. Petzoldt’s philosophical views were sharply criticized by V. I. Lenin in Materialism and Empiriocriticism.


Die Stellung der Relativitätstheorie in der geistigen Entwicklung der Menschheit, 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1923.
In Russian translation:
Problema mira s tochki zreniia pozitivizma. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Vvedenie v filosofiiu chistogo opyta, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1910.


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