Petzoldt, Josef

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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