Born Jan. 2, 1860, in Marburg; died Dec. 6, 1928, in Miinster. German idealist philosopher of the Marburg school of neo-Kantianism.
Vorländer was a professor at the University of Münster from 1919 to 1928. He came to be known as a theoretician of “ethical socialism” and a student of the ethics of I. Kant. According to Vorländer, socialism has no scientific basis and is founded on moral premises; the clearest formulation of such premises can be found in Kant’s ethics, wherein man is viewed as an end in himself. Analyzing the relationship between the teachings of Kant and K. Marx, Vorländer pointed out the profoundly ethical point of view of Marx’ economic writings. Contrasting cognition to evaluation, and knowledge to ethics, Vorländer interpreted socialism as an essentially ethical doctrine that supposedly cannot aspire to objectivity or to comprehension of the causal relations and laws of social development.
WORKSDer Formalismus der Kantischen Ethik in seiner Notwendigkeit und Fruchtbarkeit. Marburg, 1893.
I. Kant: Der Mann und das Werk, vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1924.
Von Machiavelti bis Lenin: Neuzeitliche Staats- und Gesellschaftstheorien. Leipzig, 1926.
In Russian translation:
Kant i sotsializm: Obzor noveishikh teoreticheskikh techenii v marksizme. Moscow, 1906.
Sovremennyi sotsializm ifilosofskaia etika. Moscow, 1907.
Kant i Marks. St. Petersburg, 1909.
Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1911.
See also references under NEO-KANTIANISM.
A. P. OGURTSOV