Robert Zimmermann and Herbartianism in Vienna. The critical reception from Brentano and his followers

Meinong Studies (forthcoming)
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This study is about an aspect of the reception of Herbatianism in Austria which has not been thoroughly investigated so far. It pertains to a controversy opposing Robert Zimmermann and Franz Brentano in the context of discussions which took place in the Philosophical Society of the University of Vienna. This study looks more specifically at three important episodes involving the Philosophical Society, first, the controversy over Herbartianism, second that over the evaluation of Schelling’s philosophy, and finally the reception of Bolzano in Austria. I will first describe the circumstances that led Zimmermann to get involved in the Philosophical Society and the source of his controversy with Brentano and his followers. I will then comment Zimmermann’s address as chairman of the Philosophical Society and Brentano’s reaction to Zimmermann’s remarks on Schelling and the historical period to which he belongs. I will complete my analysis of Brentano’s reaction with a summary of his evaluation of Herbart’s philosophical program to which Zimmermann adhered. The last part focuses on Zimmermann’s decisive role in the reception of Bolzano in Vienna in connection with the Bolzano Commission established by the Philosophical Society. I will conclude with brief remarks on Zimmermann’s legacy in Vienna.

Author's Profile

Denis Fisette
Université du Québec à Montréal


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