Pragmatism in the Third Reich

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 11 (1) (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this article I try to answer one central question: how can it be explained that the most intense reception of American pragmatism in Germany took place during the Nazi dictatorship (and not in democratic political environments before – during the Weimar Republic – and afterwards – in the first 20 years of the Federal Republic)? The answer is complicated: it starts with an academic exchange programme between Germany and the USA which brought the young post-doc Eduard Baumgarten in the mid -20ties to America and put him in contact with John Dewey and some of his pupils. After his return in 1929 he hoped to write and teach about pragmatism. This project came to an abrupt end, when Martin Heidegger denied him a promised position at the university of Freiburg. After the Nazi “seizure of power” the situation became worse when a completely negative expert opinion by Heidegger, by then the leading Nazi philosopher, blocked Baumgartens habilitation in Göttingen. Baumgarten fought back and established ties to a rising star in Nazi-philosophy, Alfred Baeumler, a devoted follower of Nietzsche’s “Will to Power.” This move secured in the end the publication of Baumgarten´s two books on American philosophy and especially on pragmatism. But this triumph came at a cost: a “reinterpretation” of the democratic content of pragmatism and an effort to show similarities between it and Nietzsche´s philosophy.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,748

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Pragmatism a guide for the perplexed.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - London, UK: Continuum. Edited by Scott F. Aikin.
Perspectives on pragmatism: classical, recent, and contemporary.Robert Brandom - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Kersten Reich.Participants Observers - 2009 - In Larry A. Hickman, Stefan Neubert & Kersten Reich (eds.), John Dewey Between Pragmatism and Constructivism. Fordham University Press. pp. 106.
Pragmatism.Bruce Kuklick (ed.) - 1981 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Theologisches Litteraturblatt.Reich Reich - 1876 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 2:430.


Added to PP

14 (#767,436)

6 months
1 (#494,451)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations