Arnold Gehlen

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Arnold Gehlen (29 January 1904 in Leipzig, German Empire 30 January 1976 in Hamburg, West Germany) was an influential conservative German philosopher, sociologist, and anthropologist. [1]

Leipzig Place in Saxony, Germany

Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017, it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain.

German Empire empire in Central Europe between 1871–1918

The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.



His major influences while studying philosophy were Hans Driesch, Nicolai Hartmann and especially Max Scheler.

Hans Driesch German philosopher and biologist

Hans Adolf Eduard Driesch was a German biologist and philosopher from Bad Kreuznach. He is most noted for his early experimental work in embryology and for his neo-vitalist philosophy of entelechy. He has also been credited with performing the first artificial 'cloning' of an animal in the 1880s, although this claim is dependent on how one defines cloning.

Nicolai Hartmann was a Baltic German philosopher. He is regarded as a key representative of critical realism and as one of the most important twentieth century metaphysicians.

Max Scheler German philosopher

Max Ferdinand Scheler was a German philosopher known for his work in phenomenology, ethics, and philosophical anthropology. Scheler developed further the philosophical method of the founder of phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, and was called by José Ortega y Gasset "Adam of the philosophical paradise." After his death in 1928, Martin Heidegger affirmed, with Ortega y Gasset, that all philosophers of the century were indebted to Scheler and praised him as "the strongest philosophical force in modern Germany, nay, in contemporary Europe and in contemporary philosophy as such." In 1954, Karol Wojtyła, later Pope John Paul II, defended his doctoral thesis on "An Evaluation of the Possibility of Constructing a Christian Ethics on the Basis of the System of Max Scheler."

In 1933 Gehlen signed the Loyalty Oath of German Professors to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist State .

He joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and had a shining career as a member of the 'Leipzig School' under Hans Freyer. He replaced Paul Tillich, who emigrated to the U.S., at the University of Frankfurt. In 1938 he accepted a teaching position at the University of Königsberg (today's Kaliningrad) and then taught at the University of Vienna in 1940 until he was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1943. After his 'denazification' he taught at the administrative college in Speyer. He went on to teach at the Aachen University of Technology between 1962 and 1969. Gehlen became a sharp critic of the protest movements that developed in the late 1960s. Gehlen's philosophy has influenced many contemporary neoconservative German thinkers. Many terms from his work, like Reizüberflutung ("Sensory overload"), deinstitutionalization or post-history, have gained popular currency in Germany.

Nazi Party Fascist political party in Germany (1920-1945)

The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.

The Leipzig school was a branch of sociology developed by a group of academics led by philosopher and sociologist Hans Freyer at the University of Leipzig, Germany in the 1930s.

Hans Freyer was a conservative German sociologist and philosopher.

Selected writings

See also


  1. Berger, Peter L., and Hansfried Kellner (1965)

Further reading


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