Czech philosophy

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Czech philosophy, has often eschewed "pure" speculative philosophy, [1] emerging rather in the course of intellectual debates in the fields of education (e.g. Jan Amos Komenský), art (e.g. Karel Teige), literature (e.g. Milan Kundera), and especially politics (e.g. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Karel Kosík, Ivan Sviták, Václav Havel). A source drawing from literature, however, distinguished the Czech national philosophy from the speculative tradition of German thought, citing that it emerged out of folk wisdom and peasant reasoning. [2]

Karel Teige Czech photographer, literature reviewer, literary theorist, translator, typographer and science writer

Karel Teige was a Czech modernist avant-garde artist, writer, critic and one of the most important figures of the 1920s and 1930s movement. He was a member of the Devětsil (Butterbur) movement in the 1920s and also worked as an editor and graphic designer for Devětsil's monthly magazine ReD. One of his major works on architecture theory is The Minimum Dwelling (1932).

Milan Kundera Czech author of Czech and French literature

Milan Kundera[mɪˈlan kunˈdɛra]; born 1 April 1929) is a Czech-born French writer who went into exile in France in 1975, and became a naturalised French citizen in 1981. He "sees himself as a French writer and insists his work should be studied as French literature and classified as such in book stores".

Karel Kosík Czech philosopher, literary theorist and university educator

Karel Kosík was a Czech Marxist philosopher. In his most famous philosophical work, Dialectics of the Concrete (1963), Kosík presents an original reinterpretation of the ideas of Karl Marx in light of Martin Heidegger's phenomenology. His later essays can be called a sharp critique of the modern society from a leftist but not strictly Marxist position.

Masaryk is credited for introducing the epistemological problem into the modern Czech philosophy, which in turn influenced the discourse on symbol and symbolization. [3] Czech philosophers have also played a central role in the development of phenomenology, whose German-speaking founder Edmund Husserl was born in the Czech lands. Czechs Jan Patočka and Václav Bělohradský would later make important contributions to phenomenological thought.

Epistemology A branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.

Phenomenology is the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness. As a philosophical movement it was founded in the early years of the 20th century by Edmund Husserl and was later expanded upon by a circle of his followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany. It then spread to France, the United States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's early work.

Edmund Husserl German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology

Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a German philosopher who established the school of phenomenology. In his early work, he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic based on analyses of intentionality. In his mature work, he sought to develop a systematic foundational science based on the so-called phenomenological reduction. Arguing that transcendental consciousness sets the limits of all possible knowledge, Husserl redefined phenomenology as a transcendental-idealist philosophy. Husserl's thought profoundly influenced the landscape of 20th-century philosophy, and he remains a notable figure in contemporary philosophy and beyond.

Positivism became an important and dominant trend of modern Czech philosophy, eclipsing herbatianism , in what is explained as a collective "post-revolutionary" thinking characterized by an attempt to open a window to Europe in order to eliminate traces of philosophical provincialism. [4]

Herbartianism (Her-bart-ti-an-ism) is an educational philosophy, movement, and method loosely based on the educational and pedagogical thought of German educator Johann Friedrich Herbart, and influential on American school pedagogy of the late 19th century as the field worked towards a science of education. Herbart advocated for instruction that introduced new ideas in discrete steps. About a quarter-century after his death, Herbart's ideas were expanded in two German schools of thought that were later embodied in the method used at a practice school in Jena, which attracted educationists from the United States. Herbartianism was later replaced by new pedagogies, such as those of John Dewey.

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Czech Republic Country in Central Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic has a landlocked and hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen.

Karel Čapek Czech writer

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer, playwright and critic. He has become best known for his science fiction, including his novel War with the Newts (1936) and play R.U.R., which introduced the word robot. He also wrote many politically charged works dealing with the social turmoil of his time. Influenced by American pragmatic liberalism, he campaigned in favor of free expression and strongly opposed the rise of both fascism and communism in Europe.

Czech literature The written works of the Czech Republic, including poetry, music, and prose

Czech literature is the literature written in the Czech language. The earliest literary works written in Czech date to the 14th century. Modern literature may be divided into the periods of national awakening in the 19th century; the avant-garde of the interwar period (1918-39); the years under Communism and the Prague Spring (1948-90); and the literature of the post-Communist Czech Republic (1992-present).

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk First Czechoslovak president

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, sometimes anglicised Thomas Masaryk, was a Czechoslovak politician, statesman, sociologist and philosopher. Until 1914, he advocated reforming the Austro-Hungarian monarchy into a federal state. With the help of the Allied powers, Masaryk gained independence for a Czechoslovak republic as World War I ended in 1918. He founded Czechoslovakia, was its first president, and is called the "President Liberator" (Prezident Osvoboditel) by some Czechs.

The Czechs or the Czech people, are a West Slavic ethnic group and a nation native to the Czech Republic in Central Europe, who share a common ancestry, culture, history, and Czech language.

Jan Patočka Czech essayist and philosopher

Jan Patočka was a Czech philosopher. Due to his contributions to phenomenology and the philosophy of history he is considered one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. Having studied in Prague, Paris, Berlin and Freiburg, he was one of the last pupils of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. During his studies in Freiburg he was also tutored by Eugen Fink, a relationship which eventually turned into a lifelong philosophical friendship.

Pavel Jozef Šafárik Czech poet, linguist, literature historian, publicist, educator, publicist, translator, writer and science writer

Pavel Jozef Šafárik was a Slovak philologist, poet, one of the first scientific Slavists; literary historian, historian and ethnographer.

Masaryk University university in Brno, Czech Republic

Masaryk University is the second largest university in the Czech Republic, a member of the Compostela Group and the Utrecht Network. Founded in 1919 in Brno as the second Czech university, it now consists of nine faculties and 35,115 students. It is named after Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of an independent Czechoslovakia as well as the leader of the movement for a second Czech university.

Alois Jirásek Czech writer

Alois Jirásek was a Czech writer, author of historical novels and plays. Jirásek was a high school history teacher in Litomyšl and later in Prague until his retirement in 1909. He wrote a series of historical novels imbued with faith in his nation and in progress toward freedom and justice. He was close to many important Czech personalities like M.Aleš, J.V. Sládek, K.V. Rais or Z.J. Nejedlý. He attended an art club in Union Cafe with them. He worked as a redactor in Zvon magazine and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1918, 1919, 1921 and 1930.

Manuscripts of Dvůr Králové and Zelená Hora

The Dvůr Králové and Zelená Hora manuscripts, also called the Queen's Court manuscript and Green mountain manuscript, respectively, are literary hoaxes purporting to be epic Slavic manuscripts written in Old Czech. They first appeared in the early nineteenth century.

Jan Firbas Czech linguist and university educator

Jan Firbas, was a Czech linguist and a prominent representative of the Prague School of linguistics. Born in Brno, in the Czech Republic, he studied English, German and philosophy at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University. From 1949 he was a member of the Department of English and American Studies of the faculty until his death in 2000. He became a member of the Prague Linguistics Circle, which was outlawed by the communist government. Persecution from the communist government and the fact that he came from an old Protestant family and refused to renounce his belief significantly delayed his academic career. Despite his international renown, it took him ten years to have his habilitation officially approved and he was only made Professor in 1990. In 1986, he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Leuven and Leeds, and in 2000 by the University of Turku. Even though he was frequently invited to give lecture series at universities across the globe in the 1970s and 80s, he could freely accept the invitations only after the fall of the communist regime in November 1989. Jan Firbas died on 5 May 2000 in Brno, the city where he had stayed for most of his life.

Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague

The Faculty of Arts, Charles University, is one of the original four faculties of Charles University in Prague. When founded, it was named the Faculty of the Liberal Arts or the Artistic Faculty. The faculty provides lectures in the widest range of fields of the humanities in the Czech Republic, and is the only university faculty in Europe which provides studies in all the official languages of the European Union. The faculty has around 1,000 members of staff, over 9,000 students, and a flexible system of more than 700 possible double-subject degree combinations.

Michael Henry Heim was a Professor of Slavic Languages at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He was an active and prolific translator, and was fluent in Czech, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, French, Italian, German, and Dutch. He died on September 29, 2012, of complications from melanoma.

Máj (literary almanac)

Máj was a Czech literary almanac published by a group of authors centred around Jan Neruda and Vítězslav Hálek.

Martin C. Putna Czech anthropologist, literature historian, literature reviewer, professor and university educator

Prof. Mgr. Martin C. Putna, Dr., is a Czech literary historian, university teacher, publicist and essayist. He works at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague.

<i>Zlatá Praha</i> Czech illustrated literary magazine

Zlatá Praha was a Czech illustrated literary magazine. Founded by poet Vítězslav Hálek, it was published separately from 1864 to 1865 before it was restarted again in 1884 by publisher Jan Otto, with Ferdinand Schulz, poet and editor-in-chief. It was then published from 1884 until 1929. The magazine published a lot of literary works and articles on culture and politics. It also featured many illustrative paintings, portraits and photographs, as well as monochrome reproductions of contemporary art. Acclaimed for its high quality content and graphics, many paintings and articles published there are now in the public domain.

Rudolph Krejci Czechoslovakian-American philosopher

Rudolph Krejci was a Czechoslovak-American philosopher and professor, who was the founder of the Philosophy and Humanities Programs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and founder and first dean of the University's College of Arts and Sciences in 1975. In 1997 Krejci became Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Humanities after 37 years of service at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Miloslav Petrusek Czech sociologist

Miloslav Petrusek was a prominent Czech sociologist who served as a dean of Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague between 1992–1997, as well as the prorector for academic affairs of the university in 1997–2000. For his consistent contribution to sociology and education, he received numerous awards, such as Ordre des Palmes Académiques or Golden Medal of Masaryk University. In 2012, Petrusek received The VIZE 97 Prize.


  1. "Fvf:Filozofia česká". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. Cornis-Pope, Marcel; Neubauer, John (2007). History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe: Junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries. Volume III: The making and remaking of literary institutions. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. p. 306. ISBN   9789027234551.
  3. Steiner, Peter; Miroslav ?ervenka; Vroon, Ronald (1982). The Structure of the Literary Process: Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Felix Vodic?ka. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. p. 557. ISBN   902721512X.
  4. Nový, Lubomír; Gabriel, Jiří; Hroch, Jaroslav (1994). Czech Philosophy in the XXth Century. Washington, D.C.: Paideia Press & CRVP. p. 31. ISBN   1565180283.