Othmar Spann

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Othmar Spann
Born(1878-10-01)1 October 1878
Altmannsdorf (Vienna) (Meidling), Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 8 July 1950(1950-07-08) (aged 71)
Neustift bei Schlaining, Austria
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
Main interests
Notable ideas
Corporate statism

Othmar Spann (1 October 1878 – 8 July 1950) was a conservative Austrian philosopher, sociologist and economist whose radical anti-liberal and anti-Socialist views, based on early 19th century Romantic ideas expressed by Adam Müller et al. and popularized in his books and lecture courses, helped antagonise political factions in Austria during the interwar years.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

Romantic nationalism form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs

Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs. This includes, depending on the particular manner of practice, the language, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, and customs of the nation in its primal sense of those who were born within its culture. This form of nationalism arose in reaction to dynastic or imperial hegemony, which assessed the legitimacy of the state from the top down, emanating from a monarch or other authority, which justified its existence. Such downward-radiating power might ultimately derive from a god or gods (see the divine right of kings and the Mandate of Heaven).

Adam Müller German publicist, literary critic, political economist, and theorist of the state

Adam Heinrich Müller was a German publicist, literary critic, political economist, theorist of the state and forerunner of economic romanticism.

Contents

Early life

Othmar Spann was the son of Josef Spann, a manufacturer and inventor. Spann grew up in Altmannsdorf, a suburban area of Vienna, Austria which is 15 minutes outside of the central city. Spann attended a Bürgerschule (citizen school) and graduated in 1898. After that he studied philosophy in Vienna, followed by Political Sciences in Zürich, Bern, and Tübingen. He received his doctorate in Political Science in 1903.

Zürich Place in Switzerland

Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

Bern Place in Switzerland

Bern or Berne is the de facto capital of Switzerland, referred to by the Swiss as their "federal city", in German Bundesstadt, French ville fédérale, and Italian città federale. With a population of about 140,000, Bern is the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland. The Bern agglomeration, which includes 36 municipalities, had a population of 406,900 in 2014. The metropolitan area had a population of 660,000 in 2000. Bern is also the capital of the canton of Bern, the second-most populous of Switzerland's cantons.

Tübingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Tübingen is a traditional university town in central Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated 30 km (19 mi) south of the state capital, Stuttgart, on a ridge between the Neckar and Ammer rivers. As of 2014 about one in three people living in Tübingen is a student.

From 1904 to 1907, Spann worked for the "Center for Private Welfare Service" in Frankfurt am Main. He was responsible for empirical studies of this population of workers. By the end of 1904 Spann, along with Hermann Beck and Hanns Dorn founded a newspaper called "Critical Pages for the whole Social Sciences."

In 1907, Spann wrote his "Habilitation in Political Economy" for the Hochschule in Brünn. From 1907 to 1909 he was given the position of "privatdozent" which allowed him to teach and collect fees from students. As early as 1908 Spann began working as the full-time imperial-royal vice-secretary of the statistic central commission in Vienna. He was given the position of creating a new census for Austria between 1909 and 1910.

Hochschule is the generic term in German for institutions of higher education, corresponding to universities and colleges in English. The term Universität is reserved for institutions with the right to confer doctorates. In contrast, Hochschule encompasses Universitäten as well as institutions that are not authorized to confer doctorates.

Brno Statutory city in Moravia, Czech Republic

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic by population and area, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region in which it forms a separate district. The city lies at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and has about 400,000 inhabitants; its greater metropolitan area is home to more than 800,000 people while its larger urban zone had a population of about 730,000 in 2004.

Privatdozent or Privatdozentin, abbreviated PD, P.D. or Priv.-Doz., is an academic title similar to Adjunct professor in North America conferred at some European universities, especially in German-speaking countries, to someone who holds certain formal qualifications that denote an ability to teach a designated subject at university level. In its current usage, the title indicates that the holder has permission to teach and examine independently without having a position. The title is not necessarily connected to a salaried position, but may entail a nominal obligation to teach.

From 1914 to 1918, during the First World War, Spann was a first lieutenant of the reserve. He was hurt during a conflict in Lemberg, Ukraine on 27 August 1914. When he recovered he was first a commander of a company of Russian prisoners and then until later in 1918 he was given a position on the "scientific committee for wartime economy" with the war Ministry in Vienna.

In 1919, Spann was appointed to a position at the University of Vienna, where he taught until 1938.

Spann was popular with students, not only for his lectures which would spill out into the hallways at the University, but also for mid-summer festivals which he would hold in the woods where he would teach that "the ability to intuit essences was nurtured by jumping over the fire..." (Caldwell 2004, 138-9)

Activism

Repeatedly, Spann tried to draw the ruling powers' attention to his authoritarian theory of a corporate state, which he thought be introduced immediately for the benefit of all. In 1928. he joined the Militant League for German Culture. Around 1930, he also joined the Nazi Party.

The Militant League for German Culture, was a nationalistic anti-Semitic political society during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era. It was founded in 1928 as the Nationalsozialistische Gesellschaft für deutsche Kultur by Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg and remained under his leadership until it was reorganized and renamed to the National Socialist Culture Community in 1934. Its aim was to make a significant imprint on cultural life in Germany that was based on the aims and objectives of the inner circles of the Nazi Party. Upon its reorganization, it was merged with the Deutsche Bühne, connected with the establishment of the official body for cultural surveillance, the "Dienstelle Rosenberg" (DRbg) and was later known as the Amt Rosenberg.

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.

Notable students

Removal from teaching

Although to a large degree in tune with the Zeitgeist , he repeatedly met with disapproval until, in 1938, right after the Anschluss , he was briefly imprisoned by the Nazis and eventually barred from his professorship at the University of Vienna, which he had held since 1919. Living as a recluse till the end of the war, Spann tried to get his university post back in 1945, aged 67. However, he was not allowed to resume his teaching and died in 1950, disappointed and embittered.[ citation needed ]

Major works

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