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Ernst Laas

Ernst Laas

German philosopher
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German philosopher
Countries Germany
Occupations Philosopher Educator
Gender male
Birth 16 June 1837 (Fürstenwalde)
Death 25 July 1885 (Strasbourg)
The details

Ernst Laas (June 16, 1837, Fürstenwalde, Brandenburg, Prussia – July 25, 1885, Straßburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France)) was a German positivist philosopher.


He was born at Fürstenwalde. He studied theology and philosophy under Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg at Berlin, and eventually became Professor of Philosophy in the new University of Strasbourg. In his Analogien der Erfahrung (Analogies of Experiences, 1876) he keenly criticized Immanuel Kant's transcendentalism, and in his chief work Idealismus und Positivismus (Idealism and Positivism, 1879–1884, 3 vols.), he drew a clear contrast between Platonism, from which he derived transcendentalism, and positivism, of which he considered Protagoras the founder. Laas in reality was a disciple of David Hume. Throughout his philosophy he endeavours to connect metaphysics with ethics and the theory of education.


His chief educational works were Der deutsche Aufsatz in den obern Gymnasialklassen (1868), and Der deutsche Unterricht auf höhern Lehranstalten (1872; 2nd ed. 1886). He contributed largely to the Vierteljahrsschr. f. wiss. Philos. (1880–1882); the Litterarischer Nachlass, a posthumous collection, was published at Vienna (1887).

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