Lange, Friedrich Albert (1828–75)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC048-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved February 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

A German philosopher, social scientist and political activist, Lange was best known for his study of the history of materialism. He was a leading proponent of Neo-Kantianism, a critic of speculative metaphysics, and a defender of the view that philosophy should incorporate the findings of the exact sciences. As a social scientist, Lange described the emergence of a social Darwinian ‘struggle for existence’ in modern times due to the rapid advancement of industrialization and a growing conflict of interest among social classes.

Cognizant of the scientific trends of his time, Lange anticipated some of the central ideas of pragmatism and adopted a form of conventionalism in regard to scientific principles and concepts. Although sympathetic to materialism, Lange also saw the inevitability of an idealist element in interpretations of natural phenomena and insisted on the importance of projecting ethical, social and aesthetic ideals.

    Citing this article:
    Stack, George J.. Lange, Friedrich Albert (1828–75), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC048-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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