Lange, Friedrich Albert (1828–75)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC048-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2021
Retrieved February 24, 2024, from

1. Life and works

Friedrich Albert Lange was born in Solingen (Germany) on 28 September 1828. Lange studied philology, theology, and philosophy at Zurich (Switzerland) and Bonn (Germany). During his study, he encountered the works of Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) and Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–94), who introduced him to the first attempts to bring together Kantian philosophy and the then-rising scientific psychology, which later became one of the main topics in Lange’s work.

Due to his political activism, Lange had trouble finding a stable academic position, and therefore worked as a high school teacher. In 1862 he resigned as a teacher too, because of conflicts with the school authorities and to focus on political activity. In the following years, he became secretary of the Duisburg (Germany) Chamber of Commerce, also working as a journalist and pamphleteer. In 1866 Lange participated in the First International. Yet, because of his unconventional political views, he was ill-favoured both by liberal democrats and by communists, and ultimately decided to move to Switzerland in 1866, where he worked as a Privatdozent at Zurich University. Thanks to the ever-growing success of his History of Materialism (1866), he was offered a chair for philosophy by various German universities and accepted to move to Marburg in 1872, where he lectured until his death, on 21 November 1875.

Citing this article:
Russo Krauss, Chiara. Life and works. Lange, Friedrich Albert (1828–75), 2021, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC048-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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