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Lorenzen, Paul (1915–95)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD039-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Paul Lorenzen, German philosopher of mathematics and sciences, programmatically set about implementing mathematical constructivism in wider philosophical contexts. Trained as a mathematician, he spent the greater part of his teaching career at the University of Erlangen, Germany. Here he assembled what came to be known as the ‘Erlangen school’, which included Wilhelm Kamlah, Kuno Lorenz, Jürgen Mittelstraß, Peter Janich, Oswald Schwemmer and others. In its heyday, the school also influenced work at the universities of Konstanz and Marburg, and was one of the main alternatives to ‘traditional’ philosophies such as hermeneutics.

The school’s interests embraced mathematical logic, the major thinkers of the idealist and hermeneutic traditions (though not Heidegger), and a high level of philological expertise in classical philosophy. Regrettably, though, its encyclopedic initiative has remained incomplete, and the school has largely disbanded in the face of increasing polarization between straight analytical philosophy and a tougher response by existing traditions. To some extent, Lorenzen’s own express interest in left-wing political traditions became a liability in view of the sobriety and retrenchment that characterized the 1980s.

Citing this article:
Roberts, Julian. Lorenzen, Paul (1915–95), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD039-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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