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Heinrich Ritter

Heinrich Ritter (November 21, 1791 - February 3, 1869), German philosopher, was born at Zerbst[?], and died at Göttingen. He studied philosophy and theology at Göttingen and Berlin until 1815.

In 1824 he became extraordinary professor of philosophy at Berlin, whence he was transferred to Kiel, where he occupied the chair of philosophy from 1833 to 1837. He then accepted a similar position at the University of Göttingen, where he remained till his death.

His chief work was a history of philosophy (Geschichte der Philosophie) published in twelve volumes at Hamburg from 1829 to 1853. This book was the product of a wide and thorough knowledge of the subject aided by an impartial critical faculty, and its value was underscored by its translation into almost all the languages of Europe. He wrote also accounts of ancient schools of philosophy, the Ionians, the Pythagoreans and the Megarians.

Beside these important historical works, he published a large number of treatises of which the following may be mentioned:

Books

  • Abriss der philosophischen Logik (1824)
  • Geschichte der Philosophie (Hamburg, 1829—1853)
  • Ueber das Verhältnis der Philosophie zum Leben (1835)
  • Historia philosophiae Graeco-Romanae (in collaboration with Preller, 1838; 7th ed., 1888)
  • Kleine philosophische Schriften (1839—1840)
  • Versuch zur Verständigung über die neueste deutsche Philosophie seit Kant (1853)
  • System der Logik und Metaphysik (1856)
  • Die christliche Philosophie bis auf die neuesten Zeiten (2 vols., 1858—59), a work which supplemented the Geschichte
  • Encyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften (1862—1864)
  • Ernest Renan, über die Naturwissenschaften und die Geschichte (1865)
  • Ueber das Böse und seine Folgen (1869)

Of these latter, the one best known in English is the History of Greek and Roman Philosophy, which, by reason of the excellence of its arrangement and its judicious quotations and notes, was considered indispensable to the student of ancient philosophy at the beginning of the 20th century.

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.



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