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Die Schüler Erich Rothackers

Ableger historistischen Denkens in der deutschen Philosophie der Nachkriegszeit

Plas, Guillaume

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 54 (2013), Iss. 0: S. 196–223

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Plas, Guillaume


The purpose of this analysis is to shed light on the hitherto underresearched influence – particularly during Rothacker’s time as a scholar and teacher in Bonnin the early 1950s – of Erich Rothacker on those of his students who later came to academic fame in their own right. Using the historicist strain of Rothacker’sthought as a starting point this article scrutinizes the gradual development of Karl-Otto Apel’s ›linguistic turn‹ as well as Jürgen Habermas’ critical theory ofscience and Hermann Schmitz’s systematic subjectivisation of cognisance. A comparative reading of these thinkers allows the establishing of terminological andconceptual echoes among these texts and Rothacker’s major works, offering ample evidence for Rothacker’s infl uence on his former students. Nevertheless, it ishard to speak of a »Rothacker School« in modern German philosophical thought: despite the visible impact of Rothacker’s work on his students, the transformativemode in which Rothacker was received, and the lack of social ties between the teacher and his students, limit Rothacker’s sphere of influence to an initial academic education that was later neutralized, albeit in a dialectical manner.


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Guillaume Plas: Die Schüler Erich Rothackers. Ableger historistischen Denkens in der deutschen Philosophie der Nachkriegszeit 195