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Ernst Laas

German philosopher
The basics
Occupation Philosopher Educator
Country Germany
Date of birth Fürstenwalde
Date of death Jul 25, 1885 Strasbourg
Authority Library of congress id ISNI id VIAF id
The details

Ernst Laas (June 16, 1837, Fürstenwalde, Brandenburg, Prussia – July 25, 1885, Straßburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France)) was a German positivist philosopher.


He was born at Fürstenwalde. He studied theology and philosophy under Friedrich Adolf Trendelenburg at Berlin, and eventually became Professor of Philosophy in the new University of Strasbourg. In his Analogien der Erfahrung (Analogies of Experiences, 1876) he keenly criticized Immanuel Kant's transcendentalism, and in his chief work Idealismus und Positivismus (Idealism and Positivism, 1879–1884, 3 vols.), he drew a clear contrast between Platonism, from which he derived transcendentalism, and positivism, of which he considered Protagoras the founder. Laas in reality was a disciple of David Hume. Throughout his philosophy he endeavours to connect metaphysics with ethics and the theory of education.


His chief educational works were Der deutsche Aufsatz in den obern Gymnasialklassen (1868), and Der deutsche Unterricht auf höhern Lehranstalten (1872; 2nd ed. 1886). He contributed largely to the Vierteljahrsschr. f. wiss. Philos. (1880–1882); the Litterarischer Nachlass, a posthumous collection, was published at Vienna (1887).

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