Famous Austrian Philosophers

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 1 
Ludwig Wittgenstein
(One of the Greatest Philosophers of the 20th Century)
Ludwig Wittgenstein
11
Birthdate: April 26, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

 2 
Rudolf Steiner
( Austrian Occultist, Social Reformer and Founder of 'Anthroposophy' Spiritualist Movement)
Rudolf Steiner
8
Birthdate: February 27, 1861
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hungary ,Austrian
Died: March 30, 1925

Austrian philosopher and architect and Rudolf Steiner gained fame as a literary critic and published works such as The Philosophy of Freedom. His interests included esotericism and clairvoyance. He termed his work spiritual science. He designed the Goetheanum and also laid down concepts such as Waldorf education and biodynamic agriculture.

 3 
Edmund Husserl
(German Philosopher, Mathematician and Founder of Phenomenology)
Edmund Husserl
8
Birthdate: April 8, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prostějov, Czechia
Died: April 27, 1938

Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of Moravian origin. He established the school of phenomenology. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig and worked as an assistant to mathematician Karl Weierstrass. He later became a professor of philosophy and taught for several years. He is considered a major figure in 20th-century philosophy.  

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 4 
Friedrich von Hayek
(Austrian–British Economist, Philosopher and Winner of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences)
Friedrich von Hayek
10
Birthdate: May 8, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 23, 1992

A winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Friedrich von Hayek, was an advocate of classical liberalism. The Austrian-British economist, who was also a political philosopher, co-founded the Mont Pelerin Society. He worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Chicago and the University of Freiburg and authored the popular book, The Road to Serfdom.

 5 
Paul Feyerabend
(Philosopher of Science Who Became Famous for His Purportedly Anarchistic View of Science)
Paul Feyerabend
4
Birthdate: January 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 11, 1994

Paul Feyerabend was an Austrian-born philosopher of science. He worked as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, for three decades. He continued to publish papers after his retirement. He held a  purportedly anarchistic view of science. He rejected the existence of universal methodological rules and was seen as radical in the philosophy of science. 

 6 
Ivan Illich
(Roman Catholic Priest and Author of 'Deschooling Society' which Criticises Modern Society's Educational Approach)
Ivan Illich
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 2, 2002

Ivan Illich was a Roman Catholic priest, philosopher,  theologian, and social critic. He criticized modern society's institutional approach to education in his book Deshooling Society. He studied theology and philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained as a priest in 1951. Later on, he founded the Center of Intercultural Formation (CIF) to train missionaries. 

 7 
Otto Weininger
(Philosopher, Writer, Psychologist)
Otto Weininger
3
Birthdate: April 3, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 4, 1903

Austrian thinker Otto Weininger, whose main areas of interests included philosophy of religion, logic, gender and psychology, lived in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His book Geschlecht und Charakter (Sex and Character), which gained popularity following his suicide by gunshot, became a sourcebook for anti-Semitic propagandists. Some of his writings were used by Nazi propaganda.  

 8 
Hans Kelsen
(Austrian Jurist and Philosopher Who Formulated a Kind of Positivism Known as the 'Pure Theory' of Law)
Hans Kelsen
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: April 19, 1973

Hans Kelsen was an Austria-born jurist, legal philosopher and writer on international law, known especially for his Pure Theory of Law and his defense of democracy. Author of the 1920 Austrian Constitution, he left his homeland in 1930 due to rising totalitarianism. He went to the USA, where he taught at well-known universities, concurrently producing important works like Principles of International Law.

 9 
Otto Gross
(Austrian Psychoanalyst)
Otto Gross
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1877
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gniebing-Weißenbach, Austria
Died: February 13, 1920

Born to renowned criminologist Hans Gross, Otto Gross initially worked with his father but later deviated to depth psychology. It is believed, he was a liberal drug user and an advocate of polyamory. He apparently allowed his wife to have sexual relationships with other men, often participating as an observer.

 10 
Ingeborg Bachmann
(Austrian Poet and Author Best Known for Her Novel 'Malina')
Ingeborg Bachmann
2
Birthdate: June 25, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria
Died: October 17, 1973

Ingeborg Bachmann completed her PhD and worked as an editor and scriptwriter before plunging into full-time writing. The Gruppe 47 member was known for depicting the trauma of women characters who had failed in relationships. She is best remembered for her poems and her lyrical novel Malina.

 11 
Alfred Schütz
(Austrian Philosopher and Social Phenomenologist Whose Work Bridged Sociological and Phenomenological Traditions)
Alfred Schütz
2
Birthdate: April 13, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 20, 1959

Alfred Schutz was an Austrian philosopher and social phenomenologist. He is recognized as one of the leading philosophers of social science in the 20th century. A lawyer by qualification, he had a prominent career in international banking and did academic work in his spare time. Philosopher Edmund Husserl described him as “a banker by day and a philosopher by night.” 

 12 
Paul Watzlawick
(Philosopher, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sociologist, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Communication scholar)
Paul Watzlawick
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Villach
Died: March 31, 2007

Paul Watzlawick was an Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher, specializing in family therapy and communication theory. The most influential figure in the Palo Alto Mental Research Institute, he worked extensively on how communication is effected within families and proposed Interactional View Theory. Paul Watzlawick authored 22 books and more than 150 articles and book chapters. His books have been translated into 80 languages

 13 
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
(Philosopher, University teacher, Journalist, Literary critic)
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
2
Birthdate: July 31, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Styria
Died: May 26, 1999

Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was an Austrian socio-political theorist and journalist, who described himself as a “liberal of the extreme right”. Credited with four novels and six socio-political works, apart from numerous articles and collaborations, he started writing for The Spectator magazine at the age of sixteen. Also a polyglot having encyclopedic knowledge, he could read twenty-five languages and speak in eight. 

 14 
Jean Améry
(Austrian Author)
Jean Améry
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 17, 1978

Jean Améry went from being a prisoner at the Auschwitz labor camp to being one of the finest essayists of the post-war era. His best-known work, At the Mind's Limits, depicts his experiences during World War II. He eventually committed suicide by consuming sleeping pills in a Salzburg hotel.

 15 
Otto Neurath
(Economist, Philosopher, Sociologist, Graphic designer, Statistical graphics)
Otto Neurath
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1882
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: December 22, 1945

Otto Neurath was an Austrian-born philosopher of science, political economist, and sociologist. He is known for inventing the ISOTYPE method of pictorial statistics. A native of Vienna, he was one of the leading figures of the Vienna Circle. As an economist, he advocated for ideas like "in-kind" economic accounting in place of monetary accounting. 

 16 
Heinz von Foerster
(Austrian-American Scientist Combining Physics and Philosophy)
Heinz von Foerster
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 2, 2002
 17 
Alexius Meinong
(Austrian Philosopher Known for His Unique Ontology)
Alexius Meinong
2
Birthdate: July 17, 1853
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: November 27, 1920

Austrian philosopher Alexius Meinong is best remembered for his work on the theory of values and the theory of objects. He introduced four classes of objects and penned the iconic work Über Annahmen, discussing the assumptions people make when they decide if they know or don’t know about something.

 18 
Wolfgang Paalen
(Painter)
Wolfgang Paalen
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1905
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 24, 1959

Born in Austria, to a merchant father who loved collecting paintings, Wolfgang Paalen had been exposed to arts since childhood. He later trained in painting and archaeology and joined the Surrealist movement. His signature fumage technique involved creating art with the smoke and soot from candles. He later settled in Mexico.

 19 
Othmar Spann
(Austrian Philosopher, Sociologist and Economist)
Othmar Spann
2
Birthdate: October 1, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 8, 1950

Austrian philosopher and sociologist Othmar Spann initially taught in Brünn and then fought during World War I. He later taught at the University of Vienna for almost 2 decades. His ideas were radically anti-liberal. A Nazi Party member, he believed in the superiority of a corporate state.

 20 
Christian von Ehrenfels
(Philosopher)
Christian von Ehrenfels
1
Birthdate: June 20, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 8, 1932

One of the pioneers of Gestalt psychology, Austrian philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels also made a significant contribution to the value theory. Apart from his pathbreaking work System of Value Theory, he had also penned plays and pamphlets. He also believed Asians were a threat to the European race.

 21 
Friedrich von Hügel
(Writer)
Friedrich von Hügel
1
Birthdate: May 5, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 27, 1925

Friedrich von Hügel, also known as Baron von Hügel, believed in Roman Catholicism but was tolerant of other views, too, making him a significant figure of Modernist Christian theology. He believed a middle path between religion and science could be reached. The Mystical Element of Religion remains his best-known work.

 22 
Carl Grünberg
(Philosopher)
Carl Grünberg
1
Birthdate: February 10, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Focșani, Romania
Died: February 2, 1940

Carl Grünberg was a German Marxist philosopher of law and history. He studied law in Strasbourg and practiced as an advocate. He then proceeded to study political economy in Vienna and eventually became an academic reader. He was one of the founders of Austromarxism. He became the director of the Institute for Social Research in 1924. 

 23 
Theodor Gomperz
(Philosopher)
Theodor Gomperz
0
Birthdate: March 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brno, Czechia
Died: August 29, 1912