Harald Høffding

Harald Høffding (11 March 1843 – 2 July 1931) was a Danish philosopher and theologian.

Harald Høffding
Harald Høffding c 1915
Harald Høffding c. 1915
Born11 March 1843
Died2 July 1931


Born and educated in Copenhagen, he became a schoolmaster, and ultimately in 1883 a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was strongly influenced by Søren Kierkegaard in his early development, but later became a positivist, retaining and combining with it the spirit and method of practical psychology and the critical school. The physicist Niels Bohr studied philosophy from and became a friend of Høffding. The philosopher and author Ágúst H. Bjarnason was a student of Høffding.

Høffding's great-nephew was the statistician Wassily Hoeffding.

Høffding died in Copenhagen.


His best-known work is perhaps his Den nyere Filosofis Historie (1894), translated into English from the German edition (1895) by B.E. Meyer as History of Modern Philosophy (2 vols., 1900), a work intended by him to supplement and correct that of Hans Brøchner, to whom it is dedicated. His Psychology, the Problems of Philosophy (1905) and Philosophy of Religion (1906) also have appeared in English.

Among Høffding's other writings, most of which have been translated into German, are: Den engelske Filosofi i vor Tid (1874); Etik (1876); Psychologi i Omrids paa Grundlag af Erfaring (ed. 1892); Psykologiske Undersøgelser (1889); Charles Darwin (1889); Kontinuiteten i Kants filosofiske Udviklingsgang (1893); Det psykologiske Grundlag for logiske Domme (1899); Rousseau und seine Philosophie (1901); Mindre Arbejder (1899).

Selected publications

  • Harald Høffding, 1891 "Outlines of psychology". Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  • Harald Hoffding, 1906 "The Philosophy of Religion". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  • Harald Høffding, 1919 "A brief history of modern philosophy". Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  • Harald Høffding, 1920 "Modern philosophers; lectures delivered at the University of Copenhagen during the autumn of 1902, and lectures on Bergson, delivered in 1913". Retrieved 2010-09-25.


External links


Acosmism, in contrast to pantheism, denies the reality of the universe, seeing it as ultimately illusory, (the prefix "a-" in Greek meaning negation; like "un-" in English), and only the infinite unmanifest Absolute as real. Conceptual versions of Acosmism are found in eastern and western philosophies.

Agnostic existentialism

Agnostic existentialism is a type of existentialism which makes no claim to know whether there is a "greater picture"; rather, it simply asserts that the greatest truth is that which the individual chooses to act upon. It feels that to know the greater picture, whether there is one or not, is impossible, or impossible so far, or of little value. Like the Christian existentialist, the agnostic existentialist believes existence is subjective.

Argument from love

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Argument from miracles

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One example of this argument is the Christological argument: the claim that historical evidence proves that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that this can only be explained if God exists. Another is the claim that many of the Qur'an's prophecies have been fulfilled and that this too can only be explained if God (Allah) exists.

Defenders of the argument include C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton and William of Ockham.

Atheist's Wager

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One version of the Atheist's Wager suggests that since a kind and loving god would reward good deeds – and that if no gods exist, good deeds would still leave a positive legacy – one should live a good life without religion. Another formulation suggests that a god may reward honest disbelief and punish a dishonest belief in the divine.

Atheistic existentialism

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Danish philosophy

Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy.

Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was Søren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism, which inspired the philosophical movement of Existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald Høffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology.

George I. Mavrodes

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Harald is the Old Norse form of the given name Harold (Proto-Germanic *harja-waldaz). It's made up the elements Har (army, host) and (v)aldr (leader, ruler, power).


Hoeffding may refer to:

Wassily Hoeffding - American statistician.

Harald Høffding - Danish philosopher.

Finn Høffding - Danish composer.



Harald Høffding, Danish philosopher, great-uncle of Wassily Hoeffding

Wassily Hoeffding, Finnish statistician, great-nephew of Harald Høffding

List of philosophies

Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.

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Religious skepticism

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Søren Kierkegaard as Philosopher

Søren Kierkegaard as Philosopher (German: Sören Kierkegaard als Philosoph) is an 1896 book about Søren Kierkegaard by philosopher Harald Høffding. Its publication marked a significant turning-point in German philosophy, which formally introduced and disseminated Kierkegaard's philosophy to Germany and the rest of Continental Europe by the beginning of the 20th century. Søren Kierkegaard as Philosopher was one of the first German studies of Kierkegaard to treat him as a coherent philosopher and theologian, and raised questions that became central to Kierkegaard studies and to German lebensphilosophie generally.

Theological noncognitivism

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Ágúst H. Bjarnason

Ágúst H. Bjarnason (20 August 1875 – 22 September 1952) was the son of Hákon Bjarnason, and Jóhanna K. Þorleifsdóttir. Ágúst was a pioneer in teaching psychology in Iceland and the first one to write books on psychology in Icelandic.A revolution begin in Icelandic psychological history when Ágúst and Guðmundur Finnbogason went to study psychology and philosophy at University of Copenhagen. They both finished master's degrees in 1901 and then doctorals in 1911. They both had psychology as majors. The mentor of Ágúst (and Guðmundur) was Harald Høffding. Ágúst's doctoral dissertation was about the French philosopher Jean-Marie Guyau.He was a Unitarian, describing himself as Iceland's "only card-carrying Unitarian."

Concepts in religion
Conceptions of God
Existence of God
Religious language
Problem of evil
Philosophersof religion

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