The Institute of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities was founded in 1897, but the teaching of philosophy (logic, natural philosophy, metaphysics) started as early as 1586, at the time of Archduke Karl II of Inner Austria, who had established a Jesuit School in Graz.
One of the most significant philosophers In the 19th century was Alois Riehl, who was born in Bozen in 1844. He was a neo-Kantian and worked as a professor at Graz from 1873 to 1882 before he went to Freiburg, Kiel, Halle, and Berlin.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries philosophical research was strongly influenced by Alexius Meinong (1853-1920). He was a pupil of Franz Brentano and became professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Graz, where he founded the Graz psychological institute (in 1894) and the Graz School of experimental psychology and object theory. Among his pupils were Christian von Ehrenfels, Alois Höfler, Stephan Witasek, Vittorio Benussi, and Ernst Mally. Alexius Meinong formulated the basic principles for a general theory of objects. Meinong's disciple Ernst Mally ontologically modified the theory of objects and was one of the founders of deontic logic.
In the late 20th century analytic philosophy was the prevailiing line of thought. In addition to this, Amadeo Silva-Tarouca (1898-1971, full professor from 1963) tried to develop the system of an onto-phenomenology. The main representatives of analytic philosophy in Graz were Rudolf Freundlich (1911-1988, full professor 1966-1981) and Rudolf Haller (1929-2014, full professor in Graz from 1967-1997).
Rudolf Haller edited the international journal "Grazer Philosophische Studien" and the series "Studien zur Österreichischen Philosophie". In 1982 he founded the documentation center FDOEP (Alexius Meinong-Institut/Forschungssstelle und Dokumentationszentrum für Österreichische Philosophie), now directed by Harald Berger.
In 1969 Ernst Topitsch (1919-2003) started to teach at the Institute of Philosophy in Graz and with his publications on history of science and social sciences built a good international reputation. Rudolf Freundlich was succeeded by Reinhard Kamitz, who came to teach in Graz in 1984. In 1991 Ernst Topitsch was succeeded by Malte Hossenfelder (1934-2011), who was conferred emeritus status in 2003.
In March 2009 Lukas Meyer became full professor of Practical Philosophy, and in September 2009 Udo Thiel became full professor of History of Philosophy. The new professorship of Theoretical Philosophy was taken up on 1 July 2012 by Marian David.
Also see Beilage zur Selbstbeschreibung des Instituts (in German), May, 2010, p. 3.
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