BAUCH Bruno—philosopher, b. January 19, 1877 in Gross-Nossen, d. January 27, 1942 in Jena.

Bauch studied in Strassburg and Freiburg, where he obtained a doctorate with a work on critical ethics. In 1903 he earned his habilitation with Vaihinger in Halle with a work on Kant and Luther. Until 1916 he collaborated in publishing “Kant-studien”. In 1911 he was appointed to the chair after Leibmann in Jena. There he wrote his first important work in which he presented Kantian thought and discussed certain problems in Kant’s thought in a spirit of critical idealism. In 1923 he published his most important work, Wahrheit, Wert, und Wirklichkeit, in which he attempted to synthesize theoretical and practical cognition, organized knowledge, and the world of values.

His works: Glückseligkeit und Persönlichkeit in der kritischen Ethick (St 1902); Das Substanzproblem in der griechischen Philosophie bis zu ihrer Blütezeit (Hei 1910); Studien zur Philosophie der exakten Wissenschaften (Hei 1911); Immanuel Kant (L 1917, 19232); Wahrheit, Wert und Wirklichkeit (L 1923); Das transzendentale Subiekt: Eine transzendentalphilosophische Skizze (Log (T) 12 (1923/1924), 29–49); Die Idee (L 1926); Grundzüge der Ethik (St 1935); Theoretische Philosophie in: Deutsche systematische Philosophie nach ihren Gestalten (B 1931, I 231–257).

Bauch followed Kant when he took up the problem of our knowledge of reality as the problem of the possibility and conditions of cognition, and the conditions that reality must meet to be known. The concept of reality is limited to the sensibly knowable world. The sphere of truth is non-real. Consequently, reality and truth are two separate spheres. The question arose here about the relation between truth and reality. The essence of objects consists in being in relation; these relations are categories that are constitutive for objects in various aspects; besides the categories there are concepts that constitute the object in its wholeness. A concept is a whole of “the conditions of particularization”. A concept is neither concrete nor abstract, but “concretizing” and it needs to be integrated in the dimension of concreteness and the whole of concrete things; the whole created from concrete things constitutes an organic unity, that is, an idea. An idea as a unity of categories and concepts is a truth; it is not a normative category, but a constitutive category, as a foundation of a reality from which it is separate, and at the same time the idea is integrally joined with the reality. The existence of the world is ideas “going out from themselves”.

God is understood as a logical-transcendental condition who is the foundation not only of theoretical philosophy, but also of practical philosophy. Only when one thinks of God as the foundation for the realization of a necessary final end can one logically justify the hypothesis that practical values can be realized. For Bauch, “practical” is not a synonym, as it is for Kant, for morality, but also applies to art, religion, and politics. In his ethics, Bauch tried to develop Kant’s moral views and he defended these views from accusations of empty formalism. In the framework of critical ethics one should properly understand the meaning of the hypothetical imperative; besides the categorical imperative, other moral laws exist, which come from the system of “Kulturwerte”; this system creates the content of the categorical imperative. It can be realized only in an historical society and it presupposes a distinction between laws and obligations. The conception of an authoritarian society in which the law is a law of the realization of obligation is based on these elements; politics is always the politics of power. It is justified only when it strives for the realization of law or right.

R. Hönigswald, Zu Brun B. Werk “Wahrheit, Wert und Wirklichkeit”, Beiträge zur Philosophie des deutschen Idealismus 3 (1925) n. 1, 1–13; idem, Vom Problem der Idee. Eine analytische Untersuchung aus Anlaß des B.’chen Werkes “Die Idee”, Log (T) 15 (1926), 261–301; J. Strasser, Die Bedeutung des hypothetisches Imperativs in der Ethik Bruno B., Bo 1967; M. A. Gonzáles Porta, Transzendentaler “Objektivisimus”. Bruno B. kritische Verarbeitung der Subjektivität und ihre Stellung innerhalb der Neukantianischen Bewegung, F 1990; C. Savi, Bruno B. ed Ernst Cassirer, Na 1992.

Paweł P. Furdzik

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