Franz Benedict von Baader

Doctor, Mining engineer, Philosopher

Born: 27.03.1765 in Munich

Died: 23.05.1841 in Munich


Doctorate: 1785 in Ingolstadt

University lecturer: 1826-1841 Munich


At the start of his academic career, Baader studied medicine and sciences in Ingolstadt and Vienna (1781-1785). He then returned to Munich, where his father was a royal physician, to practice there for a few years. In 1788 he joined the Bergakademie (mining college) in Freiberg, where his knowledge of mineralogy and chemistry was expanded into a mining qualification under the tuition of Abraham Werner. He gained further experience in this field in England and Scotland from 1792 to 1796, before returning via Hamburg to Munich. In 1799 he became a Bergrat (mining official), and was promoted to the rank of Oberbergrat (senior mining official) in 1801 and Oberstbergrat (chief mining official) in 1807. In 1808 he was made a full member of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Bavarian science academy).

After publishing a collection of his philosophical writings in 1809 under the title "Beiträge zur dynamischen Philosophie im Gegensätze der mechanischen" (contributions to dynamic philosophy as opposed to mechanical philosophy), he began to devote more and more time to writing. He was therefore not unduly disappointed when a cut-back in the number of mining and minting officials in 1820 led to his early retirement with full rank and salary. The originally planned re-instatement never took place.

Following this, Baader - who enjoyed good relations with the Russian minister Alexander von Galizin - worked on a plan to found a religious college based in St. Petersburg. This college was to contribute to the reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. The plan collapsed in 1822 when Galizin fell from power and Baader, already on his way to St. Petersburg, was sent home by the Russian government.

When the University moved from Landshut to Munich in 1826, Baader was awarded an honorary professorship. He taught religious philosophy, philosophical epistemology and the teachings and writings of Jacob Böhme.

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This page was designed by Uli Wunderlich, and translated by Adam Lawrence. Update: Manfred Engel. Please contact Prof. Dr. Manfred Engel if you have any questions.

FR 4.1 - Germanistik / Universität des Saarlandes
Last update:  2003-07-25 (me)