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Bolzano, Bernhard

BOLZANO, BERNHARD (1781-1848), Austrian priest and philosopher, was born at Prague on the 5th of October 1781. He distinguished himself at an early age, and on his ordination to the priesthood (1805) was appointed professor of the philosophy of religion in Prague University. His lectures, in which he endeavoured to show that Catholic theology is in complete harmony with reason, were received with eager interest by the younger generation of thinkers. But his views met with much opposition; and it was only through the protection of the archbishop, Prince Salm-Salm, that he was enabled to retain his chair. In 1820 he was accused of being connected with some of the students' revolutionary societies, and was compelled to resign. Several doctrines extracted from his works were condemned at Rome, and he was suspended from his priestly functions, spending the rest of his life in literary work. He died at Prague on the 18th of December 1848. The most important of his numerous works are the Wissenschaftslehre, oder Versuch einer neuen Darstellung der Logik, advocating a scientific method in the study of logic (4 vols., Sulzbach, 1837); the Lehrbuch der Religionswissenschaft (4 vols., Sulzbach, 1834), a philosophic representation of all the dogmas of Roman Catholic theology; and Athanasia, oder Gründe für die Unsterblichkeit der Seele (2nd ed., Mainz, 1838). In philosophy he followed Reinhard in ethics and the monadology of Leibnitz, though he was also influenced by Kant.

See Lebensbeschreibung des Dr Bolzano (an autobiography, 1836); Wisshaupt, Skizzen aus dem Leben Dr Bolzanos (1850); Palágy, Kant und Bolzano (Halle, 1902).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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