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Moritz Geiger

GEIGER, MORITZ (1860–1937), philosopher. Moritz Geiger, a nephew of Abraham *Geiger, was born in Frankfurt and became professor in Munich and Goettingen. After the rise of the Nazis in 1933 he moved to the U.S. and was professor at Vassar College. Geiger was first a disciple of Th. Lipps, then a fellow student of *Husserl, and the first to apply the objective "eidetical" method developed in Husserl's Logische Untersu chungen in aesthetics. Geiger did not accept the "transcendental-subjective" method that was already Husserl's main concern. Geiger saw the aesthetic values of the object as based, not on its real characteristics, but on its phenomenal ones. From this he concluded that a student of aesthetics is obliged to investigate its objects from the point of view of their phenomenal characteristics. In this way Geiger brought about a change toward the objectivity of aesthetics, which was adopted by many in the teaching of art and beauty, and became the basis for interpreting "aesthetic pleasure" in the school of phenomenalism. Other studies led Geiger to an analysis of the unconscious. He showed that the laws of psychological reality are not to be understood as laws of consciousness. Additional studies were devoted to philosophical problems of mathematics and physics, the theory of relativity and axiomatic geometry. His work on essential relations and essential meaning in aesthetics induced him to turn to metaphysics; the philosophy of ontology and the question of the division of the sciences caused him to reconsider the problem of "the ultimate existence, the unattached existing within itself," and "independent metaphysics." He wrote Bemerkungen zur Psychologie der Gefuelselemente und Gefuelsverbindungen (1904), Die philosophische Bedenkung der Relativitaetstheorie (1921), Systematische Axiomatik der euklidischen Geometrie (1924), Aesthetik (1921), and Die Wirklichkeit der Wissenschaften und die Metaphysik (1930).


Zelker, in: Zeitschrift fuer philosophische Forschung, 14 (1960), 452–66.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.