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Karl Joel

JOEL, KARL (1864–1934), philosopher. His father R. Herman Joel, had been a pupil of Schelling and apparently had a great influence on his son's attitude toward philosophy. He was born in Hirschberg, studied in Leipzig, and spent some time in Berlin (1887–92), where he became a friend of Georg *Simmel. In 1897 he was appointed to the University of Basle, where he taught until his death. Joel called his philosophical system "New Idealism." He defended the completeness of philosophy against the attempts to divide it up into "specialized" branches and compartments, and he emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive outlook. He opposed methodological positivism and metaphysical naturalism and sought to ridicule those who claimed "objectivity" in the study of reality, that is, spiritual activity deprived of all subjective and emotional ingredients. His main works include Nietzsche und die Romantik (1905), Der Ursprung der Naturphilosophie aus dem Geiste der Mystik (1906), Seele und Welt (1912), and Die philosophische Krisis der Gegenwart (1914). An autobiographical sketch appeared in Die deutsche Philosophie der Gegenwart in Selbstdarstellungen, 1 (1921), 71–90. He was a nephew of Manuel *Joel.


Festschrift… Karl Joel (1934); Schenk, in: Basler Nachrichten (July 24, 1934).

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