What is the Marburg School and What Does It Mean?

What is the Marburg School and What Does It Mean?

July 2, 2021 Off By Felso

The Marburg School is a school of philosophy, a school of philosophy that is representative of the Neo-Kantian movement. The Marburg School is a philosophical view founded by Hermann Cohen and developed and maintained by Paul Gerhard Natorp and Ernst Cassirer. The Marburg School opposed materialism and naturalism and produced philosophy within the framework of knowledge criticism and science theory. The Marburg School also conducted research in moral philosophy, philosophy of art, language, religion, and myth.


The theory of ideas developed by Plato was subjected to a new interpretation and gave birth to the doctrine of idealism, which led to the emergence of different theories. In this framework, the concept of “idea”, which is described as the supersensible, inaccessible, and immortal examples of being types, was later adopted as a basic element in the solution of information problems. Because of this feature, every philosophical system that proposes to derive knowledge from the basic elements found only in the universe of thought, not from the sense data and matter, has been seen within the scope of the understanding of idealism.

Kant’s philosophy, which asserts that there are a priori principles that do not come from experience in the formation of knowledge, and that there are two fundamental entities among them, such as time and space, is also described as an idealist philosophy. The Marburg School tried to solve the problems of knowledge and logic by reinterpreting Kant’s views, while making use of Hegel’s understanding of being.

While trying to explain the problem of knowledge with the interpretation of an understanding originating from Kant, the Marburg School also aimed to develop a new logic theory based on a priori thought principles. This theory sees knowledge and logic as a system running in parallel. The method developed by the Marburg School, in addition to European philosophy, also pioneered the new idealist doctrine that emerged in the USA, under the influence of Ernst Cassirer.

According to the Marburg School, the source of knowledge is concepts. In order to derive knowledge from concepts, it is necessary to benefit from the principles of logic. These concepts do not come from experimentation. Apart from them, there is no element that can constitute knowledge.

The views advocated by the Marburg School were opposed by movements such as Neorealism and Neopositivism, thus, discussions that allowed the emergence of new ideas among the 20th century philosophical movements began. The Marburg School has played a leading role in this regard.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım