Three Philosophers in Vienna
Whilst I am doing research on my dissertation, I am also happy to find some nice quotes about famous scientists and philosophers in Vienna from time to time.
Paul had received his PhD, but asked Heintel to be allowed to attend the seminar. Later Paul claimed that he wanted to attend the seminar only because the room was heated, and he could not afford to pay for heating costs at his flat. Professor Heintel – to my utter amazement and horror – shouted at [him] that he was allowed to stay, but was to keep his mouth shut. As I had just come from Berkeley my academic socialization was somewhat Anglo-Saxon, and I was accustomed to proper conduct and good manners. I considered Professor Heintel crazy but later came to realize that to prohibit Paul from speaking was – at times – quite justified.
To fully understand this fragment, I give you some hints about the people mentioned. Erich Heintel was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna and a member of the Nazi-Party until 1945. Yet, he remained one of the most influential philosophers in post-war Austria.
The author of the lines above, Kurt Rudolf Fischer, was born in Vienna, then a jewish refugee in Shanghai from 1938-1949. He went to the US and visited Vienna in 1954 for a year, when he first met Heintel and – Paul. He now is himself Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. His contributions helped clear up the “dark period” of the Institut f