B bábi, Tibor

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Böhm, Károly (Charles) (Besztercebánya now Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, 17 September 1846 - Kolozsvár, now Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 18 May 1911, buried at his birthplace) – Philosopher. He was born into a Lutheran family. His father was a blacksmith, who was also healing animals. Educated at his birthplace and at Pozsony (Bratislava, now Slovakia), he was a student of Divinity at the Theological Faculty in Pozsony between 1865 and 1867. He continued his studies in Göttingen (1867-1869) and in Tübingen (1869), Germany. Then he chose Philosophy as his vocation under the influence of the most renowned philosophers of his age. Returning home in 1870, he was employed as a teacher in Pozsony, where he taught both in the High School and at the Theological Academy. Later he worked at the Fasor Lutheran Gymnasium in Budapest from 1873 to 1896. Then, in March 1896, he was appointed to the University of Kolozsvár, where he worked until his death as Head of the Philosophy Department; but also gave lectures at the Teachers’ Training College. During the years in Budapest he was the Editor for the Leipzig Philosophische Monatschrift (1876-1878); then he started and edited the first Hungarian journal on philosophy: Hungarian Philosophical Review (Magyar Philosophiai Szemle) (1882-1885). He also took part in preparing the educational reform of 1882-1891.

Böhm created the first Hungarian system of philosophy and founded the “Kolozsvár School of Philosophy”. His philosophical system is treated in his work Man and his World vols. i-vi (Ember és világa I-VI), the center of his rich lifework. In his lifetime the following volumes of his system were published: Dialectics (Dialektika) (1883); The Life of the Spirit (A Szellem élete) (1892), and Axiology (Axiológia) (1908). The other volumes: The Value-doctrine of Logic (A logika értéktana) (1912); The Theory of Moral Value (Az erkölcsi érték tana) (1928); The Theory of Ethical Value (Az etikai érték tana) (1942) were published by György (George) Bartók Jr.

Böhm was a philosopher of subjectivism from the theoretical point of view. In his Dialectics, Böhm defined his fundamental conception of “öntét” (State of Self – the World which exists inside the subject) by reconciling Kant’s and Comte’s theses by specially adjusting Kant’s ideas. Two mechanisms can be identified in the subject: the world given in the form of an image and its cognition. In The Life of the Spirit he analyses the result of cognition, knowledge through the philosophy of Spirit. In his Axiology the fundamental idea is the “projection” (Fichte) instead of “öntét”, and the two worlds are the ontology (the world of “being”) and the deontology (the world of “must” – the world of values). The new program forms the basis of Böhm’s axiology (the theory of absolute, logical, moral and ethical value), the elaboration of which is his most important heritage. His philosophy had a strong influence primarily on the members of the “Kolozsvár School of Philosophy”: György (George) Bartók Jr., László (Ladislas) Ravasz, Sándor (Alexander) Tavaszy, Sándor Makkai, Béla Tankó, Béla Varga. Böhm’s influence could be felt through their lifeworks up to 1945. In 1896 he received an Honorary Doctorat and was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, (correspondent 1896, regular in 1908). – B: 1254, T: 7689.→Bartók, György Jr., Ravasz, László, Tavaszy, Sándor, Makkai, Sándor, Tankó, Béla; Horkay, László.

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