Josef Pieper

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Josef Pieper
Born (1904-05-04)May 4, 1904
Elte, German Empire
Died November 9, 1997(1997-11-09) (aged 93)
Münster, Germany
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Christian philosophy
Main interests Philosophy of religion
Influences
Influenced

Josef Pieper (German: [ˈpiːpɐ]; May 4, 1904 – November 6, 1997)[1] was a German Catholic philosopher, at the forefront of the Neo-Thomistic wave in twentieth century Catholic philosophy. Among his most notable works are The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance; Leisure: the Basis of Culture; The Philosophical Act and Guide to Thomas Aquinas (published in England as Introduction to Thomas Aquinas).

Life and career[edit]

Pieper studied philosophy, law and sociology at the universities of Berlin and Münster. After working as a sociologist and freelance writer, he became ordinary professor of philosophical anthropology at the University of Münster, and taught there from 1950 to 1976. As professor emeritus he continued to provide lectures until 1996.[2] With his wife Hildegard, he translated C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, into German (Über den Schmerz, 1954) with an Afterword "On Simplicity of Language in Philosophy". A symposium to celebrate his 90th birthday was held in Münster in May 1994; the papers read there were published as Aufklärung durch Tradition ("Enlightenment through Tradition" in 1995. In 2010 a symposium was held in Paderborn on "Josef Pieper's and C. S. Lewis's View of Man", with papers published in Wahrheit und Selbstüberschreitung ("Truth and Self-Transcendence").[3]

Philosophy[edit]

His views are rooted primarily in the Scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas and in the teachings of Plato. In 60 years of creative work as a philosopher and writer, Pieper explicated the wisdom tradition of the West in clear language, and identified its enduring relevance.

Legacy[edit]

Recent champions of Pieper's philosophy in the English-speaking world include James V. Schall, S.J., Professor of Political Philosophy at Georgetown University and Steven Cortright at St. Mary's College of California.

Awards[edit]

In 1981 Pieper received the Balzan Prize in Philosophy; in 1987 he was awarded the State Prize of the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. In 1990, he received the Ehrenring of the Görres-Gesellschaft.

Select publications in English[edit]

  • Leisure, the Basis of Culture. Translated by Alexander Dru. With an introduction by T. S. Eliot. London:Faber and Faber, 1952. (Originally Muße und Kult. München:Kösel-Verlag, 1948). New translation by Gerald Malsbary. South Bend:St. Augustine's Press, 1998. ISBN 1-890318-35-3.
  • Leisure, the Basis of Culture and The Philosophical Act. Translated by Alexander Dru. With an introduction by James V. Schall, SJ. San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 2009. 143pp. ISBN 978-1-58617-256-5
  • The End of Time: a meditation on the philosophy of history. Translated by Michael Bullock. New York:Pantheon Books, 1954. (Originally Uber das Ende der Zeit). Reprinted New York:Octagon Books, 1982. ISBN 0-374-96447-5. Reprinted San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1999. ISBN 0-89870-726-9.
  • The Silence of St. Thomas. Translated by Daniel O'Connor. London:Faber & Faber, 1957. ISBN 1-890318-78-7.
  • Happiness and Contemplation. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Pantheon, 1958. Reprinted, with an introduction by Ralph McInerny. South Bend:St. Augustine's Press, 1998. ISBN 1-890318-31-0.
  • The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance. Notre Dame, Ind., 1966. ISBN 978-0-268-00103-2. Translations originally published separately, Fortitude and Temperance translated by Daniel F. Coogan (1954); Justice translated by Lawrence E. Lynch (1955); and Prudence translated by Richard and Clara Winston (1959).
  • Scholasticism: Personalities and Problems of Medieval Philosophy. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Pantheon Press, 1960. Reissued South Bend:St. Augustine's Press, 2001. ISBN 1-58731-750-8.
  • Guide to Thomas Aquinas. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Pantheon Books, 1962. (Originally Hinführung zu Thomas von Aquin.) Publication in England as Introduction to Thomas Aquinas. London:Faber and Faber, 1962. Reissued San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1991. ISBN 0-89870-319-0
  • Enthusiasm and Divine Madness. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964. (Originally Begeisterung und Göttlicher Wahnsinn). Reissued South Bend:St. Augustine's Press, 2000. ISBN 1-890318-23-X
  • In Tune with the World: a Theory of Festivity. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Harcourt, Brace and World, 1965. (Originally Zustimmung zur Welt). Reissued South Bend:St. Augustine's Press, 1999. ISBN 1-890318-33-7
  • Death and Immortality. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Herder & Herder; London:Burns & Oates, 1969.[4] (Originally Tod und Unsterblichkeit. Munich:Kösel-Verlag, 1968.). Reissued South Bend:St. Augustine's Press, 2000. ISBN 1-890318-18-3
  • Hope and History. Translated by Richard and Clara Winston. New York:Herder & Herder; London:Burns & Oates, 1969. ISBN 0-223-97699-7.
  • On Hope. Translated by Mary Frances McCarthy. (Originally Über die Hoffnung). San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1986. ISBN 0-89870-067-1.
  • What is a Feast? Pascal Lectures on Christianity and the University. Waterloo:North Waterloo Academic Press, 1987. ISBN 0-921075-04-9.
  • No One Could Have Known: an autobiography – the early years 1904-1945. Translated by Graham Harrison. (Originally Noch wusste es Niemand). San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1987. ISBN 0-89870-131-7.
  • In Defense of Philosophy: Classical wisdom stands up to modern challenges. Translated by Lothar Krauth. San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1992. ISBN 0-89870-397-2 (Originally Verteidigungsrede für die Philosophie. Munich:Kösel-Verlag, 1966.)
  • In Search of the Sacred: Contributions to An Answer, San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-89870-301-6
  • Josef Pieper: An Anthology, San Francisco:Ignatius Press, 1989. A translation of Josef Pieper: Lesebuch; 2nd ed., Munich:Kösel-Verlag, 1984. First edition 1981. ISBN 978-0-89870-226-2
  • The Concept of Sin,(2001), translated by Edward T. Oakes SJ (originally: Über den Begriff der Sünde, Munich 1977), South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine's Press. ISBN 1-890318-08-6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Josef Pieper, Philosopher of Virtue" IgnatiusInsight.com. Retrieved 2011-07-20.
  2. ^ Short bio, Josef Pieper Stiftung at Akademie Franz Hitze Haus (in German). Retrieved 2011-07-20.
  3. ^ ed. Thomas Möllenbeck & Berthold Wald; published by Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn etc. 2011. ISBN 978-3-506-77157-5
  4. ^ Reviewed by Christopher Derrick in the TLS Jan. 22, 1970, together with Hope and History.
  • This text contains elements translated from the German Wikipedia article.

External links[edit]