Felix Weil

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Félix José Weil
Born(1898-02-08)February 8, 1898
DiedSeptember 18, 1975(1975-09-18) (aged 77)
Other namesFelix Weil
Alma materUniversity of Frankfurt
Known forInstitute for Social Research

Félix José Weil (German: [vaɪl]; 8 February 1898  – 18 September 1975) was a German-Argentine Marxist, who provided the funds to found the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Weil was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was the son of the wealthy grain merchant Hermann Weil and his wife Rosa Weil, both of whom were of Jewish origin. At the age of 9 he was sent to attend school in Germany at the Goethe-Gymnasium, Frankfurt.

He attended the University of Tübingen and the University of Frankfurt, where he graduated with a doctoral degree in political science. While at these universities he became increasingly interested in socialism and Marxism. His thesis topic was "Socialization: An Attempt at a Conceptual Foundation, with a Critique of the Plans for Socialization".[1]

He did his doctorate in Frankfurt am Main on the concept of socialization. Like Theodor W. Adorno, he belonged "to the generation of intellectuals born around the turn of the century and from bourgeois, mostly Jewish families, who were attracted in the 1920s to a philosophical Marxism beyond the workers' parties". He met Karl Korsch and studied Marxist economic theory.[2]

Felix Weil married Käthe Badiert and moved to Argentina, his country of birth, for a year. The two were married from 1921 to 1929.

In 1923 he financed the Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche ("First Marxist Workweek"), a conference in the German town of Ilmenau. The event was attended by various leftist figures such as Georg Lukács, Karl Korsch, Richard Sorge, Friedrich Pollock, and Karl August Wittfogel. The success of this event led him and his friend Friedrich Pollock to, with the help of an endowment from his father, found the Institute for Social Research in 1923.


  • Argentine Riddle (1944)

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  1. ^ Wiggershaus, R. (1995). The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance. MIT Press. p. 11.
  2. ^ Jörg Später: Zuerst kommt die Geldanlage, dann die Theorie. Das Kapital der Kapitalismuskritik: Jeanette Erazo Heufelders ökonomische Geschichte des Frankfurter Instituts für Sozialforschung rückt den Mäzen Felix Weil ins Zentrum. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung vom 7. März 2017, S. 10.


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