Graz School

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The Graz School (German: Grazer Schule), also Meinong's School,[1] of experimental psychology and object theory was headed by Alexius Meinong, who was professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Graz where he founded the Graz Psychological Institute (Grazer Psychologische Institut) in 1894. The Graz School's phenomenological psychology and philosophical semantics achieved important advances in philosophy and psychological science.[2]


Meinong developed the Graz School with the assistance of his students Christian von Ehrenfels (founder of Gestalt psychology) and Alois Höfler.[3] The growth of his theory, however, occurred later when he started teaching and conducted research at Graz where he received contributions from students who also later became his philosophical successors.[3] Meinong and these proteges – particularly their work on phenomenological psychology and philosophical semantics – gained advances in all major areas of philosophy and psychological science.[2] Among Meinong's pupils were Stephan Witasek, Vittorio Benussi, Rudolf Ameseder, Konrad Zindler, Wilhelm Maria Frankl, Eduard Martinak, Ernst Mally and Franz Weber.[4] For instance, Witasek contributed in the development of the concept of aesthetic value in the Graz School.[5] It was discussed in a 400-page book called Grundzuge der allgemeinen Asthetik, which addressed – according to the Meinongian framework – the problems that an aesthetic theory is expected to deal with during its time. This included the evaluation of the Meinongian theory of aesthetic enjoyment and its link to the psychology of the sense experience of aesthetic objects.[6]

Also his earlier students, von Ehrenfels (founder of Gestalt psychology), Höfler, Adalbert Meingast, and Anton Oelzelt-Newin, can be considered part of this school.

The Graz School also played an important role in Gestalt theory as Meniong's model of cognition became an important research foundation for Gestalt perception.[7]

The Graz School was part of the wider movement of Austrian realism.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Liliana Albertazzi, Dale Jacquette, The School of Alexius Meinong, Routledge, 2017, p. 3.
  2. ^ a b Albertazzi, Liliana; Libardi, Massimo; Poli, Roberto (1995). The School of Franz Brentano. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 133. ISBN 9780792337669.
  3. ^ a b Grassl, Wolfgang; Smith, Barry (2010). Austrian Economics (Routledge Revivals): Historical and Philosophical Background. London & Sydney: Croom Helm. p. 49. ISBN 0709938330.
  4. ^ Albertazzi, L.; Libardi, M.; Poli, R. (1996). The School of Franz Brentano. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 133. ISBN 0792337662.
  5. ^ Jacquette, Dale (2015-07-13). Alexius Meinong, The Shepherd of Non-Being. Heidelberg: Springer. p. 330. ISBN 9783319180748.
  6. ^ Raspa, Venanzio (2010). The Aesthetics of the Graz School. Frankfurt: Walter de Gruyter. p. 54. ISBN 9783868380767.
  7. ^ Ash, Mitchell G. (1998). Gestalt Psychology in German Culture, 1890-1967: Holism and the Quest for Objectivity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0521475406.
  8. ^ Gestalt Theory: Official Journal of the Society for Gestalt Theory and Its Applications (GTA), 22, Steinkopff, 2000, p. 94: "Attention has varied between Continental Phenomenology (late Husserl, Merleau-Ponty) and Austrian Realism (Brentano, Meinong, Benussi, early Husserl)".