He was born at Löwenberg, Silesia, into a Jewish family, and educated at Leipzig and Halle. He was made professor at Strassburg (1872) and went to Jena in 1882. He died at Jena. The mathematician Heinrich Liebmann was his son.
A forerunner of neo-Kantianism, in his best-known book, Kant und die Epigonen, he deals with the philosophy after Kant, discussing Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Fries, Herbart and Schopenhauer. Having credited Kant's philosophy (though criticizing it on the vital point of accepting a thing-in-itself), he focuses on what he sees as the shortcomings in the approaches of Kants successors. He frequently ends a section with the statement that one should return to Kant.
- Kant und die Epigonen, a critique of the followers of Kant urging a return to their master (1865) (Kant and his inferior successors)
- Ueber die Freiheit des Willens (1866) (On free will)
- Ueber den objektiven Anblick (1869) (On the objective point of view)
- Vier Monate vor Paris, a journal published anonymously (1871)
- Zur Analysis der Wirklichkeit (1876; 3rd ed. 1900) (About the analysis of actuality)
- Die Klimax der Theorien (1884) (The climax of theory)
- Geist der Transcendentalphilosophie (1901)
- Grundriss der kritischen Metaphysik (1901) (Outline of critical metaphysics)
- Gedanken und Tatsachen, 2 Bände (1882–1904) (Thoughts and facts)
- Paul W. Franks, "Jewish Philosophy after Kant: the Legacy of Salomon Maimon" in Michael L. Morgan & Peter Eli Gordon (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Modern Jewish Philosophy, Cambridge University Press (2007), p. 53
- Gottfried Gabriel, "Frege, Lotze, and the Continental Roots of Early Analytic Philosophy," in: Erich H. Reck (ed.). From Frege to Wittgenstein: Perspectives on Early Analytic Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 39–51, esp. 44–48.
- Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
- Works by or about Otto Liebmann at Internet Archive
- Otto Liebmann in the German National Library catalogue
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