Vranicki was born in 1922, in Benkovac, Croatia. During World War II he fought with the National Liberation Army against the Fascist occupation of Yugoslavia. He received a diploma in philosophy from the University of Zagreb in 1947 and earned his PhD from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Philosophy in 1951. From 1964 to 1966 he was dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, and rector of the Zagreb University from 1972 to 1976. Vranicki became president of the Yugoslav Society for Philosophy in 1966, and in 1979 he was elected as a full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
When the dissident Praxis journal was initiated in 1965, he joined its editorial board.
- Dialectical and Historical Materialism (1958)
- History of Marxism (1961, 3 volumes)
- Karl Marx: The Development of His Thought
- Marxism and Socialism (1979)
- Philosophical Studies (1979)
- The Socialist Alternative (1982)
- Philosophy of History (1988)