1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Baader, Franz Xaver von
BAADER, FRANZ XAVER VON (1765–1841), German philosopher and theologian, born on the 27th of March 1765 at Munich, was the third son of F. P. Baader, court physician to the elector of Bavaria. His brothers were both distinguished—the elder, Clemens, as an author; the second, Joseph (1763–1835), as an engineer. Franz studied medicine at Ingolstadt and Vienna, and for a short time assisted his father in his practice. This life he soon found uncongenial, and decided on becoming a mining engineer. He studied under Abraham Gottlob Werner at Freiberg, travelled through several of the mining districts in north Germany, and for four years, 1792–1796, resided in England. There he became acquainted with the works of Jakob Boehme, and with the ideas of Hume, Hartley and Godwin, which were extremely distasteful to him. The mystical speculations of Meister Eckhart, Saint Martin, and above all those of Boehme, were more in harmony with his mode of thought. In 1796 he returned from England, and in Hamburg became acquainted with F. H. Jacobi, with whom he was for years on terms of friendship. He now learned something of Schelling, and the works he published during this period were manifestly influenced by that philosopher. Yet Baader is no disciple of Schelling, and probably gave out more than he received. Their friendship continued till about the year 1822, when Baader's denunciation of modern philosophy in his letter to the emperor Alexander I. of Russia entirely alienated Schelling.
All this time Baader continued to apply himself to his profession of engineer. He gained a prize of 12,000 gulden (about £1000) for his new method of employing Glauber's salts instead of potash in the making of glass. From 1817 to 1820 he held the post of superintendent of mines, and was raised to the rank of nobility for his services. He retired in 1820, and soon after published one of the best of his works, Fermenta Cognitionis, 6 parts, 1822–1825, in which he combats modern philosophy and recommends the study of Boehme. In 1826, when the new university was opened at Munich, he was appointed professor of philosophy and speculative theology. Some of the lectures delivered there he published under the title, Spekulative Dogmatik, 4 parts, 1827–1836. In 1838 he opposed the interference in civil matters of the Roman Catholic Church, to which he belonged, and in consequence was, during the last three years of his life, interdicted from lecturing on the philosophy of religion. He died on the 23rd of May 1841.
Baader is, without doubt, among the greatest speculative theologians of modern Catholicism, and his influence has extended itself even beyond the precincts of his own church. Among those whom he influenced were R. Rothe, Julius Müller and Hans L. Markensen.His works were collected and published by a number of his adherents—F. Hoffman, J. Hamberger, E. v. Schaden, Lutterbeck, von Osten-Sacken and Schlüter—Baader's sämmtliche Werke (16 vols., 1851–1860). Valuable introductions by the editors are prefixed to the several volumes. Vol. xv. contains a full biography; vol. xvi. an index, and an able sketch of the whole system by Lutterbeck. See F. Hoffmann, Vorhalle zur spekulativen Lehre Baader's (1836); Grundzüge der Societäts-Philosophie Franz Baader's (1837); Philosophische Schriften (3 vols., 1868–1872); Die Weltalter (1868); Biographie und Briefwechsel (Leipzig, 1887); J. Hamberger, Cardinalpunkte der Baaderschen Philosophie (1855); Fundamentalbegriffe von F. B.'s Ethik, Politik, u. Religions-Philosophie (1858); J. A. B. Lutterbeck, Philosophische Standpunkte Baaders (1854); Baaders Lehre vom Weltgebäude (1866). The most satisfactory surveys are those given by Erdmann, Versuch einer Gesch. d. neuern Phil. iii. 2, pp. 583-636; J. Claassen, Franz von Baaders Leben und theosophische Werke (Stuttgart, 1886–1887), and Franz von Baaders Gedanken über Staat und Gesellschaft (Gütersloh, 1890); Otto Pfleiderer, Philosophy of Religion (vol. ii., Eng. trans. 1887); R. Falckenberg, History of Philosophy, pp. 472-475 (trans. A. C. Armstrong, New York, 1893); Reichel, Die Sozietätsphilosophie Franz v. Baaders (Tübingen, 1901); Kuno Fischer, Zur hundertjährigen Geburtstagfeier Baaders (Erlangen, 1865).