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2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Edinburgh

What is Caesar’s? Adjudicating Faith in Modern Constitutional Democracies to be held on Monday 19 May 2014. [More…]

2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Glasgow

Givenness and Revelation begins Tuesday 20 May 2014. [More…]

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Eight Books Based on Gifford Lectures

Eight books derived from the Gifford lectures are available. [More…]


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Oskar Kraus

1872 - 1942

Formerly Professor of Philosophy, University of Prague



Oskar Kraus was born in Prague on 24 July 1872. After attending the German State School (Staatsgymnasium), Kraus began studying the philosophy of law at Prague in 1890. His philosophical teachers were Anton Marty and Friedrich Jodl. It was through Marty that Kraus first fell under the significant intellectual influence of Franz Brentano, whom he met for the first time in 1893. Graduating from Prague in 1895, Kraus sought a career at the Finanzprokuratur in 1896. In 1902 he earned completed his habilitationsschrift on ‘The Theory of Value: A Benthem Study’.
During this time Kraus became a member of the Louvre circle, formed around Marty, and became a lawyer in 1907. With a full professorship in 1916, he succeeded Marty as professor of philosophy at the German university in Prague. Starting in 1922, and continuing for the rest of his life, Kraus, with Alfred Kastil, undertook the considerable task of editing Brentano’s main works and fragments, most notably the third volume of Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, published as Sensory and Noetic Consciousness (1928). With the financial assistance of President Masaryk, Kraus also established the Prague Brentano Society.
In addition to his editions of Brentano’s works, Kraus’s publications are many, and include treatments of Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy (1905, 1913), Albert Einstein and relativity (1925), and Francis Bacon and Jeremy Bentham on freedom (1926). The only publication of his available in English is Albert Schweitzer: His Work and His Philosophy, (trans. E. G. McCalman, 1944).
With the invasion of German troops in Prague in March 1939, Kraus was arrested. Released after six weeks in prison, he fled to Great Britain, where he lived until dying of cancer on 26 September 1942, in Oxford.
Kraus’s Gifford Lecture notes have never been published, though they are available from the Forschungsstelle und Dokumentationszentrum für Österreichische Philosophie (the Research and Document Centre for Austrian Philosophy), in Graz, Austria. English lecture notes are unavailable.
Templeton Press