DEUSSEN, Paul Jakob

DEUSSEN, Paul Jakob. Oberdreis/Westerwald, Kr. Neuwied 7.1.1845 — Kiel 6.7.1919. German Indologist and Philosopher. Professor in Kiel. Son of Adam D., a minister, and Jakobine Ingelbach. Attended Gymnasium in Elberfeld and Landesschule in Pforta, where his classmate and future life-long friend Friedrich Nietzsche introduced him to Schopenhauer’s philosophy. In 1864-69 studies of philo­sophy, classical philology and Sanskrit at Bonn, Berlin, and Tübingen. In 1869 Ph.D. (diss. on Plato’s Sophistes) and Staatsexamen. He worked as a teacher in Gymnasium, in Minden and Marburg then from 1872 as a tutor in Geneva, where he habilitated 1873 in philosophy and Sanskrit. He was the first to teach Sanskrit at Geneva University. Later he worked as a tutor in other places (for a while in Ukraina). In 1881 habilitation in philosophy (under Professor Ed. Zeller) at Berlin, where he became in 1887 ao. Professor. From 1889 ord. Professor of Philosophy at Kiel. He travelled in Greece, Spain and Egypt, in 1892-93 also half a year in India, where he met Vivekananda. Married 1886 Marie Volkmar, one son and one daughter.

As a philosopher Deussen followed Schopenhauer, unconcerned of the schools of his own time. Thus his major work, the great Allgemeine Geschichte der Philosophie culminates in Schopenhauer. In 1911 he founded the Schopenhauer Society and edited its Jahrbuch until his death.

Publications: Die Elemente der Metaphysik. 12+188 p. Aachen 1877, several further editions.

Habil.diss. System des Vedānta. 15+535 p. Lp. 1883, 2nd ed. 1906, English tr. Chicago 1912.

Translated: Bādarāyana: Die Sūtras des Vedānta oder die Çārīraka-Mīmāmsā. Nebst dem vollständigen Kommentar des Sankara. 792 p. Lp. 1887, 2nd ed. 1920.

Allgemeine Geschichte der Philosophie. 1-6. Lp. 1894-1917 (three parts on Indian, three on Western Philosophy), 5th ed. 1922.

Translated: Sechzig Upanishad’s des Veda. 25+920 p. Lp. 1897 and new editions; English transl. Sixty Upanisads of the Veda, by V. M. Bedekar & G. B. Palsule. 1-2. 34+995 p. Delhi 1980.

Translated: Vier philosophische Texte des Mahābhārata. 18+1010 p. Lp. 1906.

Die Geheimlehre des Veda. Ausgewählte Texte der Upanishaden. 22+221 p. Lp. 1907.

Jakob Böhme. Kiel 1897; Erinnerungen an F. Nietzsche. Lp. 1901.

Started the critical edition of Schopenhauer: Werke. 1-. Munich 1911- (unfinished).

Mein Leben. Hrsg. von E. Rosenthal-Deussen. 360 p. Lp. 1922.

Sources: *H. Feldhoff, Nietzsches Freund. Die Lebensgeschichte des Paul Deussen. Böhlau 2008; A. Hübscher, N.D.B. 3, 1957, 622f.; *F. Mockrauer, “P.D. als Mensch und Philosoph”, Jahrb. d. Schopenhauer-Ges. 9, 1920, 1-84; *P. N. Mukherjee, “Paul Deussen’s Indian Tour”, JASB 4:7, 1965, 113-119; Stache-Weiske 2017, 516; *autobiography (above); Wikipedia with photo (more details in German version); photo in Rau 48 and Sardesai.

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