DEUSSEN, Paul Jakob

DEUSSEN, Paul Jakob. Oberdreis/Westerwald (Kr. Neuwied) 7.1.1845 — Kiel 6.7.1919. German Indologist. Professor in Kiel. Son of a minister, 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) and Staatsexamen. He worked as a teacher in Gymnasium, then from 1872 as a tutor in Geneva, where he habilitated in philosophy and Sanskrit. He was the first to teach Sanskrit at Genève 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. Married with 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. 1877, 2nd ed. 1921.

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 Cārīraka-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 Upanishaden des Veda. Lp. 1897 and edd.; 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. 1907.

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

started the critical edition of Schopenhauer: Werke. 1-, 1911- (1957 still unfinished).

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

Sources: A. Hübscher, N.D.B. 3, 1957, 622f.; *P. N. Mukherjee, “Paul Deussen’s Indian Tour”, JASB 4:7, 1965, 113-119; *autobiography (above); Wikipedia with photo (another and more details in German version).


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