Ignaz Paul Vitalis Troxler

Philosopher, doctor, politician


Born: 17.08.1780 in Münster (canton of Lucern)

Died: 06.03.1866 in Aarau


Doctorate: 1803 in Göttingen (medicine)

University lecturer: 1820 - 1821 Lucern, 1830 - 1831 Basel, 1834 - 1850 Bern


Troxler, who had come to Jena in 1800 to study philosophy and medicine, heard Schelling lecture and was soon an enthusiastic follower of the philosopher. He received his doctorate in Göttingen before living for a short time in Vienna (where he became friends with Beethoven) and moving to Lucern, where he practised as a doctor. Alongside his practice, he was a productive writer - his "Ideen zur Grundlage der Nosologie und Therapie" (ideas towards a basis for pathology and therapy) in 1803 was greatly applauded by Schelling. In the years that followed, Troxler travelled extensively, before temporarily settling in his home town of Münster. In 1811 he published "Blicke in das Wesen des Menschen" (views into the nature of humanity), a piece which marked his break with Schelling's brand of natural philosophy. Troxler continued to follow a speculative philosophical path, with anthropology representing in his view the centre of all knowledge. He was also politically active - in 1815 he was the Swiss representative at the Vienna congress, where he argued the democratic cause. Politics also had a great influence on his academic career. In 1820, he became professor of history and philosophy at the Lucern Lyceum; in 1830 he was called to the professorship of philosophy at the University of Basel. In each case, he left the position after just over a year due to his political unpopularity. In the years between, he practised medicine in Aarau and founded an educational institute. In 1834, he was finally promised a full professorship at the newly founded university in Bern, which he kept until 1850. After retirement, he spent his remaining years on his estate in Aarau.

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