Reiner Wiehl in memoriam

Reiner Wiehl served as ordinarius Professor of Philosophy at Heidelberg University since 1976. His thought combined strands of tradition of a developed systematic Kantianism, Existentialism (he was president of the Karl Jaspers Foundation), and the natural philosophy of Whitehead. As shown by the three volumes of his collected essays (Suhrkamp, 1996-2000), but also by the festschrift in his honor (Zeit und Welt, 2002), the deceased made significant contributions to contemporary philosophy, especially a critique of an “experience without metaphysics,” with his philosophical reflexions on time, and with the elaboration of a conception of concrete subjectivity oriented on Whitehead. Just as he analyzed “The principle of fidelity [Treue] in the Hermann Cohen’s ethics and philosophy of religion” (1997), the virtue of fidelity in love for philosophy also determined his own work “between metaphysics and experience.” Reiner Wiehl illuminated Cohen’s logic of origin not only in contrast with Rosenzweig’s “meta-logics” (1988), but he associated it with the idea of a pure monotheism that is found in the religion of reason from the sources of Judaism in a more original form than in any philosophy.

In our Hermann Cohen Society, we will keep the memory of Reiner Wiehl, the endearing man and the philosopher of the gentle voice dedicated to the eternal search for truth.

Helmut Holzhey, January 10, 2011