Dietrich von Hildebrand

Dietrich von Hildebrand ( born October 12, 1889 in Florence, † January 26, 1977 in New Rochelle, New York) was a Catholic philosopher and author.


Hildebrand grew up in a German family of artists in Florence. His father was the famous sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand. He studied philosophy in Munich and Göttingen and received his PhD in Edmund Husserl. 1914 joined the ( nominally Protestant ) 25 -year-old converted to the Catholic faith. From 1918 to 1933 he was professor of philosophy at the University of Munich; one of his students there was Baldwin Black. Under the influence of Adolf Reinach and Max Scheler, he developed a Catholic point, phenomenological philosophy of value.

From his belief in the absolute value of the person against any collective leaned out Hildebrand nationalism and communism alike Strongly object. He has appeared already in the 20s radically against both Hitler and National Socialism and against the up in church circles widespread anti-Semitism and therefore had to flee to Vienna as a result of the Nazi seizure of power. There, he founded and edited with the support of Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss the anti- Nazi weekly magazine The Christian corporate state.

Because of the German invasion of Austria in 1938 Hildebrand initially fled via Switzerland to France, where he taught at the Catholic University of Toulouse until the German occupation of France in 1940. Then he occupied initially hidden until he succeeded by French aid (including Edmond Michelet ) to flee with his wife, his son and daughter- in Portugal. From there he came to Brazil to New York, where he started at the private Jesuit University Fordham University, Rose Hill, in the Bronx, a long-standing philosophical teaching. In 1960 he became Professor Emeritus and devoted the rest of his life scientific activity. He wrote his books both in English and in German, including several works on the crisis within the Church after the Second Vatican Council.

Dietrich von Hildebrand was first marriage to Margaret Denck. After her death in 1957 he married 1959, 34 years younger Alice Jourdain, who had studied with him. The ethnologist Martín von Hildebrand is a grandson of him.

Pope Pius XII. , With whom he was acquainted, called him " Doctor of the Church of the 20th century".


  • The idea of moral action. In: Yearbook of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 3, 1916, pp. 126-251. Full imprint of phil. Dissertation, Göttingen 1913.
  • Morality and ethical value of knowledge. A study of ethical structure problems. In: Yearbook of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 5, 1922, pp. 462-602. Habilitationsschrift
  • Purity and virginity. Oratory Verlag, Cologne, 1927.
  • The marriage. Verlag Ars Sacra, Munich 1929.
  • Metaphysics of the community. Haas & grave Lord, Augsburg 1930.
  • Temporal in the light of the eternal. Collected essays and lectures. Habbel Josef, Regensburg 1932.
  • Liturgy and personality Anton Pustet, Salzburg 1933.
  • Moral attitudes. Matthias Grünewald Verlag, Mainz 1933.
  • Engelbert Dollfuss. A Catholic statesman. Anton Pustet, Salzburg 1934.
  • The War against Hitler (Including a Special Analysis of the Character of France ). Plon 1940.
  • The transformation in Christ. Benzinger & Co., Einsiedeln, Cologne 1940. 1st and 2nd edition under the pseudonym Peter Ott.
  • The purpose of philosophical inquiry and knowledge. Peter Hanstein, Bonn 1950.
  • Christian Ethics. David McKay, New York, 1953. Christian Ethics, Patmos, Dusseldorf 1959. German translation.
  • What is Philosophy? Eos Verlag, St. Ottilie 1960. German translation.
  • The Trojan Horse in the City of God. Habbel Josef, Regensburg 1968. German translation.
  • The complete bibliography as a link