Independent scholar

A private tutor is a person with an academic background in the rule whose research is privately funded and motivated. The scientific results are not necessarily published, but often secured in the form of private records (notes, diary, correspondence, etc.).

Reasons and Characteristics

The possible reasons for a position as a private tutor are varied. Characteristic features are:

  • Methodological and substantive independence by contracting authorities.
  • Lack of academic qualification for an ordinary teaching in a Scientific University ( Venia legendi ).
  • Missing cathedra (chair, professorship, lectureship ) despite academic qualification for an ordinary teaching, as a result of job shortages, low publication activity, etc.
  • Missing cathedra despite academic qualifications, as a result of political, ideological, religious, ethnic, gender or other discrimination or political persecution.

Prerequisite for the livelihood of a scholar is the financial independence or avocational income.

State of research

Although it was in ancient scholars who did not secure their livelihood through academic activities, yet be only those scientists who have lived in the 19th century or later, referred to as a private scholar, for example, Arthur Schopenhauer, Søren Kierkegaard, Charles Darwin and Walter Benjamin. Because since then the careers in science have changed significantly, many scientists working on scientific universities and research institutions and the apparatus required some research areas have become very extensive, so that scientists can come up with research results without academic support, stand out in their performances especially.

Because of the many reasons and manifestations of an activity as a private scholar there has been no systematic study of the overall phenomenon. Unless it is understood, the investigations extend to individual cases. The research is carried out mostly compartmentalized, rarely interdisciplinary.