Hartmann, Eduard von (āˈdōärt fən härtˈmän) [key], 1842–1906, German philosopher. His Philosophy of the Unconscious appeared in 1869 (tr., 3 vol., 1884; new ed. 1931). By the unconscious, Hartmann meant the inexplicable forces of nature which activate the world process, whether in atoms or in organisms. Influenced by Schopenhauer and Hegel, he saw the world process as a struggle between blind impulse and reason. In ethics, he overcame an early pessimism founded on the irrational characteristics of life and later formulated a qualified optimism based on the evolutionary forces of reason.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.