Josef Popper-Lynkeus

Popper-Lynkeus, Josef (yōˈzĕf pôpˈər-lünˈkāŏs) [key], 1838–1921, Austrian philosopher, social reformer, and inventor. His unpopular views kept him from any academic position, so he worked at various jobs until his inventions (the most notable being a device that improved the working capacity of engine boilers) gave him financial security. Popper-Lynkeus placed his highest value on the life of the individual and defended its worth against such abstractions as the good of the state or church—religion he considered a social bane—or the advancement of art or science; he held that society had a duty to secure each individual against want, regardless of his talents or qualifications. He was the first to suggest the possibility of transmitting electric power, and he also anticipated several of Sigmund Freud's insights about dreams. Rarely translated or read later, his books were widely popular early in the 20th cent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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