Schäffle, Albert (älˈbĕrt shĕfˈlə) [key], 1831–1903, German economist and sociologist. He taught economics at the universities of Tübingen and Vienna. His views were based partly on the idealism of Hegel and Schelling, partly on Comtian and Darwinian ideas. His work was characterized by the use of organic analogies and the concept of value as indicating the elements of intelligence and spirituality. Schäffle was interested in socialism, which he believed would evolve out of capitalism. He made important contributions to the theory of taxation. His most popular book was Die Quintessenz der Socialismus (1875, tr. 1901); his most elaborate was Bau und Leben des sozialen Körpers [structure and life of the social body] (4 vol., 1875–78, rev. ed. 1896).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.