Rudolf Christoph Eucken
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1908
Born: 5 January 1846, Aurich, East Friesland (now Germany)
Died: 14 September 1926, Jena, Germany
Residence at the time of the award: Germany
Prize motivation: “in recognition of his earnest search for truth, his penetrating power of thought, his wide range of vision, and the warmth and strength in presentation with which in his numerous works he has vindicated and developed an idealistic philosophy of life”
Prize share: 1/1
Rudolf Eucken was born in Aurich, Germany. He received his PhD in classical philology and history at Göttingen University in 1866. In 1871, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basel, Switzerland. In 1874, he took a similar position in Jena.
Rudolf Eucken centered his philosophy on the human experience. He maintained that man is the meeting place of nature and spirit and that it is man’s duty to overcome his nonspiritual nature by actively striving after the spiritual life. Some of his major works are Main Currents of Modern Thoughts (1908) and Individual and Society (1923).