Felix Weltsch, Jindřich Kohn, and the Intellectual History of Interwar Czechoslovakia

Project code
Project type
Standardní projekty
Year of start
Year of completion
Researcher in MÚA
Milan Hanyš
Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR

The research will encompass the thought of Jewish intellectuals in interwar Czechoslovakia, particularly of Felix Weltsch (1884-1964) and Jindřich Kohn (1874-1935). From the number of Jewish scholars, Weltsch and Kohn were chosen, since they both were active as public intellectuals, made significant philosophical and sociological contributions and they both represent to some extent paradigmatic choices of the Jewish intellectuals in Czechoslovakia. While Weltsch was a German-writing proponent of Zionism, Kohn was a philosopher of the Czech assimilationist movement influential, particularly among the young Czech-Jewish scholars. Both discussed number of timely issues (crisis of democracy, rise of antisemitism, struggles of assimilation and Zionism) with questions of philosophy of history, political philosophy and political ethics. The parallel research of their thought will enable a better understanding of the central issues, problems, and topics of the Jewish intellectuals and the intellectual discourses of Czechoslovakia in the interwar period.