Rudolf von Ihering

Rudolf von Ihering

Rudolf von Ihering, born on 22 August 1818 in Aurich (Germany), died on 20 September 1892 in Göttingen, studied jurisprudence at the Universities of Heidelberg, München, and Göttingen, and from 1838 at the University of Berlin, where he received his doctorate in 1842, and where he was a private lecturer. In 1845, he was called to the University of Basel, but only for one year, before going to Rostock, Kiel and Giessen; from 1872, he taught at the University of Vienna, where Eugen Huber counted among his scholars, before settling definitively in Göttingen in 1872.

Rudolf von Ihering had experienced Friedrich Carl von Savigny in person and for sure he knew his writings in detail, as he published a series of essays about “Die historische Schule der Juristen” in the periodical “Literarische Zeitung” (printed in Berlin). However, he cannot be considered as a member of the so-called Historical School of law, and he had a temporary sympathy for the “Interessenjurisprudenz” and founding his very own personal School.

Rudolf von Ihering’s most popular, however not the most important, writing “Der Kampf um’s Recht” has gained wide reception, as it was translated to fifty different languages. In his most significant work, the two volumes of “Der Zweck im Recht”, he detected a hidden teleology underneath the surface of interests and these unconscious intentions allowed him to found a true philosophy of the positive legal order.

Selected Works of the Author

Rudolf von Ihering: Der Kampf um’s Recht (1872), ed. Hermann Klenner, Freiburg im Breisgau/ Berlin: Rudolf Haufe, 1992; Idem: Der Zweck im Recht, 2 vols., Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, 1877-1883.