ⓘ Anathon Aall. Anathon August Fredrik Aall was a Norwegian academic, philosopher and psychologist. Originally educated as a theologian, he became a professor of ..


ⓘ Anathon Aall

Anathon August Fredrik Aall was a Norwegian academic, philosopher and psychologist. Originally educated as a theologian, he became a professor of philosophy at University of Oslo.


1. Background

He was born at Nesseby in Finnmark, Norway. He was a son of vicar Niels Anton Aall 1833–1896 and his wife Mathilde Susanne Dahl 1842–1910. His grandfather, Hans Cato Aall 1807-1862, was a Member of Parliament and mayor of Hammerfest. He was also a great-great-great-grandson of Nicolai Benjamin Aall, and a great-great-grandnephew of Niels, Jorgen and Jacob Aall.

He was the brother of jurist and Fascist politician Herman Harris Aall 1871-1957. His sister Marna Aall 1873–1948 was married to philosopher Kristian Birch-Reichenwald Aars from 1895 to 1910. Anathon Aall biographed Aars in the first volume of the first edition of the biographical dictionary Norsk biografisk leksikon.


2. Career

Aalls family moved a lot during his early years, since his father was a parish priest. Aall finished his secondary education in Stavanger in 1886, and graduated from the Royal Frederick University now University of Oslo with the degree cand.theol. in 1892. From 1893 to 1897 he undertook religious studies in four European countries. In 1897 he applied for a position as professor of church history at the Royal Frederick University, but he was rejected as the assessment committee found that he was "deviating from the faith of our Church", and hence was "unfit" to lecture for priestly candidates.

After this he studied philosophy in the United Kingdom and experimental psychology in Germany. He was elected as a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters already in 1898. He published several works, including the 1903 thesis Uber die Wirkung der Wiederholung eines Elementes bei gleichzeitiger Vorfuhrung mehrerer Schriftzeichen. He worked as a lecturer at the University of Halle-Wittenberg from 1904 to 1908. He was appointed as a professor of philosophy at the Royal Frederick University in 1908. In addition to researching philosophy, he published works on the history of ideas, and also helped create the Department of Philosophy, which he led until his retirement in 1937. He was the dean of the Faculty of Humanities from 1918 to 1921, and a visiting scholar at the Columbia University from 1924 to 1925. Aall was also involved in temperance work, as well as promoting international peace.


3. Personal life

From 1899 he was married to Cathrine Antonie Langaard 1863–1926, a daughter of businessman Conrad Langaard. In October 1928 he married Austrian citizen Lily Weiser 1898–1987, an ethnologist. He died in January 1943 in Lunner. Anathon Aall was the grandfather of Norwegian psychologist Lisbeth F.K. Holter Brudal. His private correspondence and notes are kept by the National Library of Norway.


4. Selected works

  • Logik 1909
  • Philosophische Abhandlunge 1906
  • Die norwegisch-schwedische Union, ihr Bestehen und ihre Losung 1912
  • Geschichte der Logosidee in der christlichen Literatur 1899