The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Dühring, Eugen Karl (1833–1921)

  • Tom Bottomore
Reference work entry


Dühring was born on 12 January 1833 in Berlin and died on 21 September 1921 at Nowawes bei Potsdam. The son of a Prussian state official, Dühring studied law, philosophy and economics at the University of Berlin and practised law until blindness obliged him to abandon this career. He then became a Privatdozent at the University of Berlin, where he taught philosophy and economics from 1863 to 1877, and began to write voluminously on a wide range of subjects, from the natural sciences to philosophy, social theory and socialism, his aim being to construct a system of social reform based upon positive science. His system was expounded in a series of books on capital and labour (1865), the principles of political economy (1866), a critical history of philosophy (1869), a critical history of political economy and socialism (1871), and courses in political economy and philosophy (1873, 1875). Duhring was an adherent of positivism, concerned in his philosophical works to expound a ‘strictly scientific world outlook’, in opposition particularly to the Hegelian dialectic. His economic writings emphasize the role of political factors in the development of capitalism, and he argued that social injustice is not caused primarily by the economic system, but by social and political circumstances, the remedy being to control the misuse of private property and capital (not abolish them) through workers’ organizations and state intervention.


Bernstein, E. Dühring, E. K. Engels, F. Marx, K. H. Positivism Private property Schumpeter, F. A 

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  1. Albrecht, G. 1927. Eugen Dühring: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Sozialwissenschaften. Jena: G. Fischer.Google Scholar
  2. Engels, F. 1877–8. Anti-Dühring. Herr Eugen Dühring’s revolution in science. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1947.Google Scholar
  3. Schumpeter, J.A. 1954. A history of economic analysis. London: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Bottomore
    • 1
  1. 1.