Johannes Rehmke

Johannes Rehmke (1 February 1848 – 23 December 1930) was a German philosopher and since 1885 professor at Universität Greifswald, later also provost of this university. He offered sharp criticisms of Kant's approach to epistemology.[1] In his article The Conquest of Subjectivism, Paul Linke pointed out that it was Rehmke who first banned the words, 'subjective,' 'objective,' 'immanent,' and 'transcendent,' from his philosophical vocabulary.[2] He made a courageous break from subjectivism, which was the pervasive philosophical paradigm of the times, and also criticized phenomenalism.


John Rehmke was born on February 1, 1848 in Hainholz near Elmshorn, the second son of school teacher Hans Hinrich Rehmke and his wife Margaret, née Engelbrecht. After his first lessons from his father, he attended the elementary school in Uetersen and then the Gymnasium Christianeum in Altona, where among others Helmuth von Moltke was his classmate. In 1867 he went to study in Kiel, then a year later to Zurich to study under the Swiss theologian Alois Emanuel Biedermann. Rehmke gained his doctorate in 1875 in Zurich with Hartmanns Unbewußtes auf die Logik hin kritisch beleuchtet and his habilitation in 1884 in Berlin with the treatise Die Welt als Wahrnehmung und Begriff (The World as Percept and Concept). Rehmke admired the works of William James and visited him. Since 1885, Rehmke was professor of philosophy at Greifswald University, located at the Baltic Sea. In 1921, Rehmke was forced by local Nazi-groups (among them student organisations) to give up his professorship at Greifwald. He died on December 23, 1930 in Marburg and was buried in Greifswald.



  1. Truth and Knowledge, Rudolf Steiner
  2. Philosophy in Germany, Helen Knight

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