Auto-Presentation of My Philosophy

  • Josef Seifert


Philosophical Autobiography. I fell in love with philosophy very early. A decisive event and great gift in my life was that the great philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand, one of the most outspoken intellectual enemies of Nazi ideology,1 was a close friend of my parents and visited our house regularly from 1948 on, when he first returned to Europe. I was then only three years old. 2 After having had to flee Germany in 1933 and Austria in 1938, when the Nazis invaded Austria and sent immediately their death squad to his apartment in Vienna, from where he had fought Nazi ideology in Austria 1933-1938, in order to murder him, he emigrated first to Switzerland, then to France, and finally to the US (New York). Due to his unique, kind, brilliant mind, and radiant, loving and joyful personality, I discovered his unique lovability and loved him deeply already as a child. At twelve years of age, when passing through a kind of philosophical and religious crisis due to my contact with young relativists, materialists, and atheists, Hildebrand’s philosophical lectures and discussions with young people and adults in our home provided me with a strong antidote against these errors. At the same age, I read Hildebrand’s most difficult book Metaphysik der Gemeinschaft, and he assured me in our conversations that I had understood it very well.