The reform of Austrian high schools, a core element of the Exner-Bonitz reform of the Austrian schooling system in the early 1850s, created the new compulsory subject of “philosophical propaedeutics” as a framework for introductory classes in philosophy and psychology. The article analyzes the philosophical and political background of Austrian “philosophical propaedeutics”, its role for the scientific “take off” of the late Habsburg empire, and the general theoretical orientation of textbooks written for the new subject in the first phase of textbook production, dominated by Herbartianism. In a final section, the article examines the schoolbooks´ impact on early versions of object theory and phenomenology, the importance of Lindner´s textbook for Freud´s psychoanalysis, and the textbooks´ relevance to the so-called “crisis of the self”, a prominent topic in turn-of-the century Austrian literature.“
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