Gierke, Otto Von (1841–1921)

Otto Friedrich von Gierke was a philosopher, legal scholar, professor, and leader in the Germanistic school of legal historians. Known for his thoughtful development of the Genossenschaft theory, he thoroughly investigated the nature and role of fellowship and associations in society.

Born in Stettin, Germany, the son of a Prussian official, his parents nurtured Gierke in a family atmosphere that left strong cultural influences. He attended the University of Berlin, where his teacher, Georg Beseler (1809–1888), a Germanist in juristic theory, strongly affected his orientation to law. After military service, Gierke taught at the University of Breslau from 1872 to 1884 and then at the University of Heidelberg from 1884 until 1887. In 1887, he assumed Beseler's position at Berlin and remained there until his death ...

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