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Hägerström, Axel (1868–1939)

Axel Hägerström was a Swedish philosopher and founder of the Uppsala School, the cradle of Scandinavian legal realism. Hägerström's wide scholarly output spanned philosophy, religion, psychology, sociology, political science, morality, and legal theory. Framing all of these areas of research was his socalled reality thesis. In brief, there was a dualism between subject and object whereby, in the cognitive act, the subject encountered an object and, hence, a reality other than the self, rather than a modification of the subject's conscience.

He formulated this thesis in opposition to the epistemological subjectivism informing the idealistic philosophy that held sway in Sweden through the late nineteenth century, with Christopher Boström (1797–1866) as its most influential exponent. Hägerström had espoused Boström's conception in his youth, but he then parted ...

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