Schäffle, Albert, 1831-1903, German economist and sociologist. He taught economics at the universities of Tübingen and Vienna. His views were based partly on the idealism of Hegel and Schelling, partly on Comtian and Darwinian ideas. His work was characterized by the use of organic analogies and the concept of value as indicating the elements of intelligence and spirituality. Schäffle was interested in socialism, which he believed would evolve out of capitalism. He made important contributions to the theory of taxation. His most popular book was Die Quintessenz der Socialismus (1875, tr. 1901); his most elaborate was Bau und Leben des sozialen Körpers [structure and life of the social body] (4 vol., 1875-78, rev. ed. 1896).
Albert Eberhard Friedrich Schäffle (February 24, 1831 - December 25, 1903), German statesman and political economist, was born at Nürtingen in Württemberg, and in 1848 became a student at the University of Tübingen.

From 1850 to 1860 he was attached to the editorial staff of the Schwäbische Merkur in Stuttgart, and in the latter year accepted a call to the chair of political economy at Tübingen. From 1862 to 1864 Schäffle was a member of the Württemberg diet, and in 1868 he received a mandate to the German Zollparlament. During this year he was appointed professor of political science at the University of Vienna, and in 1871 he entered the cabinet of Karl Sigmund, Graf von Hohenwart as minister of commerce for Austria.

But the government fell in the same year, and Schäffle withdrew to Stuttgart, where he took up his residence, devoting himself entirely to literary work. He died at Stuttgart.

Among his numerous writings must be mentioned:

  • Das Gesellschaftliche System der menschlichen Wirthschaft (new ed., 1873)
  • Die nationalökonomische Theorie der ausschliessenden Absatzverhältnisse (1867)
  • Bau und Leben des socialen Korpers (2nd ed. 1896)
  • Ein Votum gegen den neuesten Zolltarif (Tübingen, 1901)
  • Die agrarische Gefahr (Berlin, 1902)
  • Gesammelte Aufsatze (1885-1887).

From 1892 to 1901 Schäffle was the sole editor of the Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft.

See Biermann, Schäffle und der Agrarismus (Bonn, 1902) and his autobiography, Aus meinem Leben (Berlin, 1905).


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