Mostly forgotten today, the German physician and philosopher, Ludwig Büchner (1824-99), made a significant contribution to the theory of materialism in the mid- nineteenth century from an atheistic perspective. Described by Engels and others as a “vulgar” materialist, he was nevertheless unsurpassed in having linked science and atheism unfettered by irrelevant considerations. The son of a doctor who served as president of the local medical college, Büchner studied at four universities culminating with the University of Vienna. In 1852 he became a lecturer in medicine at the University of Tübingen with every expectation of pursuing an academic career. However, he was forcibly retired in 1855 because of the publication that year of his first book, Force and Matter [Kraft und Stoff], and he spent the rest of his career as a physician in Darmstadt as well as the author of close to a dozen additional books that explored in depth numerous scientific advances in the nineteenth century.
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Jayne, Edward, "Ludwig Büchner: Nineteenth Century Atheist" (2018). English Faculty Publications. 15.