Zilsel, Edgar, b. Vienna, Aug. 11, 1891, d. Oakland (USA, committed suicide), March 11, 1944, philosopher. Advocated marxist ideas and therefore had to renounce his academic career. Was actively engaged in adult education, taught mathematics and physics at a secondary school in Vienna from 1934. As a philosopher he combined marxist ideas with the positivist notions of the Vienna Circle, with which he was closely involved; he studied the influence of social conditions on the development of modern science and the relations between the social and natural sciences. Emigrated to the USA in 1938, where he became increasingly isolated; after private and political disappointments (developments in the Soviet Union under Stalin) he committed suicide. His ashes have been laid to rest at the Vienna Central Cemetery.
Publications: Die Geniereligion, 1918; Die soz. Ursprünge der neuzeitl. Wiss., ed. by W. Krohn, 1976.
Literature: J. Dvořak, E. Z. und die Einheit der Erkenntnis, 1981.