P. K. Engelmeyer

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Born April 10, 1855(1855-04-10)
Moscow, Russian Empire
Died Moscow, Soviet Union

Peter Klimentjevich Engelmeyer [Петр Климентьевич Энгельмейер] (1855-c1941) was an engineer, philosopher of technology and creativity, encyclopedist, musician and painter. In his time, Engelmeyer belonged to the influential engineers, consultants, contractors and representatives in national and international technical organizations. He published in Russian, German and French (especially engineering) journals.[1]

Engelmeyer was born in 1855. After graduating from the F.I. Kreiman high school in Moscow he attended French lyceum in Nice (until 1873). He studied mechanical engineering at the Imperial Moscow Technical School (1874-81). After graduation he took a study trip across factories in Germany, including Benz car factory (1883).[2] He was a fan of automobiles, taught automotive course at the Moscow Technical School (c1909), was an active member of the Russian Automobile Club in Moscow (c1910), and wrote two books on cars and driving.[3][4]

In 1884-89, Engelmeyer headed the department of technical news in the magazine Техник [Technician]. It was there that he published one of his works programmatic texts "The Economic Importance of Modern Technology" (1887), which offers a philosophical interpretation of the technology as the foundation of civilization. He used the concept of "technology" [техника] in a broad sense to signify all the human knowledge and skills aimed at practical goals. "Technology" then includes: firstly, applied mechanics, physics, chemistry; secondly, the mechanical and chemical technology, metallurgy, architecture, art of engineering of buildings, shipbuilding, fortification; thirdly, all crafts; fourthly, agricultural technics; and finally, social and moral reasoning.[5][6]

Inspired by the writings of a number of philosophers (Ernst Mach, Ernst Kapp, Alfred Espinas, Fred Bon), Engelmeyer set out to contribute to the emerging field of philosophy of technology. In 1898, he published the book Technical Summary of the 19th Century, in which he outlined main tasks and the program of the philosophy of technology.[7] In 1911, he presented a paper at the Fourth International Philosophical Congress in Bologna. Between 1912 and 1913 he published his Philosophy of Technology in four volumes.[8][9][10]

In 1921-24, Engelmeyer taught a course at the Faculty of Economics of the Baku Polytechnic Institute (philosophy of technology, engineering, trade, history of technology).[11]

Since May 1927, Engelmeyer led an informal public association The Circle for the General Questions of Technology within the Polytechnic Society of the All-Russian Association of Engineers (VAI). The focus of the group were study of general, sectoral and regional history of technology; analysis of relationships and interaction of technology with science, art, economy, law, ethics and "common way of life"; development of scientific and biographical heritage outstanding engineers and the formation of the theory of technical creativity; and improving the system of technical education. Members included N. Golovanov, VV Dobrovolsky, L. Dreyer, AK Kaufman-Klementyeva, or JH Yurovsky.[1] In August 1929, after campaign against the philosophy of technology the Circle as well as the Society ceased to exist.[12][13][14][15]

He died in c1941.[16]




  • Технический итог XIX-го века [Technical Summary of the 19th Century], Moscow: Tipografija K.A.Kaznacheyeva, 1898. (Russian)
  • Париж-Москва на автомобиле [Paris-Moscow by car], 1909. (Russian)
  • Теория творчества [Theory of Creativity], St. Petersburg: Obrazovanije, 1910, 205 pp. (Russian) [2]
  • Der Dreiakt als Lehre von der Technik und der Erfindung, Berlin, 1910. (German)
  • Tvorcheskaya lichnost’ i sreda v oblasti tekhnicheskikh izobretenij [Creative Individual and Context in the Sphere of Technical Innovation], St. Petersburg: Obrazovanije, 1911. (Russian)
  • Философия техники 1 [Philosophy of Technology, Vol. 1], Moscow, 1912. (Russian)
  • Философия техники 2 [Philosophy of Technology, Vol. 2: Contemporary Philosophy], Moscow, 1912. (Russian)
  • Философия техники 3: Наша жизнь [Philosophy of Technology, Vol. 3: Our Life], Moscow: Nasha zhizn’, 1912. (Russian)
  • Философия техники 4: Техницизм, [Philosophy of Technology, Vol. 4: Technicism], Moscow, 1913. (Russian)
  • Катехизис шофера [Catechism of a Driver], 1916. (Russian)
  • Конспект лекций по философии техники 1: История техники, Baku, 1922. (Russian)
  • Kak nado i kak ne nado izeobretat’. Konspect lekzij s diapositivami [How We Should and Should Not Invent. Lecture Notes with Slides], Moscow: Izdatel’stvo VZSPS, 1925. (Russian)


  • "Экономическое значение современной техники" [The Economic Importance of Modern Technology], Technician, No. 2 (1887). (Russian)
  • "Grundriss der Philosophie der Technik", Kölnische Zeitung, No. 605, 608 (1894).
  • "Das Erfinden", Kölnische Zeitung, 15, 16, 18 February, No. 138, 141, 147 (1895).
  • "Was ist eine Erfindung?", Civielingenieur, , Vol. 61, No. 4 (1895), pp 282-300.
  • "Allgemeine Fragen der Technik", Dinglers Polytechnisches Journal, Vol. 312, No. 7 (1899); Vol. 315, No. 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 33 (1900).
  • "Philosophie der Technik, eine neue Forschungsrichtung", Prometheus, 1900, No 565.
  • "Tehnika kak faktor sowremennoj kultury", Mir Boshij, No. 7 (1907). (Russian)
  • "Essai d’une 'heurologie' ou théorie générale de la création humane", in Ann. IV Congresso Internationale de Philosofia, Bologna, 1911, Vol. 3. Nendeln/Lichtenstein (French). Reprinted in 1968, Klaus Reprint, pp 582-586.
  • "Philosophie der Technik", Ann. IV Congresso Internationale de Philosofia, Bologna, 1911, Vol. 3. Nendeln/Liechtenstein (German). Reprinted in 1968, Klaus Reprint.
  • "Heurologische Wert der technischen Erfindung", Sciencia (Revista die scienza), Bologna 1911, Vol. X, Anno V.
  • "Evrologija ili obschaja teorija tvorchestva", in Voprossy teorii i psihologii twortchestwa, Part 5, Kharkov, 1914, pp 131-160; Part 7, Kharkov, 1916, pp 76-108. (Russian)
  • "V zasshitu obssikh idej v tekhnike" [Defending the general ideas of technology], in Vestnik inzhenerov, T.1, No. 3, 1 Fevralia, Moscow, 1915. (Russian)
  • "Vorarbeit zur Philosophie der Technik", Technik und Kultur, No. 9 (1928), pp 86-88. (German)
  • "Erfindungslehre (Heurologie)", Technik und Kultur, No. 9 (1928).
  • "Nuzhna li nam filosofija tekhniki?" [Do we need philosophy of technology?], in Inzhenernyj trud, No. 2, 15 Janvarja, Moscow, 1929. (Russian)


Books and articles
  • Inshenernyj trud (9): 409. 1927 (Russian).
  • Gorokhov, Vitaly G. (1990). "Русский инженер-механик и философ техники Петр Климентьевич Энгельмейер". Вопросы истории естествознания и техники (4) (Russian).
  • Mitcham, Carl (1994). "Technology and Politics according to Peter Engelmeier and Others". Thinking Through Technology: The Path Between Engineering and Philosophy. University Of Chicago Press. pp. 24-29. [3] [4]
  • Gorokhov, Vitaly G. (1997). Русский инженер и философ техники Петр Климентьевич Энгельмейер (1855–1941) [Peter Klimentjevich Engelmeyer: Mechanical Engineer and Philosopher of Technology, 1855-1941]. Moscow: Nauka. pp. 223 (Russian).
  • Gorokhov, Vitaly G. (2001). "Technischer Optimismus – Philosophie der Technik von P. K. Engelmeyer". Technikphilosophie und Technikfolgenforschung in Russland. Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler: Europäische Akademie. pp. 10-18 (German).
  • Gorokhov, Vitaly G. (2002). "Description of the Design Process in the Theory of Creativity by Russian Philosopher of Technology and Engineer P.K. Engelmeyer". Proceedings of the 29th Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), 24-29.06.2002, Granada, Spain. p. 24.
  • GP Petrovich, BV Emelyanov (2002). "Русский энциклопедист П.К. Энгельмейер. Опыт интеллектуальной биографии". Дискурс-Пи (2) (Russian).
  • Gorokhov, Vitaly G. (2008). "Ernst Kapp, P.K. Engelmeyer and P. Florenski – princip of the 'Organprojektion' and 'Antropologisches Kriterium' as basic ideas of the philosophy of technology". Global problems of the sustainable development and modern civilisation. Materials of the international conference. Moscow: Polytechnic Society. pp. 235-243 (Russian).
  • Goriunova, Olga (2009). "Vitalist Technocultural Thinking in Revolutionary Russia (on Piotr Engelmeier)". Place Studies in Art, Media, Science and Technology. Historical Investigations on the Sites and the Migration of Knowledge. Weimar: Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften. pp. 183-197.