Eino Kaila
Humanist of the day

Eino Kaila

Eino Kaila was a pioneering psychologist and philosopher in Finland. He was a brilliant lecturer and all-round cultured individual. In his research he is known to have been a thinker who drew on many academic disciplines to resolve problems. He introduced the Finnish academic community to new international trends, such as experimental psychology, Gestalt and personality psychology, as well as logical empiricism. Kaila was professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki from 1930 to 1948 and a member of the Academy of Finland from 1948 to 1958.

Eino Kaila

Eino Sakari Kaila (until 1906 Johansson)
Born 9 August,1890, Alajärvi. Died 31 July, 1958, Kirkkonummi.

Master of Arts 1910, Licentiate and Doctor of Philosophy 1916, Imperial Alexander University

Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, 1930–1948, University of Helsinki
Literary and Theatre Critic for Aika and Uusi Suomettar journals, 1909–1917
Secretary, State Council for the Dramatic Arts (Valtion näyttämötaidetoimikunta) and Dramaturgist, Finnish National Theatre, 1919–1921
Chairman, Student Union of University of Helsinki, 1919–1921
Docent of Psychology 1919–1921, University of Helsinki
Professor of Philosophy, 1921–1930, University of Turku

Chairman, Philosophical Society, 1936–1952
Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1943
Member, Academy of Finland, 1948–1958

Photo: Museovirasto
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by John Calton

Eino Kaila chose not to follow other members of his family into the priesthood, electing to pursue an academic path instead, principally in psychology and philosophy. Kaila began his studies in theoretical philosophy at the then Imperial Alexander University in 1908. He complemented his studies in theoretical and practical philosophy with aesthetics, literature, history and political economics.

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