Remembering Ulrich Fehl, German Economist and Prominent Scholar with a Deep Knowledge of Austrian Economics
Abstract: Ulrich Fehl was an Austrian scholar from his graduate school days, and made contributions to our understanding of capital theory, market process theory, and Austrian and evolutionary economics. Influenced by Ernst Heuss, Fehl added the total market perspective to Huss’s theory of the succession of market phases. Leaving behind standard equilibrium theory, Fehl focused on learning and the resulting change in human action. As chair of General Economic Theory at Marburg University, and a master theoretician, he was always careful to convey to his students the practical uses of economic reasoning for solving everyday problems in society. With his clear writing and teaching, Prof. Fehl left a legacy that should remain inspiring for Austrian economists far into the future.
austrian economics — evolutionary economics — market process — capital theory
Peter Engelhard ([email protected]) is a private scholar living in Germany.
Prof. Ulrich Fehl, emeritus at Marburg University, died on November 9, 2019 at the age of 80 years. He was buried in the cemetery on Wiesenweg, Marburg. Ulrich Fehl left behind his wife Barbara and daughter Vera. Standing by Prof. Fehl’s open grave, we struggled with our deep grief and admired his family’s firm composure. Almost comforting as prayer and the good words of the pastor, however, was the German tradition of gathering after the funeral. Goulash soup and sandwiches, served according to old custom, brought pleasant memories of Ulrich Fehl to family, friends, former colleagues and students. Memories not only of a scientist with the broadest of scholarly interests, but memories also of a great personality of benevolence, respect for everybody and a fine dry humor, the friendly elegance with which he parried in discussion and conversation. Memories of long, never tedious, and most inspiring discourses with our academic teacher. Everyday work with Prof. Fehl came to our mind again, as when he arrived in his 18-year-old green Audi sedan at the campus always precisely 10 minutes behind the agreed time—nevertheless making it always exactly on time to the lecture hall. Talking on such topics in increasingly good spirits, we became aware: Prof. Fehl will be among us as long as we remember him as a man and as long as we cultivate his scientific heritage.
Ulrich Fehl was born on January 27, 1939 as the son of a miner’s family in Bochum. After graduation, h
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