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Pontus Wikner

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Wikner, Pontus (1837-1888), philosopher, writer, Sweden.

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Karl Pontus Wikner, svensk filosof och författare, född 19 maj 1837, död 15 maj 1888.

Hans Vittra skrifter i urval utgavs i oktober 1888 (dödsåret) av Karl Warburg, vars 5:e upplaga från 1910 digitaliserades i september 2003.

Hans Skrifter utgavs samlade i 12 delar 1920-1924 (några delar i 2:a och 3:e upplaga fram till 1927) av Adolf Ahlberg och Theodor Hjelmqvist.

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The following text was provided by Don Wikner, Australia

Born 19 May 1837 at "Kikerud", Valbo in Ryrs parish. When still a baby his parents moved to Kaserna in Foss parish, Bohuslan. He married Ida Albertina Weinberg (born 1837, died 1910). Pontus died as a professor in Kristiania (Oslo), Norway, on 15 May 1888. They had two sons, Hugo and Ernst.

In Sweden, Pontus became comparatively famous through his teaching of philosophy. He was a noble man with his inheritance of hardness and strictness from his father and sympathy from his charming, lovable and dreaming mother. With the influence from these two entirely different characters and being physically weak due to a sickly childhood, he had several difficulties in his own character which gave him painful sufferings.

In the European autumn of 1971 there was a great deal written about Pontus Wikner with the publication of his Confessions (Psykologiska självbekännelser) in Sweden. According to his own wishes, they were not published before his wife and sons -- the nearest members of the family -- had died. Pontus had suffered great pain and must have had a hellish life. In his "Confessions" he says that he was homosexual. He wanted this to be publicly known so that it could be of help to other people in the same situation. It must have been difficult for a strict religious philosophy teacher to find himself in this situation.

His disposition probably played a role as to why he didn't receive the professorship in Uppsala which he desired. Just before his death, it was granted but he was unable to take up the position. He loved Uppsala and was generally respected by the students there. A movement went about to collect funds for a professorship for him there. His burial took place in Kristiania on 23 May and a funeral ceremony was held in Uppsala on 25 May 1888. On 15 May 1902 a memorial stone in the Uppsala churchyard was unveiled by the bishop of Uppsala -- Bishop J. A. Eklund. 19 May, 1912, the Odd Fellow Lodge "Pontus Wikner" erected a memorial cairn in Uddevalla in the neighbourhood of his birthplace, Kaserna.

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