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Thread: Who were the greatest Austrian in history ?

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    Question Who were the greatest Austrian in history ?



    To follow the greatest Austrian contributions of the world, let's now make a list of the greatest Austrian individuals in history based on national fame and achievements as much as international ones. The aim being to determine who is the greatest Austrian ever, it is not necessary to list too many people in the same category if it is clear from the onset that one or a few are superior in achievement or fame to the others. For example, Austria has a particular abundance of classical music composers, but once you have Mozart in the list one can wonder who can outmatch him in greatness. Schubert and Mahler are probably the only contenders, and I don't think that many people would claim that they surpassed Mozart (true contenders exist, but they are not Austrian, like Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky or Wagner).

    Here is a first short list for the greatest Austrian in history. Feel free to add your suggestions.

    - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) : classical music composer.

    - Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906) : physicist famous for his founding contributions in the fields of statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics.

    - Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) : neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis.

    - Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) : created the first hybrid vehicle (gasoline-electric), the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK, as well as the first of many Porsche automobiles.

    - Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) : physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics.

    - Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) : one of the foremost 20th-century philosophers, who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.

    - Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) : theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics.

    - Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) : logician, mathematician and philosopher.

    - Arnold Schwarzenegger (born 1947) : it may sound strange to include him, but few other people achieved great success in fields as diverse as body-building/modelling, international cinema, business and politics.

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    I think you're giving Mozart a little bit too little credit when you just say he was a classical music composer. You have to consider how much he wrote in just such a little time. He was very much a prodigy, or a "wunderkind" if you will. What Mozart did and had was this novelty and innovativeness around him. And also, he had a cult of popularity around him which only music stars in the second half of the 20th century would have, and like quite a few of them, he died young and this definitely added to the popularity of his works.

    Another person I would add somewhere down on the list, by the way, would be Gregor Mendel for his contributions to genetics.

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    Mozart hands down, few individuals in the story of humanity have had such a universal impact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    I think you're giving Mozart a little bit too little credit when you just say he was a classical music composer. You have to consider how much he wrote in just such a little time. He was very much a prodigy, or a "wunderkind" if you will. What Mozart did and had was this novelty and innovativeness around him. And also, he had a cult of popularity around him which only music stars in the second half of the 20th century would have, and like quite a few of them, he died young and this definitely added to the popularity of his works.
    Actually I was going to leave the description blank as everybody knows Mozart.

    Another person I would add somewhere down on the list, by the way, would be Gregor Mendel for his contributions to genetics.
    I wasn't sure if he could be considered Austrian since his family was from Germany and he was born, lived and died in what is now the Czech Republic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Actually I was going to leave the description blank as everybody knows Mozart.

    I wasn't sure if he could be considered Austrian since his family was from Germany and he was born, lived and died in what is now the Czech Republic.
    Both valid points. :)

    I suppose however that you have the same issue with Mendel as with many other inhabitants of former Austria-Hungary.

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    oups sorry i am covered

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