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Christian Wolff (philosopher)
Christian Wolff (less correctly Wolf, ; also known as Wolfius; ennobled as Christian Freiherr von Wolff in 1745; 24 January 1679 – 9 April 1754) was a German philosopher. Wolff is characterized as the most eminent German philosopher between Leibniz and Kant. His life work spanned almost every scholarly subject of his time, displayed and unfolded according to his demonstrative-deductive, mathematical method, which perhaps represents the peak of Enlightenment rationality in Germany. Following Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Wolff also wrote in German as his primary language of scholarly instruction and research, although he did translate his works into Latin for his transnational European audience. A founding father of, among other fields, economics and public administration as academic disciplines, he concentrated especially in these fields, giving advice on practical matters to people in government, and stressing the professional nature of university education. Life Wolff was ...
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Western Philosophy
Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with the ancient Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics. The word ''philosophy'' itself originated from the Ancient Greek (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom" grc, φιλεῖν , "to love" and σοφία '' sophía'', "wisdom"). History Ancient The scope of ancient Western philosophy included the problems of philosophy as they are understood today; but it also included many other disciplines, such as pure mathematics and natural sciences such as physics, astronomy, and biology (Aristotle, for example, wrote on all of these topics). Pre-Socratics The pre-Socratic philosophers were interested in cosmology; the nature and origin of the universe, while rejecting mythical answers to such questions. They were specifically interested in the (the cause or first principle) of the w ...
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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz . ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist and diplomat. He is one of the most prominent figures in both the history of philosophy and the history of mathematics. He wrote works on philosophy, theology, ethics, politics, law, history and philology. Leibniz also made major contributions to physics and technology, and anticipated notions that surfaced much later in probability theory, biology, medicine, geology, psychology, linguistics and computer science. In addition, he contributed to the field of library science: while serving as overseer of the Wolfenbüttel library in Germany, he devised a cataloging system that would have served as a guide for many of Europe's largest libraries. Leibniz's contributions to this vast array of subjects were scattered in various learned journals, in tens of thousands of letters and in unpublished manuscripts. He wrote in several languages, primarily in L ...
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Emer De Vattel
Emer (Emmerich) de Vattel ( 25 April 171428 December 1767) was an international lawyer. He was born in Couvet in the Principality of Neuchâtel (now a canton part of Switzerland but part of Prussia at the time) in 1714 and died in 1767. He was largely influenced by Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius. Vattel's work profoundly influenced the development of international law. He is most famous for his 1758 work '' The Law of Nations''. This work was his claim to fame and won him enough prestige to be appointed as a councilor to the court of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony. Vattel combined naturalist legal reasoning and positivist legal reasoning. Early life and career The son of a Protestant minister, Vattel was born at Couvet, Neuchâtel, on the 25th of April 1714. He studied classics and philosophy at Basel and Geneva. During his early years his favorite pursuit was philosophy and, having carefully studied the works of Leibniz and Christian Wolff, he published in 1741 a defence of Lei ...
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Johannes Nikolaus Tetens
Johannes Nikolaus Tetens (also Johann; da, Johan Nicolai Tetens; 16 September 1736 – 17 August 1807) was a German- Danish philosopher, statistician and scientist. He has been called the "German Locke," on the basis of a comparison of his major work ''Philosophische Versuche über die menschliche Natur und ihre Entwickelung'' (1777) with the work of John Locke. He is considered to have been an influence on Immanuel Kant. Biography Tetens was born 1736 in Tetenbüll/Tetenbøl in the Danish Duchy of Schleswig. He studied mathematics and physics at the University of Rostock and the University of Copenhagen. He acquired an MA in 1759 and his PhD in 1760. From 1760 to 1765, he taught philosophy and physics ("natural philosophy" at that time) at the (in Bützow, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). During this decade, he wrote many treatises on various subjects, ranging from the color of the sky to the existence of God through the origins of languages (see e. g. references in Johann C ...
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Georg Bernhard Bilfinger
Georg Bernhard Bilfinger (23 January 1693 – 18 February 1750), German philosopher, mathematician and statesman, son of a Lutheran minister. Life He was born at Cannstatt in the Duchy of Württemberg. As a boy he showed great aptitude for study, and at first devoted himself to theology, but under the influence of Christian Wolff's writings he took up mathematics and philosophy on the lines of Wolff and Gottfried Leibniz. Returning to theology, he attempted to connect it with philosophy in a treatise, ''Dilucidationes philosophicae, de deo, anima humana, mundo'' (Tübingen, 1725, 1746, 1768). This work contains nothing original but giving a clear representation of Wolff's philosophy. It met with great success, and the author was appointed to the office of preacher at the castle of Tübingen and of reader in the school of theology. In 1721, after two years study under Wolff, he became professor of philosophy at Halle, and in 1724 professor of mathematics. His friends at Tübing ...
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Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten
Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (; ; 17 July 1714 – 27 MayJan LekschasBaumgarten Family'' 1762) was a German philosopher. He was a brother to theologian Siegmund Jakob Baumgarten (1706–1757). Biography Baumgarten was born in Berlin as the fifth of seven sons of the pietist pastor of the garrison, Jacob Baumgarten, and of his wife Rosina Elisabeth. Both his parents died early, and he was taught by Martin Georg Christgau where he learned Hebrew and became interested in Latin poetry. In 1733, during his formal studies at the University of Halle, he attended lectures on the philosophy of Christian Wolff by at the University of Jena. Philosophical work While the meanings of words often change as a result of cultural developments, Baumgarten's reappraisal of aesthetics is often seen as a key moment in the development of aesthetic philosophy. Previously the word ''aesthetics'' had merely meant "sensibility" or "responsiveness to stimulation of the senses" in its use by ancient ...
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Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer ( , ; 22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work ''The World as Will and Representation'' (expanded in 1844), which characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind noumenal will. Building on the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that rejected the contemporaneous ideas of German idealism. He was among the first thinkers in Western philosophy to share and affirm significant tenets of Indian philosophy, such as asceticism, denial of the self, and the notion of the world-as-appearance. His work has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism. Though his work failed to garner substantial attention during his lifetime, Schopenhauer had a posthumous impact across various disciplines, including philosophy, literature, and science. His writing on aesthetics, morality, and ps ...
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Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard ( , , ; 5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish theologian, philosopher, poet, social critic, and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christianity, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony, and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, and thought that Swedenborg, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hans Christian Andersen were all "understood" far too quickly by "scholars". Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences betwe ...
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Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, Kant argued that space and time are mere "forms of intuition" which structure all experience, and therefore that, while " things-in-themselves" exist and contribute to experience, they are nonetheless distinct from the objects of experience. From this it follows that the objects of experience are mere "appearances", and that the nature of things as they are in themselves is unknowable to us. In an attempt to counter the skepticism he found in the writings of philosopher David Hume, he wrote the '' Critique of Pure Reason'' (1781/1787), one of his most well-known works. In it, he developed his theory of ...
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Wang Yangming
Wang Shouren (, 26 October 1472 – 9 January 1529), courtesy name Bo'an (), art name Yangmingzi (), usually referred to as Wang Yangming (), was a Chinese calligrapher, general, philosopher, politician, and writer during the Ming dynasty. After Zhu Xi, he is commonly regarded as the most important Neo-Confucian thinker, for his interpretations of Confucianism that denied the rationalist dualism of the orthodox philosophy of Zhu Xi. Wang and Lu Xiangshan are regarded as the founders as the Lu–Wang school, or the School of the Mind. In China, Japan, and Western countries, he is known by his honorific name rather than his private name. Life and times Wang was born in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, to a scholarly family with a tradition of bureaucratic service. His father, Wang Hua, was first (''Zhuangyuan'', 狀元) in the Imperial Examination of 1481, and rose to become the vice-minister of the Ministry of Rites, but was later demoted and subsequently expelled from gov ...
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Zhu Xi
Zhu Xi (; ; October 18, 1130 – April 23, 1200), formerly romanized Chu Hsi, was a Chinese calligrapher, historian, philosopher, poet, and politician during the Song dynasty. Zhu was influential in the development of Neo-Confucianism. He contributed greatly to Chinese philosophy and fundamentally reshaped the Chinese worldview. His works include his editing of and commentaries to the Four Books (which later formed the curriculum of the civil service exam in Imperial China from 1313 to 1905), his writings on the process of the "investigation of things" (), and his development of meditation as a method for self-cultivation. He was a scholar with a wide learning in the classics, commentaries, histories and other writings of his predecessors. In his lifetime he was able to serve multiple times as a government official, although he avoided public office for most of his adult life. He also wrote, compiled and edited almost a hundred books and corresponded with dozens of other scho ...
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Confucius
Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; – ) was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period who is traditionally considered the paragon of Chinese sages. Confucius's teachings and philosophy underpin East Asian culture and society, remaining influential across China and East Asia to this day. Confucius considered himself a transmitter for the values of earlier periods which he claimed had been abandoned in his time. His philosophical teachings, called Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity. His followers competed with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era, only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. After the collapse of Qin and the victory of Han over Chu, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction in the new government. During the Tan ...
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