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(1655 - 1728)
German Educator, Writer and Jurist
- University of Frankfurt an der Oder, Law degree (1679)
- Professor of jurisprudence at University of Halle (1694-1724)
- Direktor (President), University of Halle (1710-1728)
- Modern University - teaching in common language
Ideas and Interests
Thomasius's early career was spent in Leipzig as an advocate, lecturer,
and founder of a controversial publication, Monatsgesprache (Monthly
Converstations). He made it his cause to criticize Aristotelianism, orthodox
Lutheranism, and Roman jurisprudence, and the divine right of kingship.
After leaving Saxon in 1690, he was instrumental in the founding of the
University of Halle.
The University of Halle was founded in 1694 as a center for the Lutheran
Party. Christian Thomasius was instrumental in making Halle the first
modern University by lecturing in the vernacular (German) instead of Latin.
Under the influence of Thomasius and another teacher, Francke, Halle became
the pacesetter of academic thought and theology in Germany.
Thomasius was the principal philosophical writer of the beginning stage
of German Enlightenment. He is best known for his innovative endeavor
to delineate the distinction between law and morality. "[H]is claim that
there is a sphere of right action not called for by law or by politeness
has become a central feature of the modern conception of morality (Becker,
p. 1248)." By the time of his death in 1728, Thomasius had established
himself as a towering cultural figure, with a public philosophy promoting
- Einleitungzu der Vernunft-Lehre (1691)
- Fundamenta Juris Naturae et Gentium (1705)
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Image reprinted from Fleischmann, M. (1931). Christian Thomasius: Leben un Lebenswerk. Germany: Max Neimeyer
Thursday, 14-Nov-2013 04:39:21 EST