Christian Thomasius

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Thomasius, Christian


Born Jan. 1, 1655, in Leipzig; died Sept. 23, 1728, in Halle. German jurist, Enlightenment philosopher, and educator; proponent of natural law.

Thomasius taught at the universities of Leipzig and Halle. In 1688 he founded the first scientific journal in the German language. Thomasius believed that the law’s immediate task was to free the state from the influence of religion and to render secular knowledge independent of theology and medieval Scholasticism. He was among the first to point out the distinction between morality and law and held that the observance of law should be ensured by the state. His principal work was Fundamenta iuris naturae et gentium (1705).