Christian Wolff


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Wolff, Christian

 

Born Jan. 24, 1679, in Breslau; died Apr. 9, 1754, in Halle. German philosopher; representative of rationalism. Professor of mathematics and philosophy at Halle (1706-23 and from 1740) and Marburg (1723-40), where M. V. Lomonosov was among those who attended his lectures.

Wolff was mainly a popularizer and systematizer of the ideas of G. Leibniz; on the basis of these ideas he strove to work out a unified and all-encompassing system of knowledge. Wolff believed that physics studies bodies—“simple substances” whose motion is explained by mechanical causality; that pneumatology studies the activity of spirits; mathematics, the magnitude of objects; ethics, natural law; and politics, the will as a property of the soul. The task of First Philosophy (or ontology) was to apprehend the universal connection of all spiritual and corporeal essences; Wolff interpreted this connection as being aimed at the fulfillment of that which exists, which was predetermined by god. Reducing the beautiful to intellectual introspection of sensory perception, Wolff gave impetus to the formulation of aesthetics (A. Baumgarten was one of his students). Wolff divided psychology into empirical and rational branches; the first examines the soul from the point of view of its connection with the body, while the second is concerned with the unchangeable, immortal soul. Wolff was a proponent of enlightened absolutism. As a follower of H. Grotius, he defended the theory of natural law; Wolff wrote a number of works on international public law. The philosophy of Wolff and his school was dominant in German universities until the appearance of the “critical philosophy” of Kant and was also widespread in other countries. Wolffs works in German did much to determine German philosophical terminology.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Razumnye mysli o silakh chelovecheskogo razuma i ikh ispravnom upotreblenii v poznanii pravdy. St. Petersburg, 1765.

REFERENCES

Istoriia filosofii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1943. Pages 13-16.
Utitz, E. Chr. Wolff. Halle, 1929.
Campo, M. Chr. Wolff e il razionalismo precritico, vols. 1-2. Milan, 1939.
Schöffler, H. Deutsche s Geistesleben zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung von M. Opitz zu Chr. Wolff, 2nd ed. Frankfurt am Main, 1956.

B. S. RABBOT

References in periodicals archive ?
But of course, you have to leave halfway through, as you have a lesson with Christian Wolff immediately followed by a rehearsal for your piece.
Yet it was the memories and emotions that this and the following pieces, Sailing by Christian Wolff and Beat Generation Ballads by Michael Finnissy, conjured up that made the set so remarkable, even to someone with a relatively untrained classical ear as myself.
In thought and word, Germany's huge heritage includes the works of Luther, Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche, Kant, Brecht, Max Weber, Schopenhur, Christian Wolff, Friedreich Von Schelling, Immanuel Kant, George Wilhelm Friedrich and Thomas Mann.
Christian Wolff, University of Regensburg: "With many horror games on the market, the promise of thrill and suspense often is not matched by the gaming experience as events are foreseeable.
This slim volume devoted to the life and work of the avant-garde composer Christian Wolff is past due.
The choice of composers is quite eclectic: previous volumes were devoted to Rudolf Friml, Dudley Buck, William Grant Still, John Cage, and Lou Harrison, with forthcoming volumes on the music of Carla Bley, Robert Ashley, and Christian Wolff.
In the chapter on 'The Many Ways of Searching the Web Together: A Comparison of Social Search Engines', the authors Manuel Burghardt, Markus Heckner and Christian Wolff have described the social web in the modern context with the discussion on social web characteristics.
A friend of Lessing and indebted to Christian Wolff, Mendelssohn drew on aspects of the German, Dutch, and English enlightenments, and in his writings we find the same practical impulses toward a reasonable, ethically oriented interpretation of the Bible as we found in Protestantism.
A lot of people are rather nonchalant about it," says Christian Wolff, a German development researcher, living in Hyderabad, who finds it amazing how Indians are not as concerned about their privacy as they should be.
The spectrum reached from the rationalist philosophical school of Christian Wolff, a man who confessed to owe more to Aquinas than to Leibniz (59 n.
The division between general and special metaphysics, which has been associated with Christian Wolff, is generally regarded as foundational for the ontotheological interpretation of Aristotle and problems with regard to the unity of Aristotelian metaphysics.
VALENCIA - CalArts will award honorary degrees during Friday's graduation to dancer, choreographer and educator Daniel Nagrin and composer and classics scholar Christian Wolff.

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