Moses Mendelssohn

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Mendelssohn, Moses


Born Sept. 6, 1729, in Dessau; died Jan. 4, 1786, in Berlin. German idealist philosopher and representative of the moderate wing of the German Enlightenment.

Mendelssohn came to Berlin in 1742, subsequently becoming a tutor to the children of a manufacturer and later his book-keeper. Together with G. E. Lessing, Mendelssohn wrote Pope the Metaphysician, published anonymously in 1755, defending Leibniz’ theodicy against the criticism of the English poet A. Pope. Mendelssohn was one of the most important popularizers of the teachings of Leibniz and C. Wolff and attacked Voltaire’s critique of Leibniz’ theodicy. In his treatises on the existence of god (Morgenstunden, 1785) and the immortality of the soul he added moral and theological proof to the arguments of Plato and Leibniz (Phaedo, or on the Immortality of the Soul, 1767; Russian translation, 1811). He called for toleration and religious freedom and advocated the separation of church and state. The controversy between Mendelssohn and F. Jacobi over Lessing’s Spinozism led to a dispute about Spinoza’s pantheism, in which many German philosophers of the time became involved.


Gesammelte Schriften: Jubilaumsausgabe, vols. 1-16. Berlin, 1929.
Schriften zur Philosophic, Asthetik und Apologetik, vols. 1-2. Hildesheim, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Rassuzhdenie o dukhovnom svoistve dushi chelovecheskoL Moscow, 1806.


Gulyga, A. V. Iz istorii nemetskogo materializma. Moscow, 1962.
Kayserling, M. M. Mendelssohn: Sein Leben und Wirken, 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1888.
Bamberger, F. Die geistige Gestalt M. Mendelssohns. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1929.
Baumgardt, D. Spinosa und Mendelssohn. Berlin, 1932.
Nador, G. M. Mendelssohn. Hannover, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
Among other things, it excludes all the previous migrants in German history, including Moses Mendelssohn, just as it racializes those who arrived after 1955, the date of the Federal Republic's first labor migration accord, with Italy.
In "Between Two Worlds," Kirsch follows the rocky road of the Jewish Enlightenment in eighteenth-century Germany, as seen in the Autobiography of Solomon Maimon (1753-1800) and Jerusalem by Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786).
The author explores 18 classics of Jewish literature to illustrate Jewish thought and experience over a period of 2,500 years: the books of Deuteronomy and Esther, The Exposition of Laws by Philo of Alexandria, The Jewish War by Flavius Josephus, Pirkei Avot, the Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, the Kuzari by Yehuda Halevi, The Guide of the Perplexed by Moses Maimonides, the Zohar, the Tsenerene and the Memoirs of GlEckel of Hameln, Theological-Political Treatise by Baruch Spinoza, the Autobiography of Solomon Maimon, Jerusalem by Moses Mendelssohn, the Tales of Nachman of Bratslav, The Jewish State and Old New Land by Theodor Herzl, and Tevye the Dairyman by Sholem Aleichem.
1) No es comun nacer en el seno de una familia ilustre (mas bien es al reves); tan asi, que el abuelo del compositor fue ni mas ni menos que el celebre filosofo Moses Mendelssohn, defensor imperterrito de los derechos civiles de los judios.
Beginning with Moses Mendelssohn (chapter one) and ending with Hannah Arendt, he lays out "the emergence of a liberal Jewish ethos" (6) as he travels through common stops along the way: Wissenschaft des Judentums, Leopold Zunz, Heinrich Heine, and Heinrich Graetz (chapter two), Abraham Geiger (chapter three), and Hermann Cohen (chapter four).
Since the objects of censorship have included such figures as Maimonides, Bahya ibn Pakuda, Rashi, Naphtali Herz Wessely, Moses Mendelssohn, the Hatam Sofer, Samson Raphael Hirsch, A.
Julius Schoeps from the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies called it "a unique scandal" that the Interior Ministry did not include any Jewish scientists or community leaders on the commission it created to fight anti-Semitism and support Jewish life in Germany.
However, Jews exhibited such an incomparable creativity in German philosophy since the days of Moses Mendelssohn that the proportional contributions of both sides to the shared objective mind are inseparably fused.
Indebted to Spinoza, Moses Mendelssohn, the father of the Jewish Enlightenment, however, did not follow him in his radical rationalism.
retraces the steps by which Strauss originally "aimed at the advancement of knowledge about Maimonides" (2) only for help in clarifying the issues raised by Immanuel Kant and Moses Mendelssohn in their eighteenth-century debate over the question, What is "enlightenment?
Ari Joskowicz, who teaches at Vanderbilt University, begins his analysis with the late eighteenth century, finding dist inctly critical views of Catholicism in Moses Mendelssohn, for example, and continues his account to the first decade of the twentieth century.
Only with the advent of political and social emancipation and the so-called Jewish Haskalah (Enlightenment) in the late 18th Century, were Jews able to enter what Moses Mendelssohn memorably called the 'broad highway of human culture'; only then did the issue of what constituted Jewish art become problematic.