Christian Thomasius

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Wolff did not therefore follow the voluntarist tradition of natural law, which was characteristic of Germany's two other famous natural jurists of the early Enlightenment--Samuel Pufendorf and Christian Thomasius. The laws of nature, Wolff argued, were not just because God had willed them; rather, God had willed them because they were just.
Ian Hunter has a chapter on the uses of natural law in early modern Germany (concentrating on Christian Thomasius (1655--1728), who suffered much criticism from his home University of Leipzig).
Chapter one offers a short preliminary discussion of Kant's project, while chapter two gives an excellent survey of its cultural and philosophical context, demonstrating to what extent Kant was indebted not only to well-known figures like Newton, Leibniz and Wolff, but also to unjustly ignored ones, such as Christian Thomasius, Alexander Baumgarten and Martin Knutzen (Christian August Crusius should be added here).
wrote, another natural law theorist, Christian Thomasius (16551728),
Natural law is necessarily denied by every form of skepticism and agnosticism as for instance developed by Christian Thomasius (1655-1728).
Here, the Hobbesian story of the sovereignty pact and the realist historiography of secular sovereignty as a solution to religious civil war were powerfully elaborated by political jurists such as Samuel Pufendorf and Christian Thomasius. (6) In their role as political and juristic advisers to Protestant sovereigns, such thinkers used these histories as weapons against theocratic political theology--Protestant and Catholic--and as instruments for the secularization of confessional political orders.
(10) In Germany, gallantry's most perceptive theorist was no doubt lawyer, publicist, and philosopher Christian Thomasius. To be gallant and modern, Thomasius recognized, demanded the cultivation of the vernacular--German as well as French.
He also relied on enlightened Protestant criticism such as that of Balthasar Bekker, Christian Thomasius, Peter Eberhard, and Johann David Michaelis.
Here, however, it plays no part: the name of Erasmus is not even mentioned, and Christian Thomasius and Friedrich Christian Bucher (neither of them mentioned in Busch's list of sources) are the earliest German authors to be drawn to our attention in the understandably somewhat unfocused chapter in which he sets about the complex task of tracing the origins of the 'laugh' motif.
Vossius and Christian Thomasius come in for special consideration here, as do a number of others, including Brucker, who, despite stigmatizing late ancient eclecticism in his work, is happily eclectic himself, explicitly paying attention to external as well as internal dimensions of the history of philosophy.
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