Jakob Friedrich Fries

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fries, Jakob Friedrich


Born Aug. 23, 1773, in Barby, Saxony; died Aug. 10, 1843, in Jena. German idealist philosopher.

Fries became a professor in Jena in 1805, later taking a professorship in Heidelberg and returning to Jena in 1816. He was deprived of his professorship in Jena from 1818 to 1824 for having participated in the student movement. Fries interpreted the philosophy of I. Kant in the spirit of psychologism and held that the a priori elements of cognition could be established empirically. He regarded psychological “anthropology” as the basis of philosophy, and he viewed the world as an organism constructed according to the laws of mechanics and mathematics. Fries influenced L. Nelson, who founded the Neo-Friesian school.


Wissen, Glauben und Ahnung, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1931.
Neue oder anthropologische Kritik der Vernunft, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Berlin, 1935.
Handbuch der praktischen Philosophie, vols. 1–2. Heidelberg, 1817–32.
Handbuch der psychischen Anthropologie, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Jena, 1837–39.


Henke, E. L. T. Jakob Friedrich Fries. Leipzig, 1867.
Bloching, K. H. Jakob Friedrich Fries: Philosophie als Theorie der Subjektivität. [Münster] 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.