Samuel von Pufendorf

(redirected from Pufendorf)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Pufendorf, Samuel von


Born Jan. 8, 1632, in Dorf-chemnitz; died Oct. 2, 1694, in Berlin. Representative of the 17th-century Enlightenment in Germany.

Pufendorf taught at a number of Western European universities and occupied the first chair of natural law in Europe, which was established at the University of Heidelberg. He lived in Sweden for many years, where he taught at the University of Lund.

Pufendorf accepted the concepts of natural law elaborated by H. Grotius and T. Hobbes, but he interpreted these concepts from the point of view of the German bourgeoisie, which was incapable of waging a decisive struggle against feudalism. He spoke out against theological scholasticism and against intervention by the church in affairs of state, and he criticized the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.” At the same time, however, he justified the existence of absolutism and considered slavery and serfdom to be legitimate phenomena. Pufendorf is the author of many works on jurisprudence and history. Most of them were written in Latin and later translated into various European languages.


Elementorum jurisprudence universalis libri duo. The Hague, 1660.
De jure naturae et gentium, libri octo. Lund, 1672.
In Russian translation:
Vvedenie v istoriiu evropeiskuiu. … St. Petersburg, 1718 (reissued, St. Petersburg, 1723).
O dolzhnosti cheloveka i grazhdanina po zakonu estestvennomu …. St. Petersburg, 1726.


Istoriia politicheskikh uchenii. Moscow, 1960. Pages238–42.
References in periodicals archive ?
Such philosophical luminaries as Leibniz, Grotius, Pufendorf, Schopenhauer, and Heidegger, all found cite him Francisco Suarez as a source of inspiration and influence with respect to their own works.
This lent to human law an authoritative character that thinkers like Samuel von Pufendorf would expand.
A contemporary, the Saxon Samuel Pufendorf (1632-94), was much studied at Schonbriinn Palace, even by Prince Joseph (II) (Gross 1973, 311-28).
Additionally, McDaniel addresses how Ferguson's philosophy was shaped by certain humanist modes of thought, and key seventeenth-century thinkers like Bayle, Pufendorf, and especially Hobbes.
Pufendorf holds that moral obedience is directed to God alone, but Darwall argues that "complying with our obligations to God consequently requires us to see ourselves as obligated to one another.
In her magnificent monograph on the School of Salamanca, Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson drew the direct lines of influence that the Spanish Neo-Scholastics had on the evolution of economics, from seventeenth-century thinkers like Grotius, Pufendorf, and Hutcheson to philosophes like Galiani, Condillac, and Turgot ([1952] 2009, pp.
Fall 2007, at 7, 17; see also Samuel Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen According to Natural Law 61 (James Tully ed.
I would recommend to your perusal Grotius, Pufendorf, Locke, Montesquieu and Burlemaqui.
125) An alternative theory, as argued by Merio Scattola, locates an intellectual revolution not in Grotius but in Samuel Pufendorf (1632-1694) and Christian Thomasius (1655-1728), who are said to have constructed a novel moral epistemology independent of theology and set over against the perspective of the older scholasticism.
2 Samuel Pufendorf, De Jure Naturae et Gentium Libri Octo bk.
Central to the argument is the considerations of iuirisprudentia and modern natural law as founded by Hugo Grotius and Samuel van Pufendorf in relation to such themes as religious pluralism in the State; the definition of the obligations and limits of legislation, and the rights of sovereign power in religion; the rejection of the confessional State and the use of force against revolutionary movements of the human conscience; the justification of the right to resist; and the elaboration of the characteristics and limits of the new notion of civil tolerance (derived from the voluntaristic and anti-Hobbesian perspective of Barbeyrac in his commentary on Pufendorf using Locke's work and the theory of obligation).