Maimon, Salomon

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Maimon, Salomon

(mī`môn), c.1754–1800, German philosopher, b. Polish Lithuania. He received a Jewish religious education and was influenced by the Talmudic tradition and particularly by Maimonides. Wandering through Germany, he reached Berlin c.1779 and later went to school in Hamburg. An important critic of Immanuel KantKant, Immanuel
, 1724–1804, German metaphysician, one of the greatest figures in philosophy, b. Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Early Life and Works
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, Maimon argued that the "thing in itself" was to be understood not as an external entity underlying phenomena but as something residing in consciousness, a limit of the possible cognition of an object. Maimon posited the idea of an infinite reason, which he sometimes understood as a limit of understanding but tended to regard as an ontological entity.


See his autobiography (tr. by J. C. Murray, 1946); studies by S. Atlas (1964) and S. H. Bergman (tr. 1967).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maimon, Salomon


(pseudonym of Salomon Heiman). Born 1753 (1754), in Mirts (Mir), near Nesvizh, present-day Byelorussian SSR; died Nov. 22, 1800, in Nieder-Siegersdorf, Silesia. Self-taught philospher, subjective idealist.

Maimon was educated in the Judaic tradition; he became an admirer of the philosophy of Maimonides and as a result changed his surname. In 1777 he settled in Prussia, where he made contact with M. Mendelssohn. Maimon criticized the philosophy of Kant; in particular, he rejected Kant’s “thing-in-itself,” attacking this concept from a position close to the idealistic viewpoints of F. H. Jacobi. Maimon formulated a “principle of determinacy” as the fundamental law of logic.


Versuch über die Transcendentalphilosophie. Berlin, 1790.
Versuch einer neuen Logik oder Theorie des Denkens. Berlin, 1794. New edition: Berlin, 1911.
Lebensgeschichte, vols. 1-2. Berlin, 1911. (Russian translation in Evreis kaia biblioteka, vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1871-72.)


Fisher, K. Istoriia novoi filosofii, vol. 6, St. Petersburg, 1909. Chapters 6-7.
lakovenko, B. “Filosofskie kontseptsii S. Maimona.” Voprosy filosofii i psikhologii, book 4 (p. 114); book 5 (p. 115), 1912.
Atlas, S. From Critical to Speculative Idealism: The Philosophy of S . Maimon. The Hague, 1964.
Bergman, S. H. The Philosophy of S. Maimon. Jerusalem, 1967.
Kozlowski, R. Salomon Maimon jako krytyk i kontynuator filozofii. Poznań, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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