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The Thomasians

Budde and Lange, both ultimately Professors of Theology at Jena and Halle respectively, developed Thomasius's thought in a theological (pietist) direction. That is to say, both, and Lange more so than Budde, emphasized the need for revelation to a greater extent that Thomasius had done, as they also claimed that the source of evil was the will and that the root cause of evil was original sin. Though Thomasius could be found to hold these views as well, particularly during the completion of his Application of Moral Theory, their difference from Thomasius lies in the emphasis they placed on these views. Moreover, in his major work, Medicina Mentis, Lange devoted a great deal of attention to demonstrating how the ill or corrupt will and mind might be healed.

It is interesting that there were differences not just from the theological dimension of Thomasius's thought, but also in the philosophical respect. Here it is particularly noteworthy that in his philosophical texts Budde sought a systematic whole and was not content to adopt Thomasius's more eclectic style. Though he claimed to be an eclectic, he thought this did not entail that he could not provide a unified whole. That whole is provided by his three books in philosophy. The theoretical philosophy can be found in the Institutiones Philosophiae Eclecticae that appeared in two parts in Halle in 1703. The two parts are the “Elementa philosophiae theoreticae,” roughly a metaphysics, and the “Elementa philosophiae instrumentalis,” Budde's logic. Along with the earlier work in practical philosophy, theElementae Philosophiae Practicae, originally published in 1697 but significantly revised for the 1703 edition, these texts constitute Budde's philosophical system.

Rüdiger, Hoffmann, and Crusius were related through teacher-student relationships with Rüdiger teaching Hoffmann who then taught Crusius. See below (Disputes) for an account of the role they, and Crusius in particular, played in the disagreement of the Thomasians with Wolff.

3.3 The Wolffians

Wolff's enlightenment rationalism had made a decisive impact on the philosophical scene in Germany in the 1720s. Over the middle years of the 18thcentury, and against objections from both Thomasians and pietism, Wolffianism took hold, at least for a time. Certainly, the events that led to his expulsion from Halle contributed to his notoriety and fame. Philosophers took up his cause in virtually all the universities in Eastern and Northern Germany, occasionally developing his philosophical system in different directions. Among the chief representatives of Wolffianism were, in Leipzig, J. C. Gottsched (1700-1766), in Frankfurt am Main, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714-62) and H. F. Meier, who were instrumental in founding Aesthetics, in Königsberg, Kant's teacher Martin Knutsen (1713-51). Wolffianism also played a central role in the early criticisms of Kant's critical philosophy. There it was represented primarily by Eberhard, Maaß, and Schwab and in the major review journal at the time, Nicolai's Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek. (See Allison, The Kant-Eberhard Controversy). There can be no question that Wolffianism dominated German universities during the 1720s to the 1740s, though it disintegrated to some extent soon after his death in 1754 with, among other things, the development of aesthetics.

Date: 2014-12-21; view: 634

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Context, Influences and Disciples | Disputes
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