About this topic
Summary This category concerns German philosophy in the 17th and 18th century. Though predating the period of "classical German philosophy", this is an enormously important period in the history of German thought, and one which saw the publication of the first philosophical texts in the German language. Works in this category cover, among other figures and topics, Leibniz, German Schulphilosophie, Pietistic thought, the Pantheismusstreit, Kant, and the early reception of Kant's Critical idealism. 
Key works Key works from this period (available in English translation) include Kant's first, second, and third Critiques, Mendelssohn's Morning Hours, Christian Wolff's German Metaphysics, A. G. Baumgarten's Metaphysics, and C. A. Crusius' Sketch of the Necessary Truths of Reason (translations of selections from these latter texts can be found in Watkins 2009).
Introductions The best overview of German thought in this period is Beck's magisterial  Early German Philosophy. Guyer 1992 and Guyer 2006 are useful introductions to Kant's thought in particular, and Beiser 1987 offers an engaging account of the debates and figures surrounding the Pantheismusstreit in the later 18th century.
Related categories
Immanuel Kant (30,570 | 8,635)
Kant: Metaphysics and Epistemology (8,922 | 3,300)

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Alexander Baumgarten
  1. Kant’s Debt to Baumgarten in His Religious (Un-)Grounding of Ethics.Toshiro Osawa - 2018 - Kant Yearbook 10 (1):105-123.
    Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s ethics had a significant influence on the formation of Kant’s ethics. The extent of this influence, however, has not been sufficiently investigated by existing Kant scholarship. Filling this gap, this paper aims to reveal Baumgarten’s substantial influence on the formation of Kant’s ethics, particularly the complex ways in which Kant’s ethics retains the concept of God as crucial for ensuring that his ethics persist under the scrutiny of reason. In a systematic comparison of the ethics of the (...)
  2. Über Die Unsterblichkeit der Seele.Corey W. Dyck & Georg Friedrich Meier (eds.) - forthcoming - Hildesheim: Olms.
    Meier’s Gedancken von dem Zustande der Seele nach dem Tode (Gedancken) deserves a prominent place among treatments of the immortality of the soul in 18th century German philosophy, both within and without the Wolffian tradition of rational psychology. It does not wilt next to Mendelssohn’s Phädon in its quality of expression, and might even be compared with Kant’s discussion in the Paralogisms chapter of his Kritik der reinen Vernunft in terms of the boldness of its argument and its philosophical rigour. (...)
  3. Wahrscheinliche Weltweisheit. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgartens Metaphysik des Erkennens und Handelns.Alexander Aichele - 2017 - Hamburg: Meiner.
    Die Untersuchung analysiert deswegen nach einem einleitenden Vorschlag zur Bestimmung des Verhältnisses von Logik und Metaphysik im Anschluss an Leibniz Baumgartens Erkenntnistheorie in ihrer charakteristischen Komplementarität von Ästhetik und Logik, die das gesamte Feld aller möglichen Gewissheit, d. h. des Bewusstseins der Wahrheit der verschiedensten Erkenntnisse, abdecken. Darüber hinaus erörtert sie auch deren mögliche Gegenstände, nämlich die Beschaffenheit der Dinge, wie sie das Wissen Gottes als eine ideale Metaphysik enthielte. Auf der Grundlage einer Ontologie teilweise unbestimmer aktualer Existenz kommt Baumgarten (...)
  4. Anna-Maria C. Bartsch: Form Und Formalismus. Stationen der Ästhetik Bei Baumgarten, Kant Und Zimmermann, Würzburg 2017. [REVIEW]Martina Sauer - 2018 - Sehepunkte. Rezensionsjournal für Geschichtswissenschaften 18 (7/8).
  5. Clear and Distinct Ideas in Eighteenth Century Germany: Metaphysics, Logic, Aesthetics.Colin McQuillan - 2017 - In Manuel Sánchez-Rodríguez & Miguel Escribano (eds.), Leibniz en Dialogo. Seville: Themata.
  6. Naturalizing Aesthetics: Art and the Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision.William Seeley - 2006 - Journal of Visual Arts Practice 5 (3):195-213.
    Recent advances in out understanding of the cognitive neuroscience of perception have encouraged cognitive scientists and scientifically minded philosophers to turn their attention towards art and the problems of philosophical aesthetics. This cognitive turn does not represent an entirely novel paradigm in the study of art. Alexander Baumgarten originally introduced the term ‘aesthetics’ to refer to a science of perception. Artist’s formal methods are a means to cull the structural features necessary for constructing clear perceptual representations from the dense flux (...)
  7. Reflections on PoetryOn the Aesthetic Education of Man.Charles Edward Gauss, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Karl Aschenbrenner, William B. Holther, Friedrich Schiller & Reginald Snell - 1955 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 13 (4):537.
  8. The Emergence of Modern Aesthetic Theory: Religion and Morality in Enlightenment Germany and Scotland.Simon Grote - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    Broad in its geographic scope and yet grounded in original archival research, this book situates the inception of modern aesthetic theory – the philosophical analysis of art and beauty - in theological contexts that are crucial to explaining why it arose. Simon Grote presents seminal aesthetic theories of the German and Scottish Enlightenments as outgrowths of a quintessentially Enlightenment project: the search for a natural 'foundation of morality' and a means of helping naturally self-interested human beings transcend their own self-interest. (...)
  9. Baumgarten and Kant on Rational Theology: Deism, Theism, and the Role of Analogy.Brian Chance & Lawrence Pasternack - forthcoming - In Courtney Fugate (ed.), Kant's Lectures of Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
    In both his published works and lecture notes Kant distinguishes between Transcendental and Natural Theology, associating the former with Deism and the latter with Theism. The purpose of this paper is to explore these distinctions, particularly as they are shaped by Kant’s engagement with Baumgarten’s Philosophical Theology.
  10. Rationalism and Perfectionism.Stefano Bacin - 2017 - In Sacha Golob & Jens Timmermann (eds.), The Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 379-393.
    The chapter provides a brief survey of the moral views of some of the main writers advocating rationalist conceptions in philosophical ethics in Eighteenth-Century Britain and Germany, prior to Reid and Kant: Samuel Clarke, William Wollaston, John Balguy, Richard Price, Christian Wolff (along with his adversary Christian August Crusius), Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten.
  11. Kierkegaard’s Сoncept of the Аesthetics and Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten.Ihor Pasitschnyk - 2016 - Sententiae 34 (1):124-131.
  12. Alexander Baumgarten: Metaphysics. A Critical Translation with Kant’s Elucidations. Selected Notes, and Related Materials. Transl. And Ed. With an Introduction by Courtney D. Fugate and John Hymers. London/New Delhi/New York/Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2013. 471 P. ISBN 978-1-4411-3294-9. [REVIEW]Sophie Grapotte - 2017 - Kant-Studien 108 (1):152-155.
    Name der Zeitschrift: Kant-Studien Jahrgang: 108 Heft: 1 Seiten: 152-155.
  13. Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica.Angelica Nuzzo - 2006 - Journal of the History of Ideas 44:577-597.
    Angelica Nuzzo - Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:4 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.4 577-597 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica Angelica Nuzzo While philosophers since antiquity have offered reflections and theories on subjects such as the beautiful, the sublime, art, and its appreciation, "aesthetics" as a discipline in its own right dates back only to the second half of the eighteenth-century. We owe to (...)
  14. Reflections on Poetry.Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Karl Aschenbrenner, William B. Holther, Friedrich Schiller & Reginald Snell - 1955 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 13 (4):537-538.
  15. Forces and Causes in Kant’s Early Pre-Critical Writings.Eric Watkins - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (1):5-27.
    This paper considers Kant’s conception of force and causality in his early pre-Critical writings, arguing that this conception is best understood by way of contrast with his immediate predecessors, such as Christian Wolff, Alexander Baumgarten, Georg Friedrich Meier, Martin Knutzen, and Christian August Crusius, and in terms of the scientific context of natural philosophy at the time. Accordingly, in the True estimation Kant conceives of force in terms of activity rather than in terms of specific effects, such as motion. Kant’s (...)
  16. Baumgarten and Kant on Metaphysics.Courtney D. Fugate & John Hymers (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume explores the metaphysics of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten and its decisive influence on Immanuel Kant. Eleven specially written essays by leading scholars of German philosophy will boost further the growth of interest in Baumgarten as a key figure in the history of European thought.
  17. Kant’s Lectures on Ethics and Baumgarten’s Moral Philosophy.Stefano Bacin - 2015 - In Lara Denis & Oliver Sensen (eds.), Kant's Lectures on Ethics: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. pp. 15-33.
    The chapter shows how Kant’s ethical thought as reflected in the lectures, responds to Baumgarten’s works on moral philosophy. I argue that Kant chose Baumgarten’s textbooks for his classes for genuinely philosophical reasons. The thorough discussion of Baumgarten’s views provided Kant with important clues for developing an original position, even if mostly in opposition to Baumgarten. I illustrate this complex role of Baumgarten with a few significant examples, that also highlight some original aspects of Baumgarten’s position in comparison to Wolff’s: (...)
  18. Wie die Morgenröthe zwischen Nacht und Tag Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten und die Begründung der Kulturwissenschaften in Frankfurt an der Oder.Anselm Haverkamp - 2002 - Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft Und Geistesgeschichte 76 (1):3-26.
  19. Kant e i moralisti tedeschi. Wolff, Baumgarten, Crusius.Susanna Del Boca - 1937 - L. Loffredo.
  20. Der Begriff der Welt bei Wolff, Baumgarten, Crusius und Kant : eine Untersuchung zur Vorgeschichte von Kants Weltbegriff von 1770.Chang Won Kim - 2004 - Peter Lang.
    Richard Kroner hat 1921 sein bekanntes Werk Von Kant bis Hegel veröffentlicht. Das Gegenstück dazu, eine Darstellung unter dem Titel Von Wolff bis Kant, ist dagegen leider bis heute ein Desiderat der Forschung geblieben. Zumindest für einen wichtigen Teilaspekt, die Geschichte des Weltbegriffs, die schließlich in Kants Antinomienlehre kulminiert, leistet diese Arbeit eine bedeutsame Vorarbeit. Zugleich werden am Leitfaden dieses Schlüsselproblems aber auch Grundlinien der Gesamtentwicklung von Wolff bis Kant zumindest in Umrissen sichtbar.
  21. Ancient or Modern? Alexander G. Baumgarten and the Coming of Age of Aesthetics.Alessandro Nannini - 2015 - Filozofija I Društvo 26 (3):629-651.
  22. The Founding of Aesthetics in the German Enlightenment: The Art of Invention and the Invention of Art.Stefanie Buchenau - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    When, in 1735, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten added a new discipline to the philosophical system, he not only founded modern aesthetics but also contributed to shaping the modern concept of art or 'fine art'. In The Founding of Aesthetics in the German Enlightenment, Stefanie Buchenau offers a rich analysis and reconstruction of the origins of this new discipline in its wider context of German Enlightenment philosophy. Present-day scholars commonly regard Baumgarten's views as an imperfect prefiguration of Kantian and post-Kantian aesthetics, but (...)
  23. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: Background Source Materials.Eric Watkins (ed.) - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume provides English translations of texts that form the essential background to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Presenting the projects of Kant's predecessors and contemporaries in eighteenth-century Germany, it enables readers to understand the positions that Kant might have identified with 'pure reason', the criticisms of pure reason that had developed prior to Kant's, and alternative attempts at synthesizing empiricist elements within a rationalist framework. The volume contains chapters on Christian Wolff, Martin Knutzen, Alexander Baumgarten, Christian Crusius, Leonhard Euler, (...)
  24. Metaphysics: A Critical Translation with Kant's Elucidations, Selected Notes, and Related Materials.Courtney Fugate, John Hymers & Alexander Baumgarten - 2013 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    Available for the first time in English, this critical translation draws from the original seven Latin editions and Georg Friedrich Meier's 18th-century German translation. Together with a historical and philosophical introduction, extensive glossaries and notes, the text is supported by translations of Kant's elucidations and notes, Eberhard's insertions in the 1783 German edition and texts from the writings of Meier and Wolff. For scholars of Kant, the German Enlightenment and the history of metaphysics, Alexander Baumgarten's Metaphysics is an essential, authoritative (...)
  25. Alexander Baumgarten on the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Courtney D. Fugate - 2014 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 44.
    This paper defends the Principle of Sufficient Reason, taking Baumgarten as its guide. The primary aim is not to vindicate the principle, but rather to explore the kinds of resources Baumgarten originally thought sufficient to justify the PSR against its early opponents. The paper also considers Baumgarten's possible responses to Kant's pre-Critical objections to the proof of the PSR. The paper finds that Baumgarten possesses reasonable responses to all these objections. While the paper notes that in the absence of a (...)
  26. Kant's Critique of Baumgarten's Aesthetics.J. Colin McQuillan - 2015 - Idealistic Studies 45 (1).
    This article considers three objections Immanuel Kant raises against Alexander Baumgarten’s plan for a science of aesthetics at different points in his career. Although Kant’s objections appear to be contradictory, this article argues that the contradiction is the result of an anachronism in the composition of Kant’s Logic. When the contradiction is resolved, it becomes apparent that Kant’s main reason for rejecting Baumgarten’s aesthetics during the pre-critical period—the lack of a priori principles for a critique of taste—loses its force after (...)
  27. Ciencia del conocimiento sensible: principios racionalistas en la doctrina estética de Alexander Baumgarten.Pablo Chiuminatto - 2014 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 70:61-73.
  28. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten: Metaphysica = Metaphysik. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, übers., eingel. und hrsg. von Günter Gawlick und Lothar Kreimendahl. [REVIEW]Alexander Gunkel - 2015 - Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 68 (2):108-117.
  29. Early Modern Aesthetics.J. Colin McQuillan - 2015 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    A clear and concise account of the relationship between aesthetics and philosophy in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the development of aesthetics as a discipline in its own right.
  30. Baumgarten on Sensible Perfection.J. Colin McQuillan - 2014 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 44.
    One of the most important concepts Baumgarten introduces in his Reflections on Poetry is the concept of sensible perfection. It is surprising that Baumgarten does not elaborate upon this concept in his Metaphysics, since it plays such an important role in the new science of aesthetics that he proposes at the end of the Reflections on Poetry and then further develops in the Aesthetics. This article considers the significance of the absence of sensible perfection from the Metaphysics and its implications (...)
  31. Vom Ich zur Welt: Formen der Weltbeziehung in Kants Anthropologie.Riccardo Martinelli - 2013 - In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 413-424.
    This essay focuses on the relation between man and the world in Kant’s anthropology. Within Baumgarten’s Metaphysica, used as a manual by Kant for his lessons, empirical psychology is situated between cosmology and rational psychology. However, this view is untenable for Kant, at least after the first Critique. Consequently, whereas Baumgarten explains, for instance, obscure ideas referring to the bodily position in the world, Kant’s pragmatic approach excludes this. Yet, the concept of «Welt» retains paramount importance within Kant’s Anthropology. The (...)
  32. Between Wolffianism and Pietism: Baumgarten's Rational Psychology.Corey W. Dyck - forthcoming - In Courtney Fugate & John Hymers (eds.), Baumgarten and Kant on Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, I consider Baumgarten’s views on the soul in the context of the Pietist critique of Wolff’s rational psychology. My primary aim is to account for the largely unacknowledged differences between Wolff’s and Baumgarten’s rational psychology, though I also hope to show that, in some cases, the Pietists were rather more perceptive in their reading of Wolff than they are typically given credit for as their criticisms frequently succeed in drawing attention to significant omissions in Wolff’s discussion.
  33. Ciencia Del Conocimiento Sensible: Principios Racionalistas En la Estética de Alexander Baumgarten.Pablo Chiuminatto - 2014 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 70:61-73.
    A mediados del siglo XVIII, A. Baumgarten estableció una “ciencia del conocimiento sensible ” o estética. Su propuesta ampliaba el legado de Leibniz y Wolff, profundizaba la noción de experiencia y asumía el esquema tradicional de la Idea que Leibniz criticó a Descartes, pero considerando la acepción de ideas “simbólicas”. No obstante su relevancia, la propuesta de Baumgarten no siempre es considerada para comprender la teoría del arte, que aparece como una vía menos relevante frente a la revolución kantiana de (...)
  34. Ästhetik Als Philosophie der Sinnlichen Erkenntnis Eine Interpretation der "Aesthetica" A. G. Baumgartens Mit Teilweiser Wiedergabe des Lateinischen Textes Und Deutscher Übersetzung.Hans Rudolf Schweizer & Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten - 1973
  35. Theoretische Ästhetik Die Grundlegenden Abschnitte Aus der "Aesthetica" : Lateinisch-Deutsch.Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten & Hans Rudolf Schweizer - 1983
  36. Meditationes Philosophicae de Nonnullis Ad Poema Pertinentibus= Philosophische Betrachtungen Über Einige Bedingungen des Gedichtes : Lateinisch-Deutsch.Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten & Heinz Paetzold - 1983
  37. Texte Zur Grundlegung der Ästhetik Lateinisch-Deutsch.Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten & Hans Rudolf Schweizer - 1983
  38. Die Ästhetik Als Antwort Auf Das Kopernikanische Weltbild Die Beziehungen Zwischen den Naturwissenschaften Und der Ästhetik Alexander Gottlieb Baumgartens Und Georg Friedrich Meiers.Michael Jäger & Georg F. Meier - 1984
  39. Metaphysik.Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten - 1783
  40. Felix Æstheticus. Die Ästhetik als Lehre vom Menschen Zum 250. Jahrestag des Erscheinens von Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten « Æsthetica ».Steffen W. Gross - 2002 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 192 (4):469-469.
  41. Sive vox naturae sive vox rationis sive vos Dei? Die metaphysische Begründung des Naturrechtsprinzips bei Heinrich Köhler, mit einer abschließenden Bemerkung zu Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten.Alexander Aichele - 2004 - Jahrbuch für Recht Und Ethik 12.
    Der Jenenser Philosoph Heinrich Köhler versucht in seinen Exercitationes Juris Naturalis, eiusque cumprimis cogentis, methodo systematica propositi eine rationalistische Begründung des Naturrechts auf der Basis der Metaphysik von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Die Rekonstruktion dieser metaphysischen Begründung, die mit dem Aufweiß der Erkennbarkeit des obersten Prinzips des Naturrechts rein aus der Vernunft zusammenfällt, ist Gegenstand der vorliegenden Studie. Ausgehend von der Identifikation jenes Erkenntnisgrundes mit der Natur des Menschen zeigt sich vermittels einer Analyse der von Köhler in Anschlag gebrachten Methode, daß (...)
  42. Die Ungewißheit des Gewissens. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgartens forensische Aufklärung der Aufklärungsethik.Alexander Aichele - 2005 - Jahrbuch für Recht Und Ethik 13.
    Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten grenzt sich in seinem Ius Naturae, das einen knappen Kommentar zu den Exercitationes Iuris Naturalis Heinrich Köhlers darstellt, nach über zwanzigjähriger Auseinandersetzung mit dieser Vorlage entschieden von einer der zentralen Thesen Köhlers ab. Baumgarten löst nämlich dessen Identifikation der Stimmen der Vernunft, des Gewissens, der Natur und Gottes in der Moral auf und zeigt, daß im Gegenteil göttlicher und irdischer Bereich vollständig disjunkt sind.Dies folgt aus der Einsicht in die prinzipielle Ungewißheit eines jeden möglichen moralischen Urteils, das (...)
  43. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Ästhetik. [REVIEW]Armin Emmel - 2009 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 63 (2).
  44. Philosophische Betrachtungen über einige Bedingungen des Gedichts.Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Heinz Paetzold, A. G. Baumgarten, Hans Rudolf Schweizer & H. R. Schweizer - 1983 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 38 (4):687-690.
  45. Wie die Morgenröthe zwischen Nacht und Tag. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten und d..Anselm Haverkamp - 2002 - Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift für Literaturwissenschaft Und Geistesgeschichte 76 (1):3-26.
  46. Rethinking Rational Cosmology: Research on the Pre-Critical Origins of Kant's Arguments in the Antinomies.Matthew Raymond Hettche - 2002 - Dissertation, Purdue University
    Anglo-American commentators of Kant are largely skeptical that the Antinomies of the first Critique accomplish their intended objective. Against Kant's claim that there are "natural and unavoidable" questions about the structure of the universe, the nature of causality, and the existence of God, which inevitably lead human reason to paradox and contradiction, critics deny that the Antinomies are inevitable problems of reason. Typical objections levied against Kant are that the Antinomies are artificially generated from Kant's architectonic view of human reason (...)
  47. "Philosophische Betrachtungen Über Einige Bedingungen des Gedichtes": Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten. [REVIEW]Eva Schaper - 1985 - British Journal of Aesthetics 25 (3):278.
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