Linked bibliography for the SEP article "Christian Wolff" by Matt Hettche and Corey Dyck

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Wolff’s Principal Works

For a complete listing of Wolff’s works, see Theis & Aichele (2018: 20–27). Editions of all of Wolff’s works have been reprinted in the series:

  • Christian Wolff: Gesammelte Werke, 1962–, edited by Jean École, Hans Werner Arndt, Charles Anthony Corr, Joseph Ehrenfried Hofmann, M. Thoman, Hildesheim: Olms. (Scholar)

In the case of the German Logic and German Metaphysics, both of which saw numerous editions and significant changes throughout Wolff’s lifetime, references in this entry are to the later, reprinted editions.

In the above entry, all translations are by the authors unless otherwise indicated.

Wolff’s German Texts

  • 1710, Der Anfangs-Gründe aller mathematischen Wissenschafften (Elements of All the Mathematical Sciences), Halle.
  • [GL] 1713, Vernünftige Gedanken von den Kräften des menschlichen Verstandes und ihrem richtigen Gebrauch in der Erkenntnis der Wahrheit (Rational Thoughts on the Powers of the Human Understanding and its Proper Use in the Cognition of Truth), Halle. 14th edition [1754] reprinted with an introduction by Hans Werner Arndt in Christian Wolff, Gesammelte Werke, 1.Abt., Deutsche Schriften, Bd.1. Hildesheim: Olms, 1965. (Scholar)
  • [GM] 1720a, Vernünftige Gedanken von Gott, der Welt und der Seele des Menschen, auch allen Dingen überhaupt (Rational Thoughts on God, the World and the Soul of Man, and on All Things in General), Halle. 7th edition [1751] reprinted with introduction by Charles A. Corr in Christian Wolff, Gesammelte Werke, 1.Abt., Deutsche Schriften, Bd.3. Hildesheim: Olms, 1983. (Scholar)
  • 1720b, Vernünftige Gedanken von der Menschen Thun und Lassen zur Beförderung ihrer Glückseligkeit (Rational Thoughts on Human Action and Omission with a View to Promoting his Happiness), Halle.
  • 1721, Vernünftige Gedanken von dem gesellschaftlichen Leben der Menschen, und insonderheit dem gemeinen Wesen (Rational Thoughts on the Social Life of the Human Being, and in particular on the Commonwealth), Halle.
  • 1723, Vernünftige Gedanken von den Wirkungen der Natur (Rational Thoughts on the Operations of Nature, Halle.
  • 1724, Vernünftige Gedanken von den Absichten der natürlichen Dingen (Rational Thoughts on the Purposes of Natural Things), Frankfurt and Leipzig.
  • 1725, Vernünftige Gedanken von dem Gebrauche der Theile des menschlichen Leibes, der Thiere und Pflanzen (Rational Thoughts on the Employment of the Parts of the Human Body, Animals, and Plants), Frankfurt.

Wolff’s Latin Texts

  • 1703a, Philosophia practica universalis, methodo mathematica conscripta (On Universal Practical Philosophy, composed according to the Mathematical Method).
  • 1703b, Disquisitio philosophica de loquela, Leipzig.
  • 1709, Aërometriæ elementa, Leipzig.
  • 1713–15, Elementa matheseos universae (Elements of All the Mathematical Sciences), 2 vols. Halle.
  • 1716, Mathematisches Lexicon (Mathematical Lexicon), Leipzig.
  • 1718, Ratio prælectionum Wolfianarum, Halle.
  • [LL] 1728, Philosophia rationalis sive Logica, methodo scientifica pertractata, et ad usum scientiarum. atque vitae aptata. Praemittitur discursus praeliminaris de philosophia in genere (Rational Philosophy, or Logic), Frankfurt. Includes
    • [DP] Discursus praeliminaris de philosophia in genere (Preliminary Discourse on Philosophy in General) (Scholar)
  • [Ont.] 1730, Philosophia prima sive ontologia methodo scientifica pertractata qua omnis cognitionis humanae principia continentur (First Philosophy, or Ontology), Frankfurt. (Scholar)
  • [Cosm.] 1731, Cosmologia generalis methodo scientifica pertractata, qua ad solidam imprimis Dei atque naturae cognitionem via sternitur (General Cosmology), Frankfurt and Leipzig. (Scholar)
  • [EP] 1732, Psychologia empirica methodo scientifica pertractata, qua ea quae de anima humana indubia experientiae fide constant, continentur (Empirical Psychology), Frankfurt and Leipzig. (Scholar)
  • [RP] 1734, Psychologia rationalis methodo scientifica pertractata, qua ea, quae de anima humana indubia experientiae fide innotescunt (Rational Psychology), Frankfurt. (Scholar)
  • [NT] 1736–7, Theologia naturalis scientifica pertractata (Natural Theology), 2 vols., Frankfurt. (Scholar)
  • 1738–9, Philosophia practica universalis methodo scientifica pertractata, 2 vols. Frankfurt.
  • 1740–1748, Jus naturae methodo scientifica pertractatum, 8 vols., Frankfurt & Leipzig, and Halle.
  • 1749, Jus gentium methodo scientifica pertractatum (The Law of Nations Treated According to a Scientific Method), Halle.
  • 1750–3, Philosophia moralis sive ethica, 5 vols., Halle.
  • 1963, Briefwechsel zwischen Leibniz und Christian Wolff, C. I. Gerhardt (ed.). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung.

Primary Literature in English Translation

  • 1770, Logic, or Rational Thoughts on the Powers of the Human Understanding with their Use and Application in the Knowledge and Search of Truth, London: Printed for L. Hawes, W. Clarke, and R. Collins. Translation of Vernünftige Gedanken von den Kräften des menschlichen Verstandes und ihrem richtigen Gebrauch in der Erkenntnis der Wahrheit (1713/GL).
  • 1963, Preliminary Discourse on Philosophy in General, Translated by Richard J. Blackwell, Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. Translation of Discursus praeliminaris de philosophia in genere (1729/DP).
  • 2003, Moral Philosophy from Montaigne to Kant, translated by J. B. Schneewind, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Contains a translation of excerpts from Wolff’s Vernünftige Gedanken von der Menschen Thun und Lassen zur Beförderung ihrer Glückseligkeit (1720b). (Scholar)
  • 2009, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: Background Source Materials, edited and translated by Eric Watkins, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Contains a translation of excerpts from Wolff’s Vernünftige Gedanken von Gott, der Welt und der Seele des Menschen, auch allen Dingen überhaupt (1720a/GM). (Scholar)
  • 2017, The Law of Nations Treated according to a Scientific Method, translated by Joseph H. Drake, revised and edited by Thomas Ahnert, Carmel, IN: Liberty Fund. Translation of Jus gentium methodo scientifica pertractatum (1749).
  • [EMGP] 2019, Early Modern German Philosophy, edited and translated by Corey W. Dyck, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Contains a translation of selections from Wolff’s Vernünftige Gedanken von Gott, der Welt und der Seele des Menschen, auch allen Dingen überhaupt (1729a/GM) and of Wolff’s “Refutation of Spinoza” from the Theologia naturalis (1736–7/NT). (Scholar)

Other Primary Sources

  • Baumeister, Friedrich Christian, 1747, Elementa Philosophiae Recentioris, Leipzig: Gleditschii. (Scholar)
  • Crusius, Christian August, 1743, Dissertatio philosophica de usu et limitibus principii rationis determinantis, vulgo sufficientis¸; translated in EMGP. (Scholar)
  • Kant, Immanuel, 1900–, Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by Königlichen Preußischen (later Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (ed.), Berlin: Georg Reimer (later Walter De Gruyter). (Scholar)
  • –––, 1998, Critique of Pure Reason, P. Guyer and A. Wood (eds. and trans.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Scholar)

Selected Secondary Literature

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