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Thomasius, Christian

  1. Peter Schröder

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee384

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Schröder, P. 2013. Thomasius, Christian. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


Christian Thomasius (1655–1728) was one of the leading German intellectuals of the seventeenth century. From 1669 he studied philosophy in his birth-town at the University of Leipzig. He moved on to the Calvinist university of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he studied law and came into contact with the natural law theories of Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) and Samuel von Pufendorf (see Pufendorf, Samuel Von). In 1679 he was awarded a doctorate in law. He returned to Leipzig where he practiced as a lawyer and continued his academic work. The orthodox Lutheran theologians in Leipzig severely criticized him for his more moderate views on religion and succeeded in having him banned from teaching and publishing. He left his birthplace and moved to Halle in 1690 where he was appointed by the Ritterakademie. In Halle he was one of the founding fathers of the newly established university under the elector, Frederic III of Brandenburg, which replaced the Ritterakademie in 1693.


  • Enlightenment;
  • history of philosophy