Record

Authorised form of nameWolff; Christian (1679 - 1754); Freiherr von
Other forms of nameWolfius, Jaen Christian; Wolfius, Christianus
SurnameWolff
ForenamesChristian
Dates1679 - 1754
NationalityGerman
Dates and placesBirth:
Breslau, Germany (24 January 1679)
Death:
Halle/Saale, Germany (09 April 1754)
ActivityProfession:
Author, mathematical and philosophical
Research field:
Mathematics; Philosophy
Education:
Jena
Career:
Taught mathematics in Leipzig and Giessen; Professor of Mathematics at Halle (1707), but became increasingly interested in philosophy, which he saw as a superior science to mathematics and history; banished by King Frederick William I of Prussia and fled to Marburg (1723); summoned back by King Frederick II, who had read a French translation of his works, and received a hero's welcome (1740)
Memberships:
Academie Royale des Sciences

From Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy:
'Christian Wolff (1679–1754), also known as Christian von Wolfius, was a Rationalist philosopher of the German Enlightenment. His corpus includes over 26 titles, spanning more than 42 quarto volumes, with contributions primarily in the areas of mathematics and philosophy. He is often regarded as the central historical figure who links the philosophical systems of Leibniz and Kant. Although Wolff's influence was largely isolated to German schools and universities during and shortly after his lifetime, he did receive some international acclaim. He was a nonresident member of all four major European scientific academies: the Royal Society of London in 1709; the Berlin Academy in 1711; the St Petersburg Academy in 1725; and the Paris Academy in 1733. To his credit, he is the first philosopher recognized to furnish Germans with a complete system of philosophy in their own language (Beck 1969, 274).

According to Kant, in the “Preface” to the Critique of Pure Reason (2nd ed), Wolff is “the greatest of all dogmatic philosophers.” Wolff's “strict method” in science, Kant explains, is predicated on “the regular ascertainment of principles, the clear determination of concepts, the attempt at strictness in proofs, and the prevention of audacious leaps in inferences” (Kant, 1998, 120). Like many other philosophers of the Modern period, such as Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza, Wolff believed the method of mathematics, if properly applied, could be used to expand other areas of human knowledge. Perhaps more so than any of his contemporaries, Wolff took this style of exposition to an extreme. A familiar criticism of Wolff, even in his own lifetime, is that his works are long-winded and often involve overly complicated demonstrations. Arguably, Wolff's most direct impact on the history of western philosophy resides not in any one of his own particular works, but rather on the influence he had on the German undergraduate university curriculum. The more notable beneficiaries of the Wolffian systematization of philosophy include the early Kant, Alexander Baumgarten (1714–1762), Samuel Formey (1711–1797), Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700–1766), Martin Knutzen (1713–1751), Georg Friedrich Meier (1718–1777), and Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786).'
[ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wolff-christian/ ]
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
8/11/1710
Proposers:
John Woodward
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll: DBE
Authority:
Name form from DBE and LC catalogue (changed 07 January 2002)
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/7425989
Royal Society codeNA805
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EL/W3/150Christian Wolff, dated at Marburg, to William Rutty26 May 1731
EL/W3/147Christian Wolff, dated at Marburg, to William Rutty7 November 1728
EL/W3/148Letter from Christian Wolff, dated at Marburg30 April 1729
EL/W4/7Translation of a letter from Christian Wolff, dated at Marpurg, to William Rutty1731
EL/W3/149Translation of a letter from Christian Wolff to William Rutty1731
EL/W3/152Translation of a letter from Christian Wolff, dated at Marburg, to Cromwell Mortimer1732
CLP/10iii/45Letter, regarding multiplying grain from J [John] Eames to [John] Machin4 March 1729
LBO/19/249Copy of a circular from Cromwell Mortimer, London, to Christian WolffNovember 1731
EL/W3/151Christian Wolff, dated at Marburg, to Cromwell Mortimer4 September 1732
RBO/16/64'An Account of an uncommon Death' in a letter from Christopher Wolff to the late William Rutty1731
EL/W4/6Christian Wolff to William Rutty3 March 1731
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