Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas

Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas a German philosopher, was born at Landshut, Bavaria, July 28, 1804. He studied theology and philosophy at Heidelberg and Berlin. In 1828 he began to lecture on philosophy at Erlangen, and opened his lectures with a dissertation, De Ratione una, Universali, Infinita. In 1830 he published, anonymously, Gedanken uber Tod und Unsterblichkeit, in which he denied the belief in immortality. As this book closed to him all and every academic advancement, he retired to Bruckberg, where he spent most of. his life. In 1833 he published Geschichte der neueren Philosophie von Bacon von Verulam bis Spinoza; in 1837, Darstellung, Entwickelung und Kritik der Leibnitzschen Philosophie; in 1838, Pierre Bayle nach seinen fur die Geschichte der Philosophie und Menschheit interessantesten Momenten. In 1839 he joined the so-called left wing of the Hegeliani school, became a very bitter opponent of his former master, and published Kritik der hegelschen Philosophie, in the Berliner Jahrbucher. Feuerbach now attempted an independent development in the direction of naturalism, or, rather, materialism. In his principal work, Das Wesen des Christenthums (Leipsic, 1841; Eng. transl. by George Eliot, Lond. 1853; new ed. 1881; Russian transl. by Philadelph Theomachoff; Lond. 1861), he defines God as a mere projection into empty space of the human ego, as an image of man, and religion as a simple psychological process, as an illusion. In 1848 he once more lectured publicly at Heidelberg; but, when the revolutionary movement completely failed, he again retired to private life. Feuerbach died September 13, 1872. His writings comprise ten volumes (Leipsic, 1845-66; 3d ed. 1876). See Grun, Ludwig Feuerbach in seineni Briefwechsel und Nachlasse (Leipsic, 1874, 2 volumes); Beyer, Leben und Geist Ludwig Feuerbachs (ibid. 1873); Schaller, Darstellung und Kritik der Philosophie L. Feuerbachs (1847); Schaden, Ueber den Gegensatz des theistischen und pantheistischen Handpunkts (1848); Frantz, Ueber den Atheismus (1844); Haym, Feuerbach und die Philosophie (1847); Bartholmay, Histoire Critique des Doctrines Religieuises de la Philosophie Moderne (1855), 2:377; Matter, in Lichtenberger's Encyklop. des Sciences Religieuses, s.v.; Zuchold, Bibl. Theol. 1:355. (B.P.)

 
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