The German philosopher and mathematician, was one of the leading Enlightenment. Christian Wolff was worried with the problems of ontology, ethics and logic. Wolff made the system as an vital systematist of German rationalism, but we note that Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Descartes and Baruch Spinoza. He is regarded as a transformer of Leibniz’s philosophy. His writings, he wrote mostly in German, so he made by a German language work in philosophy. The German philosophy owes its foundation language and many of his defined terms such as “importance”, “Attention” or “per se” were later adopted into everyday language.
Christian Wolff was on 24 January 1679, the second son of a tanner born in Breslau.
Wolff visited the Magdalene Gymnasium in Breslau. In his school he realized his preferred interest in arithmetic. Then in 1699 he started studying theology at the University of Jena. Besides, he attended lectures in physics and arithmetic. In 1702 he graduated with a master’s title.
During his studies he focused on different theological tendencies of scholasticism, on Cartesianism and the physics of Isaac Newton. With the publication “De philosophia practica universali methodo mathematica conscripta” his habilitation Wolff. In 1703 he became a lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Besides, he was a preacher. 1704 overtook him a reputation as a teacher in an academic high school, which he refused.
During this time, Wolff made the acquaintance of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, who was for him a significant influence. Through his mediation Wolff came from the year 1705 to work for the journal “Acta Eruditorum”. From the year 1706 (1723) he was employed as a professor of arithmetic and untreated sciences at the University of Halle. He also gave lectures in philosophy with fantastic success.
During this time he was literarily prolific. He wrote before all things mathematical, but also philosophical writings. In this phase, he formed his rationalistic and dogmatic philosophy of the Enlightenment and its classification. Wolff’s merit was that his writings, he wrote primarily in German and thus also a German language. He used terms such as imagination, consciousness or concept.
Under pressure from the Prussian government he had to re-write in Latin. He also developed Latin terms such as monism and teleology. As already become Christian Wolff, a member of the London Academy of Knowledge was in 1711 appointed him to the Berlin Academy of Sciences as a member. In the following years, he rejected the appeals in Wittenberg, St. Petersburg and Jena.
With his philosophical stance, Wolff negotiated especially a criticism of the theologians. Wolff’s method was based on the formal arithmetic. They accused him of determinism and rationalism. The dispute has been accompanied by extensive polemics in public. Wolff understood the logic of knowledge as an introduction to philosophy. According to him, the logic has found the task of right and fake in the choice. He divided it into a teaching and the theater branch.
He took inspiration from the basic logic of Aristotle. His further rift amounted to a theoretical logic to study the forms of thought and a practical logic to determine the criteria for truth. Term, and final verdict meant for Wolff, three levels of knowledge. Thus the sentence consists of two terms, and the final forms of a new ruling that is in turn composed of existing sentences.
Christian Wolff understood philosophy as a knowledge as possible from everything and anything. With that understanding, has also expanded the field of philosophy on knowledge areas that were previously not affected by this such as the law. Wolff shared his knowledge into a systematic philosophy, history and math. He classified the philosophical knowledge as the peak.
The mathematical knowledge bought, the quantity of things. His system recognized the sciences, which he divided into rational-theoretical, practical, rational, empirical, theoretical and empirical-practical fields of knowledge. In this systematic classification Wolff treated and examined various knowledge topics. From his teaching, he made some statements to which he revised and simplified so. They ensured a wide dissemination of his teachings.
In 1723, Wolff had to leave the country. He went to Marburg, where he taught at the university there. In 1740 he was able to return at the behest of King Frederick II back to Halle. Through his writings he influenced by the rational mind besides Immanuel Kant, the Enlightenment and all knowledge areas such as law, literature, philosophy and others. Wolff also had a significant influence on the Prussian legislation.
His works, written in German to initiation in the majority with the headline: “Rational Thoughts…” Wolff philosophy meant for a means to achieve human happiness and perfection. In the socio-political issue, he was an enlightened absolutism.
Christian Wolff died on 9 April 1754 in Halle.