Moses Mendelssohn: Philosophical Writings

Moses Mendelssohn: Philosophical Writings

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Mendelssohn's Philosophical Writings, published in 1761, bring the metaphysical tradition to bear on the topic of 'sentiments' (defined as knowledge or awareness by way of the senses). Mendelssohn offers a nuanced defence of Leibniz's theodicy and conception of freedom, an examination of the ethics of suicide, an account of the 'mixed sentiments' so central to the tragic genre, a hypothesis about weakness of will, an elaboration of the main principles and types of art, a definition of sublimity and analysis of its basic forms, and, lastly, a brief tract on probability theory, aimed at rebutting Hume's scepticism. This volume also includes the essay 'On Evidence in Metaphysical Sciences', selected in 1763 by the Berlin Royal Academy of Sciences over all other submitted essays, including one by Kant, as the best answer to the question of whether metaphysical sciences are capable of the same sort and degree of evidence as more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 tables
  • 1139164074
  • 9781139164078

Review quote

"The writings in this collection are interesting both in terms of Mendelssohn's own philosophical and literary powers and in terms of his relationship to other important philosophical and cultural figures, particularly Leibniz, Shaftsbury, Lessing, and Kant." M.A. Bertman, Choice "...this is a volume that a student of German philosophy and the Enlightenment will find useful." SYlvana Tomaselli, Dialogueshow more

Table of contents

Part I: On sentiments; Dialogues; Part II: Rhapsody or additions to the letters on sentiments; On the main principles of the fine arts and sciences; On the sublime and naive in the fine sciences; On probability; On evidence in metaphysical sciences; On the ability to know, the ability to feel, and the ability to desire; On the question: what does 'to enlighten' mean?show more

Rating details

11 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 36% (4)
4 36% (4)
3 18% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 9% (1)
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