Christian Wolff Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Childhood and Early Life
Christian Wolff was born on the 24 January 1679 in Breslau, Silesia which is today part of Poland into a Lutheran family.
In 1699, Christian Wolff enrolled at the University of Jena. He studied mathematics, physics, and theology. In 1703, under von Tschirnhaus at the University of Leipzig, he finished his doctoral dissertation: On Universal Practical Philosophy, Composed from the Mathematical Method.
Rise to Fame
After various teaching posts, Christian Wolff was offered the position of professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at the University of Halle (1707).
Ideological differences with Pietists led to Christian Wolff leaving the University of Halle, and in 1723, he became the professor of mathematics and philosophy at the University of Marburg, Hesse where he remained until 1740. He was also a science adviser to Peter the Great and helped to establish the St Petersburg Academy of Science in Russia.
When Wolff returned to the University of Halle, he was appointed chancellor (1741-1754). His corpus contains over 26 titles with more than 41 quarto volumes, mainly in philosophy and mathematics including his German Logic (1712) and German Metaphysics (1719). He published in German and Latin.
Like other philosophers including Hobbes, Descartes, and Spinoza, Christian Wolff was of the opinion that the method of mathematics could be applied to enlarge other areas of knowledge. He was a member of the St Petersburg Academy (1725), the Paris Academy (1733), the Berlin Academy (1711) and the Royal Society of London (1709).
As a Rationalist philosopher of the German Enlightenment, Christian Wolff was the first to provide Germans with a philosophical system in German.
Christian Wolf died on the 9 April 1754 at the age of 75.