Karl Philipp Moritz (b. Hamelin, September 15, 1756, d. Berlin, June 26, 1793) was a German author, editor and essayist of the Sturm und Drang, late enlightenment, and classicist periods, influencing early German Romanticism as well. He led a life as a hatter's apprentice, teacher, journalist, literary critic, professor of art and linguistics, and member of both of Berlin's academies.
Moritz was born into impoverished circumstances in Hamelin in 1756. After receiving a scanty schooling, he was apprenticed to a hat maker. After distressful attempts to gain a living, he caught the attention of a patron in Hanover and entered a gymnasium; however, he soon accepted an engagement as actor under Ekhof at Gotha, failing in which he returned to study (1776) at Erfurt; but tiring again he joined the Herrnhuter (Moravian Church) at Barby, and studied theology at Wittenberg (1777); then taught philanthropy at the Potsdam military orphanage, soon again to take to wandering.
Apart from a four-part autobiographical novel, Anton Reiser, and two fictional Andreas Hartknopf novels, he also wrote a number of theoretical writings on aesthetics, especially "Über die bildende Nachahmung des Schönen" (On the Formative Imitation of Beauty), which Goethe excerpted in his Italian Journey. Moritz's Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde als ein Lesebuch für Gelehrte und Ungelehrte (Journal of Experiential Psychology, as reading for scholars and laymen) was one of the first Germanophone journals of psychology. His works include:
Blunt oder der Gast, (1781)
Beiträge zur Philosophie des Lebens aus dem Tagebuch eines Freimäurers, 1780
Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde als ein Lesebuch für Gelehrte und Ungelehrte. 1783–1793