Jakob Thomasius

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Jakob Thomasius
Jacob Thomasius; Haid cropped.jpg
Jakob Thomasius (1622–1684)
Born27 August 1622
Died9 September 1684
Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
(B.A., 1642; M.A., 1643)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Leipzig
Academic advisorsFriedrich Leibniz
Doctoral studentsOtto Mencke
Other notable studentsGottfried Leibniz
He was the father of Christian Thomasius and the brother of Johann Thomasius.
Dissertation about plagiarism at Leipzig University (1679) with Thomasius as praeses

Jakob Thomasius (Latin: Jacobus Thomasius; 27 August 1622 – 9 September 1684) was a German academic philosopher and jurist. He is now regarded as an important founding figure in the scholarly study of the history of philosophy. His views were eclectic, and were taken up by his son Christian Thomasius.


Thomasius was influential in the contemporary realignment of philosophy as a discipline. Martin Mulsow writes:[1]

According to Thomasius’ “Schediasma historicum” of 1665, from a theological point of view, philosophy needed to guarantee a clear separation of Creator from Creation, of God from Nature. It should thus only spring from Christian Aristotelianism, not from Stoicism or Neoplatonism.

He wrote on a wide range of topics, including plagiarism and the education of women.

He was the teacher of Gottfried Leibniz at the University of Leipzig, where Thomasius was professor of Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy, remaining a friend and correspondent, and has been described as Leibniz's mentor.

He is perhaps best remembered now as the author of the first published attack on Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise.[2][3]


  • Philosophia practica (1661)
  • Schediasma historicum (1665)
  • De foeminarum eruditione (1671) with Johannes Sauerbrei and Jacobus Smalcius
  • Praefationes sub auspicia disputationum suarum (1681)
  • Dissertationes ad stoicae philosophiae (1682)
  • Orationes (1683)


  1. ^ M. Mulsow, "Practices of Unmasking" Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine, p. 5.
  2. ^ Begley, Bartholomew (2018). "Naturalism and its political dangers: Jakob Thomasius against Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise. A study and the translation of Thomasius' text". The Seventeenth Century. 34 (5): 649–670. doi:10.1080/0268117X.2018.1487876. S2CID 158911919.
  3. ^ Nadler, Steven (2011-10-09). A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age. ISBN 9780691139890.

Further reading[edit]

  • Richard Sachse, Das Tagebuch des Rectors Jakob Thomasius, Leipzig 1894.

External links[edit]