Wilhelm Traugott Krug

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Wilhelm Traugott Krug.

Wilhelm Traugott Krug (22 June 1770 – 12 January 1842) was a German philosopher and writer.


Krug was born at Radis in Saxony, and died at Leipzig. He studied at Wittenberg under Franz Volkmar Reinhard and Karl Gottfried Jehnichen, at Jena under Karl Leonhard Reinhold, and at Göttingen.

From 1801 to 1804 he was professor of philosophy at Frankfurt (Oder), after which he succeeded Immanuel Kant in the chair of logic and metaphysics at the University of Königsberg. From 1809 till his death he was professor of philosophy at the University of Leipzig. He fought in the War of Liberation (1813–14) as captain of mounted chasseurs.


In philosophy his method was psychological; he attempted to explain the Ego by examining the nature of its reflection upon the facts of consciousness. Being is known to us only through its presentation in consciousness; consciousness only in its relation to Being. Both Being and Consciousness, however, are immediately known to us, as also the relation existing between them. By this Transcendental Synthesis he proposed to reconcile Realism and Idealism, and to destroy the traditional difficulty between transcendental, or pure, thought and things in themselves.

Krug challenged Schelling to deduce his quill or pen from German Idealism's Philosophy of Nature. In so doing, he challenged the thinking that particular, perceptually real things could be logically known from general concepts.

Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philos. des XIX. Jahrh. (1835–1837) contains criticisms of Hegel and Schelling.

He was a prolific writer on a great variety of subjects, excelling as a popularizer rather than as an original thinker. His work stimulated freedom of thought in religion and politics, and he was a firm supporter of Jewish emancipation.[1]

Personal life[edit]

!n 1804, Krug married Wilhelmine von Zenge (1780-1852), the eldest daughter of a Prussian major-general. They had six children. Wilhelmine had previously been engaged to Heinrich von Kleist.[2]

Principal works[edit]

  • Briefe über den neuesten Idealismus (1801)
  • Versuch über die Principien der philosophischen Erkenntniss (1801)
  • Fundamentalphilosophie (1803)
  • System der theoretischen Philosophie (1806-1810)
  • System der praktischen Philosophie (1817-1819)
  • Handbuch der Philosophie (1820; 3rd ed., 1828)
  • Logik oder Denklehre (1827)
  • Geschichte der Philosophie alter Zeit (1815; 2nd ed., 1825)
  • Allgemeines Handwörterbuch der philosophischen Wissenschaften (1827-1834; 2nd ed., 1832-1838)
  • Universal-philosophische Vorlesungen für Gebildete beiderei Geschlechts
  • Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philos. des XIX. Jahrh. (1835-1837)
  • Meine Lebensreise (Leipzig, 2nd ed.,1840), autobiography


  1. ^ Gotthard Deutsch, S. Mannheimer, "Krug, Wilhelm Traugott", Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
  2. ^ Heinrich von Kleist: Biography, Kleist Museum.