Moses Mendelssohn: Philosophical Writings

Moses Mendelssohn: Philosophical Writings

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). They include a nuanced defense of Leibniz's theodicy and conception of freedom, and examination of the ethics of suicide, an account of the "mixed sentiments" so central to the tragic genre, an hypothesis about weakness of will, an elaboration of the main principles and types of art, and a brief tract on probability theory, aimed at rebutting Hume's skepticism.


"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, Dialogue