Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas

(1804–1872)
German philosopher and anthropologist. Born in Landshut, Bavaria, Feuerbach studied theology and philosophy at Heidelberg and Berlin. He enjoyed only a sporadic teaching career, and lived mainly on income derived from his wife's interest in a pottery factory. His philosophical writings were fired by a perception that Hegel's system had failed to shake itself free from crippling rationalistic and religious elements. It is therefore itself but a stage in the true emergence of self-consciousness, in a humanistic, scientific, ‘philosophy of the future’. Feuerbach's chequered career was the outcome of his conviction that religion is a ‘dream of the human mind’, or an understandable but distorting projection of our emotional needs: ‘Christ is the love of mankind for itself embodied in an image.’ This sceptical and anthropological approach to religion is indeed similar in spirit to that of Hume and Voltaire, but proved more explosive in the religious and absolutist atmosphere of the mid-19th century. Feuerbach stands for opposition to any philosophical system-building in favour of an empirical study of the way persons respond to the world and to each other. His aphorism, ‘man is what he eats’, became a useful political slogan for subsequent radicals. Ethically Feuerbach believed that human relations vindicate a close, communitarian spirit in which divisions between ‘I’ and ‘thou’ become dissolved. His early writings include many contributions to the Hallesche Jahrbücher of which he was joint editor, and which had a decisive influence on the development of secular and political, or left-wing, Hegelianism . His most important work was Das Wesen des Christentums (1846), which was translated by the scholar and novelist George Eliot as The Essence of Christianity, 1854. Eliot was paid two shillings a page. She herself was more taken with Feuerbach's impassioned descriptions of self-sacrificing, sacred, self-sufficing and spontaneous love than with his humanism. Marx's Theses on Feuerbach combines an appreciation of Feuerbach's dialectical upstaging of Hegel with recognition that Feuerbach himself falls short of properly resolving self-consciousness, and its religious projections, into fundamental social and economic forces. Engels said of Feuerbach that the lower half of him was materialistic, but the upper half an idealist.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas — (1804–72)    Philosopher.    Feuerbach was born in Landshut, Germany. He was educated at Heidelberg and then became a pupil of G.W.F. hegel in Berlin. For most of his subsequent life, he lived as a private scholar. In his books he taught that… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Feuerbach, Ludwig (Andreas) — born July 28, 1804, Landshut, Bavaria died Sept. 13, 1872, Rechenberg, Ger. German philosopher. The son of an eminent jurist, he studied under G.W.F. Hegel in Berlin but later abandoned Hegelian idealism for a naturalistic materialism. In… …   Universalium

  • Feuerbach, Ludwig (Andreas) — (28 jul. 1804, Landshut, Bavaria–13 sep. 1872, Rechenberg, Alemania). Filósofo alemán. Hijo de un connotado jurista, estudió guiado por G.W.F. Hegel en Berlín, pero luego abandonó el idealismo hegeliano para adoptar un materialismo naturalista.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FEUERBACH, LUDWIG ANDREAS —    German philosopher, son of the succeeding, born at Landshut; studied theology at Hiedelberg, but coming under the influence of Hegel went to Berlin and devoted himself to philosophy; after failing in an attempt to support himself by lecturing… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • FEUERBACH, Ludwig Andreas — (1804 1872)    German MATERIALIST philosopher famous for his statement A man is what he eats which he used to explain English victories over Irish rebels. He studied under HEGEL whose idealism he rejected in favor of a thorough going materialism …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Feuerbach,Ludwig Andreas von — Feu·er·bach (foiʹər bäKH ), Ludwig Andreas von. 1804 1872. German philosopher and anthropologist whose major work, The Essence of Christianity (1841), maintains that religion and divinity are projections of human nature. * * * …   Universalium

  • Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach — Ludwig Feuerbach (Stich von August Weger) Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (* 28. Juli 1804 in Landshut; † 13. September 1872 in Rechenberg/Nürnberg[1]) war ein deutscher Philosoph, dessen Religions und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach — Ludwig Feuerbach Pour les articles homonymes, voir Feuerbach. Ludwig Feuerbach Philosophe Occidental Époque Moderne …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach — Infobox Philosopher region = Western Philosophy era = 19th century philosophy color = #B0C4DE image caption = name = Ludwig Feuerbach birth = July 28, 1804 (Landshut, Germany) death = September 13 1872 (Rechenberg near Nuremberg, Germany) school… …   Wikipedia

  • Feuerbach's — Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas …   Philosophy dictionary

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