Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (25 January 1743 – 10 March 1819) was an influential German philosopher, literary figure, socialite and the younger brother of poet Johann Georg Jacobi. He is notable for coining the term nihilism and promoting it as the prime fault of Enlightenment thought particularly in the philosophical systems of Baruch Spinoza, Immanuel Kant, Johann Fichte and Friedrich Schelling. Instead of speculative reason, he advocated Glaube (variously translated as faith or "belief") and revelation. In this sense, Jacobi anticipated present-day writers who criticize secular philosophy as relativistic and dangerous for religious faith. In his time he was also well-known among literary circles for his critique of the Sturm and Drang movement, and implicitly close associate Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and its visions of atomized individualism. His literary projects were devoted to the reconciliation of enlightenment individualism with social obligation.




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