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By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing is the main consultant determine of the German Enlightenment. His security of Spinoza, who had ordinarily been condemned as an atheist, provoked an enormous controversy in philosophy, and his book of Reimarus' radical attack on Christianity resulted in primary alterations in Protestant theology. This quantity provides the main finished assortment in English of Lessing's philosophical and theological writings, numerous of that are translated for the 1st time.

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But only a few weeks after his death in February , Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason was published, transforming the landscape of German philosophy. This did not prevent Jacobi’s report concerning Lessing’s supposed Spinozism from causing another major controversy when it appeared in : it led, in fact, to a Spinoza renaissance in Germany, as Herder, Goethe, and several of the German Romantics went on to construct monistic philosophies of nature on the model of Spinoza’s pantheism and in reaction to Kant’s   See Altmann, Moses Mendelssohn, pp.

And many of the most famous men take the view that the cause of those who defend eternal punishment would be all but lost if one relied on reason alone. I take the opposite view, without therefore despising those who think otherwise. It seems to me that reason gives at least as much support, if not more, to those who defend the eternity of divine retribution as to those who regard it as finite. Certain human opinions of which the majority approves often pass for clear and indisputable laws of reason.

In short, that preface which Leibniz wrote to Soner’s work, which Mosheim had and which he intended to publish but then failed to do so, is what I here propose to make known from our library’s resources. So as not to overlook the manner in which it came into our library, I should mention that Mosheim himself appears to have received it from that source.  But since Hertel had regularly associated with Leibniz and was himself keenly interested in rare and heterodox items, it is equally possible that he lent the preface to Mosheim, together with Soner’s work, from his own literary collection, with which it subsequently passed into the library’s holdings after his death.

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