[Index of Biographies]

Gottlob Benjamin Jäsche (1762-1842)

[This is a draft of an article in The Dictionary of Eighteenth Century German Philosophers, 3 vols., edited by Manfred Kuehn and Heiner Klemme (London/New York: Continuum, 2010).]

Gottlob Benjamin Jäsche (also: Jähsche; his first name is often wrongly listed as ‘Gottlieb’) was born on 3 July 1762 in Wartenberg (Polish: Sycow; in Silesia) and died on 25 August 1842 in Dorpat (Tartu, in Estonia).  He is remembered primarily as a young associate of Kant’s and the editor of Kant’s logic lectures [writings].

Jäsche was taught at home by his father until he entered the gymnasium in Breslau (Wroclaw) in 1777, and then studied theology for two years at Halle (1783-85), before finances forced him to leave the university and find a job as a tutor.  During this time he immersed himself in Kant’s writings, and anonymously published a work on the philosophy of religion (1790) in which he defended revelation over reason, but only to the extent that it agreed with the principles of practical reason.  After six years he was able to resume his university studies, enrolling at Königsberg in the autumn of 1791, and attending Kant’s lectures on anthropology and metaphysics as well as lectures by Kraus [bio] and Schmalz [bio].  He returned to Halle in 1794, received his magister degree in 1795, and began work again as a private tutor in Curland.  Four years later he returned to Königsberg (February 1799), habilitated on 11 October 1799 and offered lectures over the next four semesters in a Kantian vein: metaphysics (using texts by L. H. Jakob [bio] and by C. C. Schmid [bio]), philosophical encyclopedia (using his own notes), and logic (using Jakob, and then the Kant notes that Jäsche had just edited).  Kant had retired from teaching in 1796, but he was surrounded by a small group of devoted young lecturers — J. F. Gensichen [bio], J. F. G. Lehmann [bio], F. T Rink [bio], and Jäsche.

Jäsche moved to Danzig in July 1801, bringing with him a large number of manuscripts given to him by Kant, and in the spring of 1802 assumed a professorship of philosophy at the newly founded university at Dorpat (Tartu, Estonia).  Much of this Kantiana was then passed on to Karl Morgenstern [bio], a younger colleague at Dorpat.  The majority of Jäsche’s writings are strongly Kantian — he viewed himself as a popularizer of Kant’s philosophy — and he published several Kantian textbooks based on his lecture-courses (1804, 1816, 1824, 1825).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

(anon.) Ueber reinen Naturalismus und positive insonderheit christliche Religion und deren Verhältniß zur Volksaufklärung (Berlin: Königlich-Preußische Akademische Kunst- und Buchhandlung, 1790).

(editor), Immanuel Kants Logik, ein Handbuch zu Vorlesungen (Königsberg: F. Nicolovius, 1800).

(co-edited with F. T. Rink), Mancherley zur Geschichte der metacritischen Invasion, nebst einem Fragment einer ältern Metacritik von Johann George Hamann, genannt der Magus in Norden, und einigen Aufsätzen, die Kantische Philosophie betreffend (Königsberg: F. Nicolovius, 1800).

“Die Philosophie des vernünftelnden Verstandes im Gegensatze gegen die Philosophie des Verstandes und der Vernunft” in K. Morgenstern’s Dörptischen Beyträgen (1813).

Der Pantheismus nach seinen verschiedenen Hauptformen, seinem Ursprung und Fortgange, seinem speculativen und praktischen Werth und Gehalt: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte und Kritik dieser Lehre in alter und neuer Philosophie, 3 vols. (Berlin: Reimer, 1826, 1828, 1832).

Other Relevant Works

De arctissimo disciplinarum inter se nexu (Königsberg: Hartung, 1799).

“Idee zu einer neuen systematischen Encyclopädie aller Wissenschaften.” In Niethhammers philosophisches Journal, vol. 1, pp. 327-72 (1795).

(with F. G. Maczewski), Versuch eines faßlichen Grundrisses der Rechts- und Pflichtenlehre beym Unterricht der reifern und gebildetern Jugend in Schulen und bey der häuslichen Erziehung (Königsberg: F. Nicolovius, 1796).

Stimme eines Arktikers über Fichte und sein Verfahren gegen die Kantianer (1799).

Geschichte und Beschreibung der Feyerlichkeiten bey Gelegenheit der am 21sten und 22sten April 1802 geschehenen Eröffnung der neu angelegten Kayserlichen Universität zu Dorpat in Lievland (Dorpat: Grenzius, 1802).

Grundlinien der Moralphilosophie (1804).

Grundlinien zu einer Architektonik und systematischen Universal-Encyklopädie der Wissenschaften (Dorpat, 1816).

Grundlinien der Ethik oder philosophische Sittenlehre (Dorpat, 1824).

Kurze Darstellung der philosophische Religionslehre (Dorpat, 1825).

Further Reading

ADB, vol. 13, p. 730 (Carl von Prantl).

Hamberger/Meusel (1797), vol. 3, pp. 503-4; (1803), vol. 10, p. 11; (1805), vol. 11, p. 394; (1810), vol. 14, p. 223; (1821), vol. 18, p. 253; (1834), vol. 23, pp. 15-16.

Morgenstern Karl, “Gottlob Benjamin Jäsche: Kathedervortrag gegenüber dem Sarge des verewigten; gehalten den 3. September 1842 in der Aula der Kaiserlichen Universität Dorpat” (Leipzig/Dorpat, 1843).

NDB, vol. 10, pp. 288-89 (Hans-Jürgen Enfer).

Neuer Nekrolog (1842), vol. 20, pp. 615-16.

Stark, Werner, Nachforschungen zu Briefen und Handschriften Immanuel Kants (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1993), pp. 27-29.

Vorländer, Karl, Immanuel Kant: Das Mann und das Werk (Leipzig, 1924), p. 258.

Wolfes, Matthias, “Jaesche, Gottlob” in Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikon, ed. by Traugott Bautz (Herzberg: Verlag Traugott Bautz, 1999), vol. 16, columns 793-807. (Online at: www.bautz.de/bbkl)

[Index of Biographies]

Copyright ©2006 Steve Naragon (Manchester University)
Last modified: 11 Jul 2010
Please send comments and questions to: ssnaragon@manchester.edu