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At the turn of the 18th century, Christian Thomasius developed a new program for university education in philosophy. This program not only introduced students to the “art of reasoning,” but also taught them to distinguish and separate the multiple personae of an educated person. According to Thomasius, university professors and scholars had no monopoly on the persona of the philosopher. Any individual who reasoned independently and prudently was, in part, a philosopher. Simultaneously, the persona of the philosopher only represented one social function among other equally important functions, such as that of the citizen, the courtier or the theologian. Thomasius’ educational program, implemented at the University of Halle in the 1690s, introduced students to these distinctions not only through theoretical lectures but also through practical exercises.
6 okt. 2006
The Persona of the Philosopher in Eighteenth-Century Europe