1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Clauberg, Johann

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
21622471911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 6 — Clauberg, Johann

CLAUBERG, JOHANN (1622–1665), German philosopher, was born at Solingen, in Westphalia, on the 24th of February 1622. After travelling in France and England, he studied the Cartesian philosophy under John Raey at Leiden. He became (1649) professor of philosophy and theology at Herborn, but subsequently (1651), in consequence of the jealousy of his colleagues, accepted an invitation to a similar post at Duisburg, where he died on the 31st of January 1665. Clauberg was one of the earliest teachers of the new doctrines in Germany and an exact and methodical commentator on his master’s writings. His theory of the connexion between the soul and the body is in some respects analogous to that of Malebranche; but he is not therefore to be regarded as a true forerunner of Occasionalism, as he uses “Occasion” for the stimulus which directly produces a mental phenomenon, without postulating the intervention of God (H. Müller, J. Clauberg und seine Stellung im Cartesianismus). His view of the relation of God to his creatures is held to foreshadow the pantheism of Spinoza. All creatures exist only through the continuous creative energy of the Divine Being, and are no more independent of his will than are our thoughts independent of us,—or rather less, for there are thoughts which force themselves upon us whether we will or not. For metaphysics Clauberg suggested the names ontosophy or ontology, the latter being afterwards adopted by Wolff. He also devoted considerable attention to the German languages, and his researches in this direction attracted the favourable notice of Leibnitz. His chief works are: De conjunctione animae et corporis humani; Exercitationes centum de cognitione Dei et nostri; Logica vetus et nova; Initiatio philosophi, seu Dubitatio Cartesiana; a commentary on Descartes’ Meditations; and Ars etymologica Teutonum.

A collected edition of his philosophical works was published at Amsterdam (1691), with life by H. C. Hennin; see also E. Zeller, Geschichte der deutschen Philosophie seit Leibnitz (1873).