1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Krug, Wilhelm Traugott

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KRUG, WILHELM TRAUGOTT (1770-1842), German philosopher and author, was born at Radis in Prussia on the 22nd of June 1770, and died at Leipzig on the 12th of January 1842. He studied at Wittenberg under Reinhard and Jehnichen, at Jena under Reinhold, and at Göttingen. From 1801 to 1804 he was professor of philosophy at Frankfort-on-the-Oder, after which he succeeded Kant in the chair of logic and metaphysics at the university of Königsberg. From 1809 till his death he was professor of philosophy at Leipzig. He was a prolific writer on a great variety of subjects, in all of which he excelled as a popularizer rather than as an original thinker. In philosophy his method was psychological; he attempted to explain the Ego by examining the nature of its reflection upon the facts of consciousness. Being is known to us only through its presentation in consciousness; consciousness only in its relation to Being. Both Being and Consciousness, however, are immediately known to us, as also the relation existing between them. By this Transcendental Synthesis he proposed to reconcile Realism and Idealism, and to destroy the traditional difficulty between transcendental, or pure, thought and “things in themselves.” Apart from the intrinsic value of his work, it is admitted that it had the effect of promoting the study of philosophy and of stimulating freedom of thought in religion and politics. His principal works are: Briefe über den neuesten Idealismus (1801); Versuch über die Principien der philosophischen Erkenntniss (1801); Fundamentalphilosophie (1803); System der theoretischen Philosophie (1806-1810), System der praktischen Philosophie (1817-1819); Handbuch der Philosophie (1820; 3rd ed., 1828); Logik oder Denklehre (1827); Geschichte der Philos. alter Zeit (1815; 2nd ed., 1825); Allgemeines Handwörterbuch der philosophischen Wissenschaften (1827-1834; 2nd ed., 1832-1838); Universal-philosophische Vorlesungen für Gebildete beiderlei Geschlechts. His work Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philos. des XIX. Jahrh. (1835-1837) contains interesting criticisms of Hegel and Schelling.

See also his autobiography, Meine Lebensreise (Leipzig, 2nd ed., 1840).