The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Boström, Christoffer Jacob

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BOSTRÖM, bȯs'trem, Christoffer Jacob, Swedish philosopher: b. Pitea 1797; d. Upsala 1866. His life was practically spent in teaching at the University of Upsala where, after preparatory study, he received the appointment in 1838 of adjunct professor of philosophy and from 1840-63 was professor of practical philosophy. His writings, comparatively few in number, edited by Edfelt, were published (Upsala 1883). “The most important systematic thinker of his country,” according to Falckenberg, his philosophy that of “rational idealism” as he termed it has exercised great influence in Sweden. Reality is presented only as spiritual: God as an absolute, self-conscious unity, in which all living beings are eternally and unchangeably contained, according to degree. The highest aim of humanity should be the conduct and behavior according to reason in harmony with the Divine; that of the state, like the individual should exist solely in God, and in its most perfect form should consist in the harmonious obedience of all its members to a constitutional monarch; while ultimate perfection should be an all-embracing system of such states governed in obedience to Universal Reason.