KANT IN THE CLASSROOM     Materials to aid the study of Kant’s lectures

Kant’s Writings
Academy Edition

> Biographies

Kant’s Life



Introduction Königsberg Other Universities Other Biographies Index

Kant’s Lectures
The Student Notes

Introduction: Sources Used

1. Matriculation Records
2. Lecture Catalogs
3. Printed Disputations
4. Biographical and other Reference Works
5. Other Abbreviations used in the Entries

In the compilation of biographies offered here, completeness has been a goal only regarding professors in the philosophy faculty at Königsberg during the 18th century.  Professors in the other faculties and at other universities (listed separately by university) are included when they appear in some way relevant to Kant’s activities (either directly, or by virtue of their significance in Königsberg or the wider culture).  Also included are many of Kant’s academic correspondents.  In all of this, I normally devote more space to the lesser-known figures, and almost none at all to those for whom information is readily available elsewhere.  [NB. These biography-lists are working drafts; many are quite sketchy, and the whole affair is a slow work-in-progress.]

An excellent set of brief biographies of many of Kant’s correspondents can be found at the end of Arnulf Zweig’s edition of Kant’s Correspondence (Cambridge, 1999).

Given the lengths of these lists, the biographies are divided between three pages: (1) Königsberg professors, (2) professors at other universities, and (3) other individuals relevant to Kant’s teaching career and the lecture notes.  A general index combining all three into a single alphabetized list is also available for quick reference.

Professors usually held their office until death, and this should be assumed in these biographies unless otherwise noted; occasionally a professor would retire from teaching, or be compelled by others to stop, due to illness or old age.  Even when they no longer gave lectures, professors would typically retain their position and salary.  Kant, for instance, gave his last lecture a few weeks into the SS 1796, but relinquished his position only in 1801 [more].

Occasionally an individual would hold more than one professorship.  Examples from Königsberg include: Heinrich von Sanden (medicine since 1697, physics since 1704), Johann Behm (Greek since 1721, theology since 1745), Christoph Langhansen (mathematics since 1719, theology since 1725), Friedrich Samuel Bock (1716-1786; Greek since 1753, theology since 1754), Johann David Kypke (logic and metaphysics since 1727, theology since 1733), and Samuel Wald (Greek since 1788, theology since 1793, eloquence & history since 1802, oriental languages since 1806).[1]

[1] These were all full professorships.  Nonetheless, individuals would normally not hold two full professorships at the same time, and even an associate professorship in another discipline would be relinquished upon assuming a full professorship — for example, C. H. Gütther gave up his position as associate professor of Greek when he was promoted to full professor of rhetoric and history.  Occasionally professors would quit an additional position because they were not being paid.  Clark [1986, 365-6] claims that holding multiple chairs was the norm, citing Wald as well as J. H. Nagel at Altdorf (holding chairs in metaphysics, rhetoric, and oriental languages) and W. E. Christiani at Kiel (holding chairs in natural law, politics, rhetoric & poetry, and history).

Matriculation Records [top]

The matriculation records for the Albertus University at Königsberg, since reproduced in Erler/Joachim [1910-17], provide various sorts of information, but these are principally records of admission into the academic community (normally as either a student or teacher, but also for a number of other positions, such as teaching at the Collegium Fridericianum, or apprenticing at the university printers).  These records are entered by the professor serving as rector that semester, and generally note the individual’s homeland, the faculty of study (if it is a student), work done at other schools, and whether the individual had already matriculated once before and is returning (marked as ius academicum repetit). Because the rectors changed from semester to semester, with some rectors more diligent than others, the quality and scope of the entries is a bit variable.

Lecture Catalogs [top]

We can also determine the status and activity of teaching staff from the Lecture Catalogs (Vorlesungsverzeichnisse or Catalogus Praelectionum) [glossary], a list of all the announced courses (lectures and practicals) for the coming semester; written in Latin and printed on eight folio sheets (including the title page; for a fuller description, see Oberhausen/Pozzo [1999, xi]).  Goldbeck [1782] reports that the official published catalogs were printed in Latin on two folio sheets, and that they included all public and private lectures.  A sample from WS 1781/82 is included among the Professors pages.

Before WS 1770/71, these catalogs included only the courses offered by the full (ordentliche) and associate (ausserordentliche) professors; the lecturers (Privatdozenten) announced their courses on the university message board (schwarzes Brett) next to the main doors of the university.  Beginning with WS 1770/71, the Catalog included all the teaching staff, ordered by discipline.  Given this difference in reporting, we occasionally win a clue regarding an individual’s rank by noting when they first appear in the Catalog: if someone appears only after WS 1770/71, but we know he was teaching before that, then we can assume he was at most a lecturer up to that point.  On the other hand, an entry in the Lecture Catalog is not proof that a course actually took place, nor that the professor was teaching that semester; for instance, Kant was listed as teaching courses during SS 1799, but we are fairly certain that his last semester to teach was SS 1796.  Similarly, as with nearly all records, there are occasional errors.  For instance, we can know with moral certainty that the entry for SS 1786 that reads: “Geographiam physicam ad dictata docebit Prof. Log. et Met. Ord. Kraus” should list Kant as the professor instead of Kraus, both because the latter never taught physical geography from his own notes, as far as we know, and because Kant was the Ordinary Professor of Logic and Metaphysics.

Apart from the official catalog, these course lists are also available in two other forms: as handwritten drafts (preceding the published version), which were stored in the university and government archives, and in unofficial lists, such as those appearing in the Königsbergsche Gelehrte und Politische Zeitungen (from WS 1765/66 to 1796 [??]), which had the double advantage of including lecturers as well as professors, and of being translated into German.  Oberhausen/Pozzo [1999] made use of copies of the official published lecture catalogs for the Albertina in Königsberg, beginning with SS 1720, and reprinting these up through 1804, including indices of the teaching professors and textbooks used.

Printed Disputations [top]

Public disputations [glossary], conducted in Latin and with the text printed at the expense of the principal party, mark two passages in the life of an academic (see the discussion on the Professors introductory page).  These printed disputations supply us with dates for when individuals began lecturing at the university (pro receptione disputations), as well as when they assumed certain professorships (pro loco disputations), and all entries in the following lists that have been substantiated in this way are marked with an asterisk (*).  The dating is only approximate, however, as often the disputation would occur during the first semester of holding the new position (for instance, one might start teaching in the winter semester of 1743/44, but not hold a disputation until near the end of the semester, in 1744).  The official rules were fairly clear, however, on things were supposed to occur: after the government granted the position, the professor would present a Latin dissertation to the official university press for publication and hold a public disputation defending it.

Biographical and Other Reference Works [top]

At the end of each entry are abbreviations of standard biographical and other works consulted (otherwise, consult the General Bibliography). A digital biographical reference that has recently (2014) become available is the Baltisches Biographisches Lexikon [online], a project of the Baltischen Historischen Kommission.

Acta Borussica: Acta Borussica ecclesiastica, civilia, literaria, edited by Michael Lilienthal, 3 vols. (Königsberg: Christoph Gottfried Eckart, 1730-32).

ADB: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 56 vols. (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1971, 11912).  Available online.

Amburger: Erik Amburger, Die Mitglieder der deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1700-1950 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1950), xi, 204 pp. Membership in the Berlin Academy of Sciences (along with the date of admission) is based on this work.

APB: Altpreußische Biographie, 5 volumes, edited by Christian Kröllmann, Kurt Forstreuter, Fritz Gause, Ernst Bahr, Gerd Brausch, and Klaus Bürger [v. 5] (Königsberg: Gräfe u. Unzer, 1941; Marburg: Elwert, 1969, 1975, 1995, 2001).

Arnoldt/1746: Ausführliche und mit Urkunden versehene Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg: Johann Heinrich Hartung, 1746), 2 vols., with two additional volumes in 1756 and 1769.

Arnoldt/1777: Kurzgefaßte Nachrichten von allem seit der Reformation an den Lutherischen Kirchen in Ostpreußen gestandenen Predigern, ed. by Friedrich Wilhelm Benefeldt (Königsberg: Gottlieb Lebrecht Hartung, 1777).[1]

BBK: Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikon, ed. by Traugott Bautz (Herzberg: Verlag Bautz, 1999).  Available online.

Börner: Friedrich Börner, Nachrichten von den vornehmsten Lebensumstaenden und Schriften jetztlebender beruehmter Aerzte und Naturforscher in und um Deutschland, 3 vols. (Wolfenbüttel: Meissner, 1749-53).

DBE: Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie, ed. by Walther Killy and Rudolf Vierhaus, 13 vols. (München: K. G. Saur Verlag, 1995-2003). [Translated into English as Dictionary of German Biography (2001- ). A 2nd edition is currently under preparation.]

DLL: Deutsches Literatur-Lexikon: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Handbuch, 3rd fully-revised ed., Hubert Herkommer and Carl Ludwig Lang, eds. (Bern: Francke, 1968- ).

Doering/1830: Heinrich Doering, Die deutschen Kanzelredner des achtzehnten und neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Nach ihrem Leben und Wirken (Neustadt: Johann Karl Gottfried Wagner, 1830).

Hagelgans: Johann Georg Hagelgans, Orbis literatus, germanico-europaeus, in synopsi repraesentatus (1737).  A guide to German-speaking universities.

HM: Hamberger, Georg Christoph and Johann Georg Meusel, Das gelehrte Teutschland oder Lexikon der jetzt lebenden teutschen Schriftsteller. 5th ed., 23 vols. (Lemgo 1796-1834).

Jöcher: Christian Gottlieb Jöcher, Allgemeines Gelehrten Lexicon, darinne die Gelehrten aller Stände, sowohl männ- als weiblichen Geschlechts, welche vom Anfange der Welt bis auf jetzige Zeit gelebt..., 4 vols. (Leipzig: Johann Friedrich Gleditsch, 1750-1).[2]

Jöcher/Adelung: Jöcher, Christian Gottlieb, ed., Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexicon. Fortsetzungen und Ergänzungen zu Christian Gottlieb Jöchers allgemeinen Gelehrten-Lexico, worin die Schriftsteller aller Stände nach ihren vornehmsten Lebensumständen und Schriften beschrieben werden; von Johann Christian Adelung, 7 vols. (Leipzig/etc.: Johann Friedrich Gleditsch/etc., 1784-1897).[3]

Metzger: Johann Daniel Metzger, Über die Universität zu Königsberg: ein Nachtrag zu Arnoldt und Goldbeck (Königsberg, 1804).  This work offers a necrology of those professors who had died after Arnoldt’s volumes.

Meusel: Johann Georg Meusel, Lexikon der vom Jahr 1750 bis 1800 verstorbenen Teutschen Schriftstellern, 15 vols (Leipzig: Gerhard Fleischer, 1802-16).

NDB: Neue Deutsche Biographie, edited by the Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1953- ).

Neuer Nekrolog: Neuer Nekrolog der Deutschen, edited by August Schmidt and Bernhard Friedrich Voigt, 30 vols. (Ilmenau, 1824-56). [Covers death years 1823-1852; a continuation of Schlichtegroll]

DNB: Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, 63 vols. (London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1885-1900), plus supplemental volumes.  Volume and page numbers to the preceding works are given only when the reference is not to the main article of the person discussed.

O/P: Oberhausen, Michael, and Riccardo Pozzo, eds. (1999). Vorlesungsverzeichnisse der Universität Königsberg (1720-1804), 2 vols. (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog), lxvii, 778 pp.

Pisanski: Georg Christoph Pisanski, Entwurf einer preussischen Literärgeschichte in vier Büchern, ed. by Rudolf Philippi (Königsberg, 1886, 11790).

Recke/Napiersky: Allgemeines Schriftsteller- und Gelehrten-Lexikon der Provinzen Livland, Esthland und Kurland, edited by Johann Friedrich v. Recke and Karl Eduard Napiersky, 4 vols. (Mitau: Johann Friedrich Steffenhagen und Sohn, 1827, 1829, 1831, 1832).

Schlichtegroll: Nekrolog der Teutschen für das 19. Jahrhundert, edited by Friedrich Schlichtegroll, vols. 1-5 (Gotha, 1802-1806).[4]

[1] The pagination of these Arnoldt volumes is not unambiguous. The reference work on Prussian Lutheran pastors [1777] first lists pastors in Königsberg (paginated 3-66, with its own index) and then the remainder of Prussia (paginated 3-506, with an index). Likewise, the two volumes from 1746 contain a second series of page numbers for the appendices at the end of each volume.

[2] v1: A-C (1750), v2: D-L (1750), v3: M-R (1751), v4: S-Z (1751).  Scanned online texts are available courtesy of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

[3] Vols. 1-2 (Leipzig: Gleditsch, 1784-87) compiled by J. C. Adelung; Vols. 3-6 (K-Lub; Delmenhorst/Bremen: Georg Jöntzen/Heyse, 1810-19) were compiled by Heinrich Wilhelm Rotermund.  A final volume prepared by Rotermund was published by O. Güther (Leipzig: Deutsche Gesellschaft, 1897).  v1: A-B (Leipzig: Gleditsch, 1784), v2: C-J (Leipzig: Gleditsch, 1787), v3: K-Lubienicki (Leipzig: Gleditsch, 1810), v4: Lubienietzki-Mon (Bremen: 1813), v5: Moriac-Pfeif (Bremen: 1816), v6: Pfeif-Rinov (Bremen: 1819), v7: Rinswerger-Romuleus (Leipzig: Gleditsch, 1897).  Scanned online texts are available courtesy of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

[4] Other Nekrolog volumes by Schlichtegroll appeared annually and were titled as such, e.g., Nekrolog auf das Jahr … (vols. 1-11; Gotha, 1791-1806).  This series was continued with the Neuer Nekrolog, edited by Schmidt and Voigt (see above).

Other Abbreviations used in the Entries [top]

* (following an entry): the beginning-date and position (as lecturer or professor) was checked against an extant copy of the disputation.

Ak: Akadamie Ausgabe [glossary], primarily vol. 13 (the index of Kant’s correspondence, prepared by Paul Menzer and Rose Burger).

Albertina: The university at Königsberg; also called the Albertus-Universität. [glossary]

AR: academicum repetit was entered into the matriculation records whenever someone resumed membership in the academic community, with all its various rights and privileges.  Thus, when an individual is entered as academicum repetit, then we can assume two things: (1) he was once a member of the university (typically, as a student), and (2) he had left the community for some time (such as to study at another school, or for extended travel).

Catalog: The lecture catalog (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) maintained by the university as a record of those courses announced for the coming semester (see above for details).

Coll. Frid.: Collegium Fridericianum or Friedrich’s College — the Pietist preparatory school in Königsberg that Kant attended. [more]

PL: pro loco disputation, the public defense of a dissertation that is supposed to occur whenever the individual assumes a professorship (either associate or full). [more]

PR: pro receptione disputation, the public defense of a dissertation that is to occur whenever an individual first joins the academic community, conferring the right to teach (either as lecturer or as professor).

SS: summer semester. [glossary]

WS: winter semester.