[Index of Biographies]

Johann David Kypke (1692-1758)

[This is a draft of an article in The Dictionary of Eighteenth Century German Philosophers, 3 vols., edited by Manfred Kuehn and Heiner Klemme (London/New York: Continuum, 2010).]

Johann David Kypke (also: Kipke) was born the son of a pastor on 19 February 1692 in Neukirchen (Pomerania), and died in Königsberg on 10 December 1758 as a professor of logic and metaphysics at the university, and a prominent Königsberg Pietist. He attended the gymnasium in Stettin, then matriculated at the university in Königsberg on 30 August 1712. He either interrupted or prolonged his studies by teaching at the Collegium Fridericianum [more], a Pietist grammar and Latin high school in Königsberg, from 1718 to 1724, and his early work on pedagogy (1731) was likely informed by these early experiences.  He received his magister degree on 2 April 1723 and began lecturing at the university, joining the ranks of prominent Pietists like Christoph Langhansen [bio], Georg Friedrich Rogall [bio], Daniel Salthenius [bio], and F. A. Schultz [bio].  He was promoted to the associate professor of logic and metaphysics beginning the winter semester of 1725/26, and full professor in 1727 (a position he held until his death), with an inaugural address on the deficiencies of natural theology.  In 1732 he was promoted to a full professorship in theology, and received a doctorate in theology (normally a condition for permission to teach in that faculty) the following year (23 July 1733).  In 1730 he married a sister to Professor Daniel Arnoldt [bio], a prominent theology professor at the university.  He is an uncle to Georg David Kypke [bio], the professor of oriental languages, and not his father, as is occasionally claimed in the literature.

Kypke was teaching during Kant’s student years and his early years as a lecturer. His Aristotelian work on the analytic/synthetic distinction (1729) apparently impressed Kant.  Kant applied for the chair of logic and metaphysics when Kypke died (along with five others), but the position was awarded to Friedrich Johann Buck [bio], who had been lecturing longer than Kant, and who perhaps appeared more capable [more].


De dono docendi (Königsberg, 1723).

De defectibus theologiae naturalis ex natura noscibilibus (Königsberg, 1727).

(anon.), Brevissima delineatio scientarum dialecticae et analyticae ad mentem philosophi (Königsberg, 1729).

Anweisung zur leichten und gründlichen Information der Kinder, so zum Studiren gewidmet (Königsberg, 1731).

"Psychologische Anwendung und Betrachtung des Gesetzes der Einbildungskraft" in Königsberger Intelligenz Blätter (1739).

Primae lineae theologiae dogmaticae (Königsberg, 1750).

Further Reading

APB, vol. 1, p. 377 (Vanselow).

Arnoldt, Daniel Heinrich, Ausführliche und mit Urkunden versehene Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1746), vol. 2, pp. 190, 192-3, 387, 433.

Arnoldt, Daniel Heinrich, Zusätze zu seiner Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1756), p. 36.

Arnoldt, Daniel Heinrich, Fortgesetzte Zusätze zu seiner Historie der Königsbergischen Universität (Königsberg, 1769), p. 17.

Bornhak, Conrad, Geschichte der preussischen Universitätsverwaltung bis 1810 (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1900), p. 112.

Gause, Fritz, Die Geschichte der Stadt Königsberg in Preussen, 2nd enlarged ed., 3 vols. (Köln, 1996), vol. 2, pp. 118, 121.

Goldbeck, Johann Friedrich, Nachrichten von der Königlichen Universität zu Königsberg in Preußen, und den daselbst befindlichen Lehr- Schul- und Erzeihungsanstalten (Dessau, 1782), p. 210.

Jöcher/Adelung (1810), vol. 3, col. 998.

Kuehn, Manfred, Kant: A Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 74-75.

Meusel (1808), vol. 7, p. 438.

Pisanski, Georg Christoph, Entwurf einer preussischen Literargeschichte in vier Bucher, ed. by Rudolf Philippi (Königsberg, 1886), pp. 490, 529, 531-32, 565, 577.

[Index of Biographies]