Lazarus, Moritz

▪ Jewish philosopher and psychologist
born Sept. 15, 1824, Filehne, Prussia [now Wieleń, Pol.]
died April 13, 1903, Meran, Austria [now Merano, Italy]
 Jewish philosopher and psychologist, a leading opponent of anti-Semitism in his time and a founder of comparative psychology.

      The son of a rabbinical scholar, Lazarus studied Hebrew literature and history, law, and philosophy at Berlin. He served as professor at Bern (1860–66), at the Kriegs Akademie in Berlin (1867–73), and at the Friedrich Wilhelm University (now Humboldt University of Berlin) in Berlin (1873).

      The fundamental principle of Lazarus' philosophy stated that truth must be sought not in metaphysical or a priori abstractions but in psychological investigation; further, this investigation cannot confine itself successfully to the individual consciousness but must be devoted primarily to society as a whole. The psychologist must study humanity from the historical or comparative standpoint, analyzing the elements that constitute the fabric of society, with its customs, its conventions, and the main tendencies of its evolution. To further this Völkerpsychologie (German: “folk,” or comparative, psychology), he founded, with the philologist H. Steinthal, the journal Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft (1859). His chief philosophical work is Das Leben der Seele, 3 vol. (1855–57; “The Life of the Soul”).

      In both 1869 and 1871 Lazarus was president of the Liberal Jewish synods at Leipzig and Augsburg. As a leading defender of Judaism against the anti-Semitism of his day, he was an outstanding spokesman. His works on Jewish subjects include Treu und frei: Reden und Vorträge über Juden und Judenthum (1887; “Faithful and Free: Speeches and Lectures About Jews and Judaism”); a monograph on the prophet Jeremiah (1894); and Die Ethik des Judentums, 2 vol. (vol. 1, 1898; vol. 2, 1911; The Ethics of Judaism), which soon achieved the rank of a standard work.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • LAZARUS, MORITZ — (1824–1903), German philosopher and psychologist. Lazarus was born in the town of Filehne (now Wielen, Poland) in the Prussian district of Posen. Unlike most of the intellectuals of the Enlightenment in Germany, Lazarus received an intense Jewish …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lazarus, Moritz — (1824–1903)    German scholar. A philosopher and psychologist, Lazarus was rector of the University of Berne and later a professor at the University of Berlin. His main Jewish work was Ethics of Judaism (1900– 1), translated into English by… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Lazarus, Moritz — (1824 1903)    German philos opher and psychologist. He was born in Filehne, in the district of Posen. He became professor of philosophy at the University of Berne, and later rector of the university. In 1868 he moved to Berlin, where he lectured …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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  • Moritz Lazarus — (Atelier Gebrüder Siebe, Leipzig um 1870) Moritz (eigentlich Moses) Lazarus (* 15. September 1824 in Filehne (heute Wieleń) in der damaligen preußischen Provinz Posen; † 13. April 1903 in Meran) war ein deutscher …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Moritz von Bissing — Moritz Ferdinand von Bissing (* 30. Januar 1844 auf Ober Bellmannsdorf, Kr. Lauban, Provinz Schlesien; † 18. April 1917 in Trois Fontaines bei Brüssel), am 31. März 1858 in den preußischen Freiherrenstand erhoben, war preußischer Offizi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • LAZARUS, NAHIDA RUTH — (née Sturmhoefel; 1849–1928), German playwright, novelist, and journalist, of Christian descent. Her first husband was the critic Max Remy, who died in 1881. She had been drawn to Judaism from her youth and some years after Remy s death she was… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lazarus [2] — Lazarus, 1) Moritz, philosophischer Schriftsteller und Begründer der Völkerpsychologie, geb. 15. Sept. 1824 in Filehne (Posen), gest. 13. April 1903 in Meran, war zuerst für den Kaufmannsstand bestimmt, wandte sich aber bald der Wissenschaft zu,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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