Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas

Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas foiˈərbäkh [key], 1804–72, German philosopher, educated at Heidelberg and Berlin; son of Paul Johann Anselm von Feuerbach. At first a Hegelian, he abandoned absolute idealism for naturalistic materialism. He asserted that religious feeling is simply a product of man's yearnings and maintained that the proper study of philosophy is not what transcends experience but man himself and nature, on which humanity rests. Although Feuerbach approaches materialism in his later works, man for him is not to be regarded as simply a product of matter. Feuerbach's most important works were Das Wesen des Christentums (1841, tr. by George Eliot, The Essence of Christianity, 1957 ed.); Geschichte der neueren Philosophie (2 vol., 1833–37); and Gottheit, Freiheit und Unsterblichkeit (1866).

See E. Kamenka, The Philosophy of Ludwig Feuerbach (1970); M. Wartofsky, Feuerbach (1982); C. A. Wilson, Feuerbach and the Search for Otherness (1989).

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