Maimon, Salomon

Maimon, Salomon mīˈmôn [key], c.1754–1800, German philosopher, b. Polish Lithuania. He received a Jewish religious education and was influenced by the Talmudic tradition and particularly by Maimonides. Wandering through Germany, he reached Berlin c.1779 and later went to school in Hamburg. An important critic of Immanuel Kant, Maimon argued that the “thing in itself” was to be understood not as an external entity underlying phenomena but as something residing in consciousness, a limit of the possible cognition of an object. Maimon posited the idea of an infinite reason, which he sometimes understood as a limit of understanding but tended to regard as an ontological entity.

See his autobiography (tr. by J. C. Murray, 1946); studies by S. Atlas (1964) and S. H. Bergman (tr. 1967).

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