Alessandro Nannini

A history of the idea of «vital knowledge». From Luther to the aesthetics of the German Enlightenment

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


In this essay, the Author outlines the history of the idea of «vital knowledge» - a kind of knowledge which elicits an action - as it is discussed in the German context until the end of the Enlightenment. The aim is to show its semantic development from its Lutheran basis to its philosophical adoption in Thomasius and Wolff, for whom the impulse to act does no longer derive from the Holy Spirit, but only from immanent causes. Finally, the paper investigates the employment of the concept in aesthetics, from Baumgarten to the late Enlightenment, and its new foundation on the obscure perceptions of the soul, which turn out to be man's most powerful motive.


  • Vital Knowledge
  • Lutheran Theology
  • 18th Century Aesthetics
  • Wolff
  • Baumgarten


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat