Brucker, John James

, the learned author of the “History of Philosophy,” was a Lutheran clergyman, of whose life we have very few particulars. He was born Jan. 22, 1606, at Augsburgh, and educated at Jena, whence he returned to his native place, and in 1724, became rector of Kafbeueren. He was afterwards pastor of St. Ulric’s church at Augsburgh, where he died in 1770. Among his works are, I. “Tentamen introductionis in historiam doctrinae de Ideis,Jena, 1719, 4to. 2. “Historia phijosophica doctrinae de Ideis,Augsburg, 1723, 8vo. 3. “De Vita et Scriptis Cl. Etringeri,” ibid. 1724, 8vo. 4. “Otium Vindelicum, sive Meletematum Historico-philosophicorum Triga,” ibid. 1721, 8vo. 5. “Historia Vitae Adolphorum Occonum,” Lips. 1734, 4to. 6. “Dissertatio Epistol. de Vita Hier. Wolfii,” ibid. 1739, 4to. 7. “-De Hoeschelii Meritis in Rem Literariam,” ibid. 1739, 4to. 8. “Institutiones Historiae Philosophicae,” ibid. 1727, 8vo, and 1756, 4to. But the most important work, to which he owes his chief reputation, is his “Historia Critica Philosophiae,” published at Leipsic between the years 1742 and 1744, in four large volumes 4to; and reprinted at the same place in 1767, with large improvements and additions, in 6 vols. 4to. This was the fruit of nearly fifty years labour, and has received the general suffrage of the learned, as being the most comprehensive, methodical, and impartial history of philosophy hitherto written. He traces the progress of philosophy through three periods, the ancient, the middle, and the modern; in the first he surveys the state of philosophy in the ancient world, prior to the establishment of the Grecian states, and in the several sects of Grecian philosophers. In the second, he exhibits the various forms under which it appeared, during the course of twelve hundred years, among the Romans, the Orientalists, the Jews, the Saracens, and the Christians. In the third, he relates the attempts, whether successful or unsuccessful, which have been made since the revival of letters, to restore, or improve upon, ancient philosophy, or to introduce new methods of philosophizing. It is both a history of doctrines and of men. As a history of doctrines, it lays open the origin of opinions, the changes which they have undergone, the distinct characters of different systems, and the leading points in which they agree or differ. As a history of men, it relates the principal incidents in the lives of the more eminent | philosophers, remarks those circumstances in their character or situation which may be supposed to have influenced their opinions, takes notice of their followers and opponents, and describes the origin, progress, and decline of their respective sects. To this part of his work every collector of biography must own his obligations. A very judicious and satisfactory abridgement of this work was published in 1791, 2 vols. 4to, by the late Dr. Enfield. 1