JACOMI, FRIEDRICH HEINRICH, a German philosopher, b. at Dusseldorf, Jan. 25. 1743. He was educated at Frankfort, whence he proceeded to Geneva with a view to preparing himself for a mercantile career. In 1770 he was appointed councilor of finance for the duchies of Berg and Jiilich, and having married a lady of fortune, was enabled to devote himself to literary pursuits. In 1804 he removed to Munich, where he had been appointed a member of the newly-instituted academy of sciences, of which he became president in 1807. He died on Mar. 10, 1819. His writings consist partly of romances. and partly of philosophical treatises. The principal are Woldemar (2 vole. Flew b. 1779), Eduard Brkfsummlung (Brest. 1781), both philosophical romances; Leber die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an Jlendelssohn (Bresl. 1785), a polemic against logical methods of speculation in the search after the higher class of moral truths; and David Hume fiber den Glauben, oclez Idealismus and Realismus, in which the same polemic is continued, but in which an attempt is also made to demonstrate that the mind or nature of man possesses another faculty—viz., faith, or moral intuition, by
which the higher truths are as firmly grasped as, by faith in the perceptions of the senses we, so to speak, lay hold on the phenomena of the material world. Herein lies the difference between Kant (and indeed the whole school of German idealists) and Jacobi; the former appears to admit only the "subjective" reality of such conceptions as God, the soul, immortality, etc.; the latter claims for them an "objective" reality. Kant denies that the "faculty of faith" gives us "knowledge," in the strict sense of the word; Jacobi affirms that it does. One of his treatises, Von den gottlichen Dingen and are? Ceenbarung (Leip. 1811), was the occasion of a rather. sharp controversy between him and Schelling. Jacobi is not a systematic thinker, and did not form a school. He is, as might be expected, deficent in the qualities lie despised—method and logical sequence; but his style is remarkably good, poAsessing both warmth and clearness, It has been compared by his countrymen to that of Plato. His collected works appeared at Leipsia (G vols. 1812-24).