Eberhard, Johann August
- Howard Serwer
(b Halberstadt, Aug 31, 1739; d Halle, Jan 6, 1809). German aesthetician and philosopher. From 1756 to 1759 he studied theology at Halle before returning to Halberstadt as a private tutor. He was then appointed assistant pastor at the Hospitalkirche and vice-principal at the Martineum (Gymnasium). In 1763 he moved to Berlin, where he became part of the group that included Moses Mendelssohn, C.F. Nicolai, J.A. Sulzer and J.P. Kirnberger. In 1768 he was appointed pastor at the Berlin workhouse and during this period wrote Die neue Apologie des Socrates (1772), an attack on orthodox theology couched in terms of rationalistic Wolffian philosophy. In 1774 he became pastor at Charlottenburg and continued his theological work. His liberal views attracted the attention of Frederick the Great and led to his appointment as professor of philosophy at Halle in 1778. There he founded two philosophical journals that became the vehicles for his opposition to Kant. He wrote many handbooks and textbooks on philosophy and its history. From the 1780s he turned his attention to linguistic studies and aesthetics, several times taking up the topic of music....