Jacob Moleschott

Moleschott Jacob ( born August 9, 1822 in 's- Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, † May 20, 1893 in Rome) was a Dutch doctor and physiologist.

Together with Carl Vogt and Ludwig Buchner, he represented the position of scientific materialism materialism in dispute.


Moleschott studied medicine in Heidelberg. From 1845 to 1847 he worked as a doctor in Utrecht, from 1847 he taught as a Privatdozent in Heidelberg physiology. Due to the materialistic and atheistic character of his book The Circle of Life (1852 ) he was threatened in 1854 the Rector of the University of Heidelberg with the withdrawal of teaching license. Compared to the Baden minister of education renounced Moleschott then by letter to any teaching, because he no longer saw ensures the freedom of teaching. First launched in Heidelberg Moleschott a private laboratory, before he followed a call to Zurich in 1856. From 1861 he taught in Turin and in 1876 Senator of the Kingdom of Italy. From 1879 was Moleschott Professor of Physiology in Rome. He was one of the most famous Dutch physiologist of the 19th century.

Services and works

Moleschott research are examined and critically evaluated on cultural and physiologiegeschichtlichem background. In addition to his popular science publications in the field of metabolism and dietetics, he makes important contributions to the Lung histology and blood physiology, During his teaching career in Heidelberg, he was relieved of his duties there as a result of his atheism.

He puts in his famous book the idea of the conservation of energy in the cycle of nature in pure stofflichem sense of the cycle of life (1852, 5th edition 1876). If the miner phosphate of lime from the earth brings in the sweat of his face, the farmer fertilizes his wheat with him, so he does not think that he thereby not only the body but also on the last end of the human brain feeds. "Without phosphorus no thought ," With the substances is life, connected with the life of the mind, with the mind the desire to make life better and happier. Assets we therefore our brain to supply the best materials, including thinking and willing are reach their highest development and the social problem will find its solution. Man is the sum of parent and nurse, place and time, air and weather, sound and light, food and clothing, in short by external influences quite limited. The nature of research is therefore the Prometheus of our time, the chemistry, the highest science. Towards the end of his life Moleschott incidentally emphasizes that he, as the substance (spirit) is thought to never be without power, actually an " indivisible duality ", ie the monism and materialism not teach. As a representative of the mechanical materialism of the 50s he was influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach.

Its parameters are as representative of scientific materialism:


  • The physiology of foods. A handbook of Diätik, Darmstadt 1850
  • Physiology of metabolism in plants and animals, Erlangen 1851
  • The cycle of life, Mainz 1852
  • Physiological sketchbook, casting 1861
  • A look into the inner nature, casting 1882
  • Charles Robert Darwin, casting 1883
  • Small fonts (2 volumes), casting 1880-1887
  • Franciscus Cornelius Donders, casting 1888
  • Preface to Jacob Moleschott, Josef Schrattenholz (ed.): Anti-Semites hammer. An Anthology of World Literature, Lintz, Dusseldorf 1894
  • For my friends. Memoirs, casting 1895