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Geistliche und weltliche Zufriedenheit

Zurück zum Heft: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte. Band 46
DOI: 10.28937/9783787336784_7
EUR 16,90

The notion of contentment (lat. acquiescentia), nowadays nearly forgotten as a philosophical term, was of some importance during the 18th century. Its origin liesperhaps in the 16th and 17th-century theology, where it signifies modesty and frugality, generally the assent to the divine will and providence. Within the philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff contentment follows from the theory that all things are combined to a great harmony of the world; men therefore may be content with teleology, where all is turned to a good end. Some writers, like A. Rüdiger, argue that contentment is the state possible to men on earth, as there can be no complete happiness. Others, like J. A. Hoffmann, argue that activity and industry are as well wholesome for men as quiet and calm. Towards the end of the 18th century the notion is more and more understood as being only an inner state of man, his happy subjectivity and feeling of his own existence (Rousseau). It therefore plays a certain role in anthropology and medicine. Within the philosophy of the 19th and 20th century it is only mentioned a few times and it mostly becomes a pejorative concept.