Moritz Lazarus (15 September 1824 – 13 April 1903), born at Filehne, in the Prussian province of Posen, was a German philosopher, psychologist, and a vocal opponent of the antisemitism of his time.FilehnePrussianPosenGermanphilosopherpsychologistantisemitism
The fundamental principle of his philosophy was that truth must be sought not in metaphysical or a priori abstractions but in psychological investigation, and further that this investigation cannot confine itself successfully to the individual consciousness, but must be devoted primarily to society as a whole.
Apart from the great interest of his philosophical work Lazarus was pre- eminent among the Jews of the so- called Semitic denomination in Germany
He claimed for Prussia the leadership over the other German states on account of her political, philosophical, and religious superiority. From 1850 Lazarus devoted himself especially to psychology. Applying the laws of the psychology of the individual to the nation and to mankind (for these he considered as social beings), Lazarus established a new branch of research which he termed "Völkerpsychologie" (national psychology).
In 1860 Lazarus was called to the University of Bern as professor of psychology; six years later he returned to Berlin and was appointed teacher of philosophy at the Royal Military Academy (1867); and in 1874 he became professor of philosophy at the university of that city. He was one of the founders of the Schillerstiftung and for many years its president; he was also curator of the Victoria Lyceum. On the occasion of his seventieth birthday Lazarus was honored by the German emperor, the University of Bern, and the Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati. The first conferred upon him the title of "Königlicher Geheimer Regierungsrath"; the second, the degree of doctor of law; and the third, that of doctor of theology. In 1895 Lazarus, after the death of his first wife, married the widow Nahida Ruth Remy, who under his influence had embraced Judaism. During his last years Lazarus lived a retired life in Meran.