Jacques Matter, a French philosopher and historian, born at Alt-Eckendorf, Alsace, May 31, 1791, died in Strasburg, June 23, 1864. He was intended for the legal profession, and after studying under private tutors and at the gymnasium of Strasburg and the university of Got-tingen, he went to Paris, where he attended the lectures of the faculty of letters, and wrote his Essai Mstorique sur Vecole d'Alexandrie, which received a prize from the academy in 1816, and was published in 1820. By favor of Ptoyer-Collard and Guizot he received in 1819 a professorship in the college of Strasburg, which he exchanged two years afterward for the direction of the gymnasium and the professorship of ecclesiastical history in the Protestant academy of the same city. He published Histoire critique du gnosticisme (2 vols., Paris, 1828), and Histoire universelle de l'Eglise chretienne (3 vols., 1829-'32). In 1828 he was appointed inspector of the academy of Strasburg, and in 1831 corresponding membqr of the academy of inscriptions. His treatise De Vinfluence des mceurs sur les lots et des lots sur les mceurs (Paris, 1832) received from the academy an extraordinary prize of 10,000 francs.
In 1832 he was appointed by Guizot general inspector of the university of Paris; in 1845 he became inspector general of public libraries, and subsequently he devoted himself to literary labors at Strasburg. Among his other works are: Histoire des doctrines morales et politiques des trois derniers siecles (3 vols., 1836-'7); De l'affaiblissement des idees et des etudes morales (1841); Schelling et la philosophic de la nature (1842); De Vetat moral, politique et litteraire de l'Allemagne (2 vols., 1847); Histoire de la philosophic dans ses rapports arcc la religion (1854); Philosophic de la religion (2 vols., 1857); La morale, ou la philosophic des moeurs (1860); Saint-Martin, le philosophc inconnu (1862); and Emmanuel de Swedenborg (1863).