Christian Garve was born to a family of artisans in Breslau. He studied philosophy in Frankfurt and Halle and briefly taught mathematics and logic at the university of Leipzig from 1770-72. Garve then returned to his family in Breslau where he worked as a book seller, publisher and translator. He gained fame for his translations of Cicero and Adam Smith and his philosophical essays and reviews. He was strongly marked by the influence of the English and Scottish Enlightenment as well as Stoic ethics. Christian Garve was one of the best-known German philosophers of the late Enlightenment along with Immanuel Kant and Moses Mendelssohn.