Freudenthal received his education at the universities of Breslau and Göttingen, and at the rabbinical seminary of Breslau. After graduating from the University of Göttingen (1863) he became teacher of the Samson school in Wolfenbüttel (1863–64), whence be removed to Breslau as teacher in the rabbinical seminary there, a position which he resigned in 1888. In 1875 he became lecturer in philosophy at the University of Breslau; in 1878 he was elected assistant professor, in 1888 professor, of philosophy. He was a member of the senate of the university in 1894-96, and dean of the philosophical faculty in 1898-99. The Prussian Academy of Science sent him to England in 1888 to study English philosophy, and in 1898 to the Netherlands to research the life of Spinoza.
The results of these voyages were his "Beiträge zur Englischen Philosophie", in the "Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie" (iv. 450 et seq., v. 1 et seq.), and "Die Lebensgeschichte Spinoza's", Leipzig, 1899.
He contributed various essays to the publications of the Prussian Academy of Science, such as:
- to the "Rheinische Museum",
- to the "Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie",
- to "Hermes",
- to the "J. Q. R.",
- to Monatsschrift Allg. Zeit. des Judenthums"
He also published:
- "Ueber den Begriff der Φαντασία bei Aristoteles" (1863);
- "Die Flavius Josephus Beigelegte Schrift über die Herrschaft der Vernunft", 1869;
- "Hellenistische Studien" (1875–79);
- "Ueber die Theologie des Xenophanes" (1886)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore Singer, Frederick T. Haneman (1901–1906). "Jacob Freudenthal". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.