7th International Summer School in German Philosophy:
(July 10-21, 2017)
Prof. Dr. Michael Forster
Chair in Theoretical Philosophy
Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel
Chair in Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
Keynote Addresses/Visiting Professors:
- Prof. Stephen Houlgate (Warwick)
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- N. N.
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The 7th International Summer School in German Philosophy will trace the central debates concerning the concepts of free will and political freedom in the Post-Kantian tradition. This course will attempt to provide a fairly comprehensive critical overview of the theories of political freedom and free will that were so central to Classical German Philosophy in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We will begin by looking at the ideas of political freedom and free will as they developed among the ancient Greeks, in early Christianity and in Luther’s hugely influential essay The Freedom of a Christian (which influenced among others Kant, Schelling and Hegel). We will then move ahead to consider a family of compatibilist theories of free will that were developed around the middle of the eighteenth century (Hume, Wolff, and the early Kant). We will then briefly consider Kant’s liberal political philosophy and especially the unusual synthesis of incompatibilism and compatibilism that he developed in the Critical period (the Third Antinomy and the Second Critique).
From there, we will move to the Post-Kantian constellation and focus on selected texts by Schopenhauer, Schelling and Hegel. Arguably, the Post-Kantian philosophers confront Kant on metaphysical grounds in that they believe that Kant’s metaphysics of nature gives rise to a placement issue, as it is hard to see how human freedom could fit into a causally closed world-order of the type envisaged by Kant. Hegel, however, revises the Kantian framework in a radical way by attempting in effect to replace a metaphysical conception of free will with his conception of socio-political freedom as laid out in his Phenomenology of Spirit and his mature Philosophy of Right.
Our last focus will be Hegel, who can be seen as developing a distinctive multi-level theory of several different sorts of freedom, including free will, socio-political freedom, and what one might call metaphysical freedom. Finally, we shall consider Nietzsche’s views on free will, which are striking for their tendency to call both the idea of the will and the idea of its freedom radically into question.
The first week of this course will be run by Prof. Dr. Michael Forster, the second by Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel. As always, we will invite a series of high-profile keynote speakers.
- CV of no more than 2 pages
- Statement of intent of no more than 1 page. Please mention in your statement whether you are interested in attending and participating in several seminars on the topic in German, which will be offered should demand warrant.
- Writing sample of no more than 2,000 words in either English, French or German.
All students must in addition have at least one degree in philosophy.
All texts and discussions will be in English.
The course will be open to a maximum of 40 participants.
The International Centre for Philosophy North Rhine-Westphalia will be offering several stipends for foreign graduate students to cover part of their traveling expenses and accommodations. To apply for a stipend, please send a short, separate letter outlining current funding status, financial need and projected travel expenses. Please note that there are no registration or course fees for the summer school.