Fourth Annual International Summer School in German Philosophy (2014). Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit

We are pleased to announce that the fourth Annual International Summer School in German Philosophy will be held in Bonn from July 21 to August 3 2014. The topic of this year’s summer school will be Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit.

The organizers of the summer school are Prof. Michael Forster and Marcus Gabriel.

The first week (July 21- July 27 2014) with Prof. Gabriel will focus on Hegel’s philosophy of subjective spirit as presented in his Encyclopedia. Many discussions of Hegel’s significance for contemporary epistemology and philosophy of mind have neglected this important part of his system. Yet, in his philosophy of subjective spirit Hegel gives an account how we are able to sustain objectively valid beliefs (have thoughts) despite the fact that they are grounded in faculties apparently generated by mere natural repetition. Hegel tries to reconcile the natural dimension of human thinking with its universal scope that goes significantly beyond the sensory limitations of human or any other animal embodiment even though it is grounded in it. Topics will include: Hegel’s solution of the mind-body-problem, his theory of imagination, the relation of thinking and language, as well as the relation of subjective spirit and pure logical thinking. Keynote addresses will be held by Prof. Paul Redding (University of Sydney) and Prof. Willem deVries (University of New Hampshire), Prof. Robert Stern (University of Sheffield).

The second week (July 28 – August 3 2014) with Prof. Forster will focus on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (1807). Hegel conceived this extraordinary work as a type of “introduction” of the subjective spirit (or individual consciousness) to the standpoint of absolute spirit (or “Science”). We will explore that project in the course. It will turn out that the Phenomenology is an “introduction” to the standpoint in question in a very unusual and ambitious sense. In particular, its introductory function includes a project of converting what Hegel regards as a pathologically dualistic modern culture to the monistic standpoint in question, a project of defending this monistic standpoint against potential sceptical attacks, and a project of creating the very concepts that are required for the articulation of the standpoint in question and of making it true. Keynote addresses are expected to be held by Prof. John McDowell (University of Pittsburgh) and Prof. Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (University of Leipzig).

Anyone interested in attending the summer school, is invited to send the following by April 1, 2014 to:

  • 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.

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