Classical german philosophy. University of Padova research group

5th International Summer School in German Philosophy – “The ‘Idealism’ in German Idealism” (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 20-31 July 2015)

We are pleased to announce that the 5th International Summer School in German Philosophy will be held in Bonn from July 20 to July 31 2015. The topic of this year’s summer school will be “The ‘idealism’ in German Idealism’.

5th International Summer School in German Philosophy:
“The ‘idealism’ in German Idealism”
(July 20-31)


Prof. Dr. Michael Forster (Chair in Theoretical Philosophy)
Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel (Chair in Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy)

Keynote Addresses/Visiting Professors:

Karin de Boer (KU Leuven)
Angela Breitenbach (Cambridge)
Catherine Malabou (CRMEP, London)
Clinton Tolley (San Diego)

Course Description:

The first week (July 20-24) with Prof. Forster will mainly focus on Kant’s “transcendental idealism”. We will discuss the emergence of, and the original philosophical motivations for, such a position in Kant’s precritical writings, and above all his arguments for it in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781/7), where special attention will be paid to the Transcendental Aesthetic, the Transcendental Deduction, the Principles, and the Antinomies. We will also consider, though more briefly, the historical fate of, and the philosophical prospects for, such a position after Kant.

The second week (July 27-31) with Prof. Gabriel will mainly focus on idealism in Fichte and Hegel. On some very problematic straw-man readings, Fichte and Hegel aim at developing a Kantianism without things in themselves by simply dropping the very idea of a thing in itself and thereby claiming that we must contend ourselves with Kantian appearances all the way down. Against such straw-man readings – made prominent by figures as different as Heidegger and Russell – the second week of the course with Prof. Gabriel will be dedicated to Fichte’s and Hegel’s early understanding and criticism of transcendental idealism as proposed by Kant. In particular, we will read passages from Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre 1794 and Hegel’s Faith and Knowledge (1802). The leading question will be how Fichte and Hegel are able to incorporate an improved variety of the Kantian distinction of theory-orders separating transcendental idealism from empirical realism. Arguably, this early stage of what was later dubbed “German Idealism” is actually concerned with spelling out the structure of the metaphysics and epistemology needed in order to make sense of both the very existence of a first-order realist theory layer and the overall intelligibility of the facts obtaining and the objects existing within the domain posited on the higher-order level of idealistic theorizing. Thus, surprisingly, German Idealism might come to be seen as providing a deflationary meta-theory for Kant’s enterprise.


Please send the following by April 15, 2015 to: philosophy-summerschool@uni-bonn.de:

  • a, CV of no more than 2 pages
  • b, Statement of your 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.
  • c, 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.

ICPH Fellowships:

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.


We will help all participants find accommodation in Bonn (youth hostel, hotel rooms). More information regarding housing will be made available soon. Please contact us at: philosophy-summerschool@uni-bonn.de. Participants will be responsible for meals outside official summer school dinners. All usual services (internet and library access, etc.) will be provided.

For further information, please click on this link.

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Article's url: https://www.hegelpd.it/hegel/5th-international-summer-school-in-german-idealism-the-idealism-in-german-idealism-rheinische-friedrich-wilhelms-universitat-bonn-20-31-july-2015/