History of Modern European Philosophy from Kant (PHIL*3080)
Term: Fall 2012
At the same time as the American and French Revolutions of the 1770s and ‘80s inaugurated a transformation of the Western political world, Immanuel Kant
inaugurated a comparable revolution in the philosophical world. Kant’s revolutionary idea, in the Critique of Pure Reason, was that subjectivity—the nature of experience—can be as important an object of scientific study as nature. After an initial study of central ideas from Kant, we will turn to exciting developments from these ideas in 19th Century European Philosophy. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit developed Kant’s initial project into a science of the whole of human experience, with a special focus on the interpersonal, political and historical dimensions of our lives. In addition to studying Kant and Hegel, we will also look at some of the many other exciting 19th Century thinkers who have provided our contemporary world with some of the most powerful tools we have for thinking about personal, political and cultural life.