Liberal Arts

Modern Philosophy

Modern Philosophy

From Kant to Hegel

Developments in German Classic Philosophy

Instructor: Roberto Fineschi

Office Hours:  By appointment

Contact e-mail:

Course Description

The central objective of this course is to introduce students to the developments of the German classic philosophy by investigating two of the most important figures of that period: Kant and Hegel.

In the first part of the semester, the student will be introduced to the central issues of Kant’s criticism; in particular we will study his famous Critique of Pure Reason, presented and discussed through the reading of selected passages and critical literature. This will allow the student to gain an understanding of Kant’s pivotal role in Western philosophical culture.

The second part will focus on the development of post-kantian philosophy in the German environment, in particular on the theory of Hegel’s objective idealism. His systematic-encyclopedic, ontological approach emerged coherently from the post-Kantian tradition, but, eventually, substantially modified Kant’s view, providing future philosophers with a very influential model - at least in the continental context -, which became a privileged reference point for both followers and opponents. The main focus will be on the Phenomenology of Spirit and Science of Logic.

Course Hours

Course meets twice a week for a total of 45 hours. Suggested credits: 3.

Learning expectations:

  1. To familiarize students with the philosophical concepts, language, and terms of classical German philosophy.

  2. To acquire analytical tools so as to further study these authors on their own.

  3. To increase awareness on philosophical themes and issues in general, and within their historical context in particular.

  4. To introduce students to a reading of the original texts and critical literature.

  5. To provide a better understanding of the development of Western philosophy in that period.

  6. To learn how to write, present, and discuss philosophical themes.

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