German Idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophy

Course Dates: 23/04/24 - 16/07/24
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Keeley Street
German philosophers created the most ambitious and imaginative systems of thought of modern times against the backdrop of revolution and war. This creative and speculative beginning to modern continental philosophy is an exciting intellectual adventure.
100% of 100
Book your place
Out of stock
Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00

Sorry, this course is now full

German Idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophy
This course is full
  • Course Code: HP133
  • Dates: 23/04/24 - 16/07/24
  • Time: 18:00 - 19:30
  • Taught: Tue, Evening
  • Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Christopher Horner

Course Code: HP133

Full Tue, eve, 23 Apr - 16 Jul '24

Duration: 12 sessions (over 13 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The course will introduce students to the rich variety of philosophy and thinking associated with the dawn of German Idealism: the limits of knowledge, consciousness and self consciousness, nihilism and meaning, social theory, art and truth, ethics and politics. The aim is to provide an introductory course, embedded in an account of the historical context of the time, but making links to cultural and philosophical issues that are still relevant today.

What will we cover?

1. The scandal of Reason: the Crisis of Scepticism and the Kantian Copernican revolution. The crisis in the enlightenment thought at the end of the 18th century and the response of Kant.
2. Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason. What can we know? Kant’s startling answer to the question of how our minds come to know what is real
3, Kant: Ethics: How can we be ethical in a world ruled by blind laws of nature?
4, Kant: Beauty and the Sublime: how the judgment of betray and sublime is the key to our place
in the world
5. The Threat of Nihilism and Atheism: The impact of Kant and the crisis of meaning in
6. The German Romantics: Schlegel, Holderlin, Schiller, Novalis: Nature, beauty and the promise
of a world made new
7. Fichte: ‘In the beginning was the deed’. Subjectivity, consciousness and the demand of the
8. Schelling: "Nature is visible Spirit; Spirit is invisible Nature."
9. Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit: Absolute knowledge, The Master -Slave dialectic and
the Modern consciousness
10 Hegel: The philosophy of Right. Law, the State and the Ethical life of Moderns.
11. Hegel: Art and the the End of Art: Beauty and the Aesthetic Experience of Freedom
12 Aftermath: Towards Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Marx and Nietzsche. Why German Idealism
still matters.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Describe the core ideas of these thinkers and be able to relate their ideas to our world. Identify why they argued as they did and both who they influenced and the debates they sparked. You should be able to use and explain the key concepts we will be looking at in the course, such as ‘idealism’, ‘the master-slave dialectic’; the idea that ‘nature is the poetry of the mind, the mind is an outgrowth of nature’, and more.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The level is introductory. No previous knowledge is assumed and all you need is an interest in the kinds of ideas we will be looking at. An open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than specific levels of skills.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Lively tutor presentations and seminar discussions. The aim is to inform, stimulate and inspire you to think further about the issues we will look at. Suggestions for weekly reading will be provided but this work will not be compulsory. There will be a dropbox available in which all the resources used in the course will be available for you to download, plus hard copy materials given out in class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Whatever you need to take notes would be useful.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please visit to see the full range of philosophy courses on offer.

Christopher Horner

Chris teaches, studies and writes about philosophy and many other things. He has taught adult learners for many years and is committed to the view that the subject should be taught in a lively way that stimulates and empowers students, and that relates both to history, culture and society more widely. Most importantly, students should begin to see how philosophy relates to them, and that it is something they can engage in with confidence and success. He has studied at the University of Sheffield, University of East Anglia, Goldsmiths and Roehampton Universites and has a PhD, the subject of which was Hannah Arendt and Kant’s Theory of Reflective Judgment. He is the co-uthor of the Cambridge University Press Book ‘Thinking Through Philosophy’, and has published numerous articles, mainly on philosophical issues. He has a strong interest in politics, history, literature, the visual arts and music and is a keen landscape photographer.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.