Saturday, January 30, 2010

International Summer School in German Philosophy

The Philosophy Department at Bonn University is pleased to announce the First Annual International Summer School in German Philosophy. This year's topic is "Transcendental Ontology and Issues in Epistemology in Post-Kantian Idealism."

Professor Markus Gabriel (Bonn University) will organize and teach the seminar, with Professors Paul Franks (University of Toronto) and Espen Hammer (Temple University) giving keynote addresses.

One of the aims of the summer school is to argue that the thinkers of Post-Kantian Idealism defend a new ontology, one which lays out the conditions of possibility for transcendental, higher-order thought. Despite Kant’s negative verdict on ontology, these conditions appear
precisely ontological as soon as the existence of the alleged transcendental subject is confirmed. Since the world cannot be reduced to a strictly ”external world” in the Cartesian sense, the
conditions of possibility for referring to determinate objects in the world come to be conceived as themselves determinate objects in the world. With this re-evaluation of the status of ontology in mind, we will read key texts by Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, with specific attention to the relation between epistemology and ontology. Through this ”ontologized” reading, we will attend to certain essential claims of each thinker: Hegel’s thinking not only substance as subject, but the subject as substance, the later Fichte’s re-introducing the notion of being into his Wissenschaftslehre, and finally, Schelling’s ontology of ”ground”, ”existence” and the ”will” in his Freiheitsschrift and Weltalter.

The Summer School will be organized seminar-style, emphasizing group discussion and close readings of key texts of German Idealism (Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel).

The Summer School will run June 14-25, 2010, and all discussions will be in English. Please send your application in English (CV and short letter of intent) to by March 10. There are some stipends (€ 800-1000) available, which cover travel expenses and part of the accommodation. To apply for a stipend, please send your CV and a short letter of intent that explains your need for financial support. Please note that there is no registration fee for the summer school.

Other information--including a description of the syllabus, and information about stipends--can be found on the website: and all inquiries should be directed to