Seminars by Faculty of the University of Chicago
The Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago offers a wide array of seminars on topics in German Philosophy taught by faculty both in and affiliated with the Department. Below is a list of the seminars to be taught by our faculty during the academic year 2020/21 that might be of interest to students with a research focus in German Philosophy.
Autumn Quarter 2020
Philosophy 35708. Wittgenstein: Early and Late.
The course is devoted to the unity and the disunity in the evolution of Wittgenstein’s philosophy. We shall question the prevalent view that the later work radically breaks with the earlier. In accord with Wittgenstein’s own advance we shall study the Philosophical Investigations in light of the Tractatus, and the Tractatus from the perspective of the Philosophical Investigations. We shall also look at some of Wittgenstein’s writing from the thirties (e.g., The Big Typescript). I. Kimhi
Open to undergrads – register in Philosophy. (W 1:50-4:40pm, to be taught on line)
PHIL 20610/30610 (HIST 25304, HIST 35304, GRMN 25304, GRMN 35304, HIPS 26701, CHSS 31202, FNDL 25315) Goethe: Literature, Philosophy, Science
German would be helpful, but it is not required.
Winter Quarter 2021
PHIL 35709 (SCTH 35709) Anxiety and Nothingness
Anxiety is discussed in modern philosophy as a mood which by contrast to fear is not directed to an object and thus reveals the “nothing” which dominates our engagement with beings. The class will be devoted to the modern philosophical discourse on “anxiety” and “nothing.”
PHIL 41815 Political Philosophy: Hume, Rousseau, the 1844 Marx
Kant is a watershed in political philosophy (as he is everywhere). This often means that earlier work gets read as “pre-Kantian.” In this course we will look at central texts by Hume and Rousseau in order to understand them in their own terms. We will connect these writers to another non-Kantian, the early Marx. The goal is to find, develop and assess ways of thinking of the tasks of political philosophy that do not presuppose a Kantian framework. D. Brudney
PHIL 51830 (LAWS 53256) Advanced Topics in Moral, Political & Legal Philosophy: Social & Political Philosophy of Hegel and Marx
We will focus on Hegel’s philosophy of history and its influence on Marx’s historical materialism; and on Hegel’s critique of Christianity in the Early Theological Writings and also in the Phenomenology and its relation to Marx’s early theory of human nature in the 1840s and his critique of ideology. (I) M. Forster, B. Leiter
PHIL 54806 (SCTH 50300) Heidegger’s Concept of Metaphysics
Spring Quarter 2021
PHIL 27000 History of Philosophy III: Kant and the 19th Century
The philosophical ideas and methods of Immanuel Kant’s “critical” philosophy set off a revolution that reverberated through 19th-century philosophy. We will trace the effects of this revolution and the responses to it, focusing on the changing conception of what philosophical ethics might hope to achieve. We will begin with a consideration of Kant’s famous Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, in which the project of grounding all ethical obligations in the very idea of rational freedom is announced. We will then consider Hegel’s radicalization of this project in his Philosophy of Right, which seeks to derive from the idea of rational freedom, not just formal constraints on right action, but a substantive conception of the proper organization of our social and political lives. We will conclude by examining some important critics of the Kantian/Hegelian project in ethical theory: Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, Frederick Douglass, and Friedrich Nietzsche. M. Boyle
PHIL 22220/32220 (FNDL 22220) Marx’s Capital, Volume I
We will study the first volume of Karl Marx’s Capital, attempting to understand the book on its own terms and with minimal reference to secondary literature. (A) (I) A. Ford
PHIL 51702 (SCTH 50301) Heidegger’s Critique of German Idealism
The texts we will read: Heidegger’s 1929 book, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, his 1935 course, published as the book What is a Thing, the critique of Hegel published in 1957, Identity and Difference, and the 1942/43 lectures published as Hegel’s Concept of Experience. We will conclude with a discussion of Heidegger’s 1936 lectures, Schelling’s Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom.
PHIL 53915 Wittgenstein and Skepticism