Master Classes in the History of Philosophy

31 07 2011

Sponsored by The Journal of the History of Philosophy


Beginning in 2012



Mindful of the challenges facing young scholars working in the history of philosophy, the Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has established a program of Master Classes in the History of Philosophy. The central idea of the program is that a senior scholar who works primarily in some area of the history of philosophy would undertake to direct an intensive week of master classes for the benefit of a small group of recent Ph.D.s whose main research and teaching are in the relevant area.  Normally, the classes will focus on one or more texts that are typically not part of material that the participants would have studied as graduate students. The goal of the program is the enhancement of the expertise and understanding of the young scholars in their area of specialization.


Those chosen for the classes will be reimbursed for their the travel and living expenses up to $1500 each.  It is proposed that the number of participants will normally be between four and six, though it is possible that a slightly higher number can be accommodated.


All of the participants in the classes will be asked to provide within thirty days of its completion a letter describing their views about the success of the classes and any thoughts they may have about how to improve future classes.




First Classes: July 9-13, 2012

Instructor: Robert Pippin (University of Chicago)

Topic: Post-Kantian Idealism


Course Description:


Among the many issues that were intensively discussed in the aftermath of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, two emerged as the most important and contentious. What exactly was Transcendental Idealism? (Especially:  was the central claim in such a position – that we cannot know “things in themselves” – coherent?) The second issue was understood, as it was in Kant, to be deeply related to an answer to the first: had Kant properly accounted for human freedom and its “absolute” value? We shall attempt to understand the basic alternatives to Kant’s position proposed by the three major post-Kantian idealists: Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. Representative selections from the English and German editions of the following texts will be studied (participants will be expected to have read the selected material before the beginning of the seminar).  There will be morning and afternoon classes on each of the five days.


Texts to be studied:


Fichte: Science of Knowledge (Wissenschaftslehre), ed. Peter Heath and John Lachs (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1970; 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).


Fichte, J.G. Early Philosophical Writings, ed. D. Breazeale (Ithaca: Cornell, 1993).


Schelling. F. W.J. System of Transcendental Idealism (1800), Transl. P. Heath (Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press, 1993).


Hegel, G.W.F. The Difference Between Fichte’s and Schelling’s System of Philosophy, trans. H. S. Harris and W. Cerf, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1977.



Eligibility: Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in philosophy awarded in 2007 or later.  The classes are intended primarily for those who specialize in the subject area of the classes broadly conceived.



Application: Those interested in participating in the master classes for 2012 are asked to send an e-mail expressing their interest in participating in the classes along with a complete curriculum vitae to the chair of the JHP committee overseeing the project, Lloyd Gerson (  Deadline for submission : November 30, 2011.  It is anticipated that an announcement of the committee’s selection from among applicants will be made in early January, 2012.

Quelle: DGPhil




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