The Driving Ideas of the German Enlightenment
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Thursday, 10 November 2022
10:00 – 10:15 Opening Remarks
Chair: Tinca Prunea-Bretonnet (University of Bucharest/Romanian Academy)
10:15 – 11:15 Sebastiano Ghisu (University of Sassari), The Foundational Idea of “Universal Human Reason” and Its Consequences. A Critique of Hinske’s Essay as an Alternative Explanation of the Aufklärung
11:15 – 12:15 Christian Leduc (University of Montreal), Systematicity in the German Enlightenment
12:15 – 12:40 Coffee Break
12:40 – 13:40 Matthieu Haumesser (CPGE Paris), The Enlightenment of Concepts: Clarity and Distinctness in Kant’s Philosophy
13:40 – 15:00 Lunch Break
Chair: Alessandro Nannini (University of Bucharest)
15:00 – 16:00 Tinca Prunea-Bretonnet (University of Bucharest/Romanian Academy), Eclectic Philosophy and Selbstdenken from Thomasius to the Berlin Academy
16:00 – 17:00 Andrew Beddow (University of Chicago), Kant and Luther on the Freedom of a Christian
17:00 – 17:30 Coffee Break
17:30 – 18:30 Anna Tomaszewska (University of Krakow), “Schwärmerei” in the German Enlightenment: Religious and Philosophical
Friday, 11 November 2022
Chair: Sorana Corneanu (University of Bucharest)
9:30 – 10:30 Alessandro Nannini (University of Bucharest), Self-Perfecting as Self-Healing. Philosophical Therapies at the Origins of the German Enlightenment
10:30 – 11:30 Michael Walschots (Martin-Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg), Moral Necessity and Impossibility from Leibniz to Kant
11:30 – 12:00 Coffee Break
12:00 – 13:00 Alin Paul Varciu (Western University, London, ON), Kant on Maturity and Perfectibility
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
Chair: Alexandra Bacalu (University of Bucharest)
14:30 – 15:30 Charlotte Morel (PSL/ENS Paris), Perfectionnement et perfectibilité: une idée directrice des Lumières allemandes en débat avec Rousseau?
15:30 – 16:30 Ted Kinnaman (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA), Hamann’s Critique of Kant
16:30 – 17:00 Coffee Break
17:00 – 18:00 Udo Thiel (University of Graz), Hinske, Cassirer and the Unity of the Enlightenment
18:00 – Closing Remarks
For any queries, please write to [email protected]
Enlightenment has been labelled in various ways: the ‘century of philosophy’, the ‘century of taste’, the ‘age of criticism’, etc. Undoubtedly, the breakup of the traditional orders of knowledge and the new demands for rationality spawned a remarkable number of ideas and disciplines, either completely new (e.g. the idea of aesthetics or of phenomenology) or profoundly revised (e.g. the idea of "critique" in Kant's system) in the light of novel discursive and social interpretations of the world. An illuminating guide through the complex conceptual geography of this era up to Kant is undoubtedly Norbert Hinske’s ground-breaking essay “Die tragenden Grundideen der deutschen Aufklärung”. Hinske identifies three types of basic ideas (Grundideen) that characterize and drive the philosophy of the German Enlightenment: 1. programmatic ideas (Programmideen), expressing the goals of the Aufklärung, such as ‘thinking for oneself’ (Sebstdenken) and ‘perfectibility’; 2. combat-ideas (Kampfideen), such as ‘confused representations’, ‘prejudice’, and ‘enthusiasm’ (Schwärmerei), against which German enlightened thinkers fight; 3. foundational ideas (Basisideen), expressing the fundamental anthropological convictions which ground their thought, such as the ‘determination’ or ‘destination of the human being’ (Bestimmung des Menschen) and ‘universal human reason’ (allgemeine Menschenvernunft).
This conference aims to build on Norbert Hinske’s typology and promote a critical discussion of his theses, including but not limited to the following topics:
- discuss/develop/revise/reject one or more of the basic ideas Hinske advances;
- advance and analyze other ideas as decisive for the philosophy of the Enlightenment, with or without reference to Hinske’s theses;
- challenge Hinske’s interpretation of the German Enlightenment in this essay (e.g. the unifying pattern of a small number of fundamental ideas; the specificity of the German Enlightenment; Kant's Mündigkeit as belonging to the same programmatic idea as Eklektik and Selbstdenken).
Norbert Hinske, “Die tragenden Grundideen der deutschen Aufklärung”, in: Aufklärung und Haskalah in jüdischer und nichtjüdischer Sicht, ed. Karlfried Gründer and Natan Rotenstreich, Heidelberg: Schneider, 1990; as well as in: Die Philosophie der deutschen Aufklärung. Texte und Darstellung, ed. R. Ciafardone, Ditzingen: Reclam, 1998 – expanded).
The conference is organized within the research project “Between Truth and Freedom: Enlightenment Answers to 'Thinking for Oneself’” (funded by UEFISCDI; code PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-2579).
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#Kant and German Enlightenment Philosophy