Social agency, political power, and legal boundaries in Classical German Philosophy

September 30, 2022 - October 1, 2022
Purdue University

United States


Universität Leipzig
Purdue University

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Workshop: Social agency, political power, and legal boundaries in Classical German Philosophy

Purdue University, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2022. (In person)

Organized by Christopher Yeomans (Purdue) and Ansgar Lyssy (Heidelberg / Leipzig)

While scholarship has long focused on the notion of transcendental freedom in Classical German Philosophy, recently the interest in the real-world entanglement of human agency has surged and thus asked what it means to be a free agent in a socially and legally determinate field. This relates to the recent debates concerning racism and colonialism in Kant and Hegel, but also a renewed interest in Fichte and Hegel as ethical and political thinkers; we also see a renewed interest in republicanism in past and present, as well as an interest in the ways political and social agency can be influenced and manipulated by institutional and private actors. This conference aims to build on these trends and give room to discuss the intersection of agency, power, and legal boundaries within the framework of Classical German Philosophy.

Friday, Sept. 30.

JP Messina: “What, for Kant, is Political Agency?”

Ansgar Lyssy: “Kant on Crimes against Humanity.”

Sebastian Stein: “Particular happiness and universal duty: Kant and Hegel on ethical freedom.”

Kevin Harrelson: “Hegel on the Human-Person Problem.”

Daniel James: “Hegel on State Power and 'Absolute Right' to Colonize.”

Saturday, Oct. 1.

Thomas Meyer: “The Individual's Power in a Hegelian World.”

Olga Lyanda-Geller: “War and Peace: Hegel and Rosenzweig on the (Im)possibility of War.”

Lorenzo Rustighi: “Virtue vs Constitution in Hegel's Philosophy of Right.”

Chris Yeomans: “Provisionality, Pluralism & Historicism in Classical German Philosophy.”

Johannes-Georg Schulein: “Schelling on Second Nature and Social Freedom.”

Kyla Bruff: “Reconstructing Schelling’s Political Philosophy From Beginning to End.”

Contact and registration: cyeomans [at]

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